Bed and Chicken Dinners

Brochure (4)During the early 20th century Fort Pelham Farm was a bed and breakfast of sorts as well as serving home cooked meals.  This is a brochure that Olive had in her scrapbook and I thought I’d share it.

Brochure (3)The brochure itself is small, maybe 3″ x 5″ on a textured yellow stock and gives quite a bit of information on a small space.

Brochure (1)As I was reading it this morning I was thinking how nice it would be to have a view of the hopper from the house.  It is completely grown in now so the only view we now have is trees.  Although I have noticed that part of the view just down the road (when the leaves are off of the trees) includes the windmills in Savoy which I can’t say that I’m a fan of.  So maybe it’s better that we have the trees that way I’m not angry that someone has invaded my space albeit from afar.

Brochure (2)The back of the brochure probably fascinates me the most.  “Modern electric power plant”?  Need a little more research into that.  Running water, modern bathroom?  Hmmmm . . .  Then there is the way the entire upstairs is set up.  You have to be pretty comfortable with strangers to all be staying in the rooms upstairs.  There is no hallway between any rooms so you need to walk through other peoples bedrooms to get anywhere near the stairways.  I’m making an assumption that what is now the upstairs bathroom was once a bedroom.  I do remember my father talking about a water holding tank in the attic over the ell which they used for water pressure.  Their water was spring fed and there was a huge cistern in the cellar as well.

Then there are those dinners.  We donated a sign for chicken dinners to the Rowe Historical Society a number of years back.  I have photographs of what is now the living room set up for dining.  It’s difficult for me to imagine cooking for a crowd in the kind of kitchen they were using at the time.  And what kind of flock of chickens did they have?  Must have been substantial unless they bought dressed hens somewhere else which I’m kind of doubting.  I also looked up the value of $3.00 in 1900 just to get a little perspective.  It amounted to $79.10.  They were making fairly good money with their little endeavor – almost $400 per person per week.  You just have to consider that it was a seasonal retreat for people.

Dining Room at Fort Pelham Farm 1930's (7)The photo above is of the dining room.  The floors and layout are still the same and I have to tell you that I wouldn’t mind having the rocking chair in the foreground.

Dining Room at Fort Pelham Farm 1930's (2)I look at these photographs and am amazed at how little the house has changed.  When we do something to it we try to keep within the character of the house.  It’s really too beautifully built to mess with.  We have returned to eating in that room, dividing it into different living spaces.  It’s a wonderful place to entertain friends and family.  Now I just need to figure out how to charge $26.27 for a creamed chicken dinner.



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