Shared Photo: The Mulligan Place

+10 votes
107 views

I wanted to share this old photo with the community. Location: Riverbend, Gaston County, NC. Date: 1902.

Written on the back by Ralph Sidney Underwood: "Place known as the Mulligan Place, located near Duke Power Mt. Island Plant, Gaston Co. J. S. Underwood moved there Jan 1890 when R. S. Underwood, Sr. was 9 mo- old. It is owned by D. P. Co. now. This picture was taken about 1902 or 3. House built about 1855 but was torn down and new ones built by D.P. Co. about 1925."

R. S. Underwood, Sr. 1962

I (Pip) have no idea who the people are in this photo. I wish I did. If Grandpa had known, he would have written that on the back, too. Note that the kitchen is separated from the house, like so many others of its era. Can you see that wood planks to help folks avoid the mud during the rain? And I think that's a chicken outside the fence to the right of the gate. If this house was still standing, it would be over 160 years old.500px-Underwood-4502-3.jpg
Click here for the image details page or here for the full-sized version (2549 x 2396).

WikiTree profile: Ralph Underwood
in Photos by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.2m points)
recategorized by Jillaine Smith
Cool photo Pip! I see the planks. House with a fire place in both ends and a porch on both sides. Thanks for sharing!
Saw that, too, John. I think that the back porch has at least one railing on the side. I’m sure those uninsulated homes needed both fire places. I’ve seen old abandoned houses with newspapers used to cover the inside of the walls for insulation.

3 Answers

+8 votes
 
Best answer

Wow!  Thanks so much for not just sharing a truly historic photograph of an 1850s house in North Carolina, but including so much fascinating information about its details and history, too!

I looked up what this separate kitchen might be called, and discovered some people now call these 'summer kitchens.'  Extra heat from cooking was not welcome in summertime, so people would apparently actually pick up and dissassemble and move their entire coal or wood-burning cookstove and resituate it in the 'summer kitchen' that was often built with fire-resistant stone walls.  Here's an article about historic homes with 'summer kitchens':

Historic Homes 101:  What, Exactly, is a 'Summer Kitchen'?
https://www.curbed.com/2016/6/16/11954538/old-house-kitchen-history-summer

I love the planks in the photo, too.  It's the little details in these photos that bring our ancestor's lives and stories into such clarity.  Awesome! 

by Cynthia Larson G2G6 Pilot (170k points)
selected by Pip Sheppard
That’s a great link. Thanks for sharing it. I’ve also heard that many old wooden homes had a separate kitchen just in case there was a kitchen fire. That way, it wouldn’t burn the house down, too.

My ancestor, John Beaty, had an old home that was built in the early 1800s. A descendant was still living in it in the late 1970s. It was she who told me about the separate kitchen which was also still standing.

When she died in the 80s, some folks came to evaluate the house. After tearing off some of the siding, they discovered that the house was originally a log home. Taken apart piece by piece, the house was reassembled at the Schiel (sp) Museum in Gastonia, NC, where it still stands, a monument to one of early families along the Catawba River.

Where the house stood was the last of the old Beaty land. There is an apartment complex there now. My brother lived there briefly. Funny how things come around like that.
Wow, that is so interesting, Pip!  And how amazing that the log home was taken apart and reconstructed and was preserved in Gastonia, NC where it still stands!  I love knowing that some of our history is preserved, and that's so wonderful that you know your ancestor, John Beaty, used to live there!  

I'm now picturing our ancestors in the 1700s and 1800s with their summer kitchen houses--something I didn't even know existed until today.  Wow!
Just love this photo, Pip.

 I knew about "summer kitchens" but hadn't thought much about what a menace fires were in the days before an alternate heating source until a couple of days ago when I was looking into the cause of death of an 80 year old woman in Maine. Assumed in would be one of those obscure "miasmas"...but to my shock- the death certificate reported the rather grotesque cause of death- her nightclothes had caught fire from an open flame.

Your independent "summer kitchen" make a lotta sense!
+7 votes
What a fantastic photo Pip, the old house is so beautiful to look at and the people in front of the house.

That is the trouble when no one write on the photo.

But still it is a treasure

Thank you for sharing this gorgeous photo
by Susan Laursen G2G Astronaut (2.8m points)
+3 votes
Awesome Photo Pip, thank you for sharing it with us. A lovely story with the history of the house and the living conditions, Just wonderful!. I see the trees are bare, probably winter at this time, I assume from the way everyone is standing in different areas against the walls that they are probably trying to warm up in the morning sun. They are not posing for this picture.
by Shaun Doust G2G6 Pilot (345k points)
(Wondered if you were finally getting some sleep....). :-)
Hahaa no the weekend is over and it's back to work, time is limited for 5 days.

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