Kitchen

Jason Russell House KitchenThe kitchen is one of the first two southern rooms built by Jason Russell. It has a large fireplace on the north wall with two baking chambers to the left. A window on the south wall looks out over the herb garden. There was a door to the farmyard on the south wall, but this was sealed-up in the 1800’s. Two windows on the front of the house over look the farm’s gateyard, the stone wall enclosed area used as an outdoor work space by the family.

The kitchen features furnishings donated to the society from local families. The chest of drawers in the front corner of the room belonged to Deacon Joseph Adams. It was from this chest that the communion silver was stolen on April 19, 1775 by looting British soldiers. The parish later recovered the silver and it can still be found at what is now the Unitarian Church in the center.

The door to the right of the fireplace conceals the stairs to the cellar where the militia men hid on April 19th. Bullet holes on the risers of the stairs are a visual reminder of that battle.

The most outstanding feature of the room is the unplastered ceiling, which is whitewashed and has black sponge painting. This form of decoration is generally considered to be the earliest form of interior painting in New England, dating from before 1725. Some bills in connection with the Province House in Boston, for “whitewashing and spotting kitchen” in 1737, 1738, and 1739, show that it was still popular for such rooms when Jason Russell built his house.

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