I love this picture from the Pioneer Living History Museum of a homestead kitchen. This particular picture comes from a cabin circa 1885. It is similar to what I pictured the kitchen in the ranch house on Colter Ranch in A Dream Unfolding and A Heart Renewed.
To the left of the green door, is a cabinet with a basin in the top, for washing dishes or preparing meals. The shelves are lined with various types of crockery and dishes. Dry goods, flour, sugar, and the like would have been stored in these containers. I’m not so sure about the piece of crockery with the spout on it. It seems more modern to me than what they might have used in the mid to late 1800’s.
From what I understand, some of the settlers to Arizona in the 1860’s did bring china dishes, while others used tin plates and mugs. Many of the cattle outfits tended to use the cheaper and more durable tin ware, so in my books, the first mention of china is in the second book, A Heart Renewed, when Hannah finally unpacks her mother’s china.
The table in the foreground gives a good idea of what the ranch house table might look like. In my books, Will handcrafted the table and chairs himself—which is a likely scenario for any early settlers.
I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse of a homestead kitchen. My thanks to the Pioneer Living History Museum, in Phoenix, AZ, for the wonderful exhibits and for this recreation of a homestead kitchen.