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Smokehouse

The smokehouse was built in the 1830s or 1840s. It is a rare, surviving example of a smokehouse from the colonial era.

The smokehouse was used to smoke pork and other meat to preserve it in the days before refrigeration. Salting and smoking were the two methods available to stop meat from going rotten so it could be eaten long after animals had been slaughtered.

The smokehouse reminds us of how self sufficient the Camden Park estate was. With its combination of slaughterhouse, smokehouse and the whole range of other facilities and tradesmen such as blacksmiths and carpenters, the estate could meet most of the day to day needs of the Macarthurs, their numerous employees and families living on the estate.

The smokehouse was originally free standing, probably to reduce the fire hazard, but was joined to the creamery building by the 1860s. Former employees remember beef, mutton and pork hanging in the smokehouse to preserve or 'cure' it, and a fire burning there all day. The inside of the smokehouse was blackened from the smoke.