Smokehouse, Pine Grove


The golden-hued grass seen in the foreground is Broomsedge (Andropogon virginicus), one of the most widespread non-cultivated plants in the South.


As of mid-August 2020, this structure has collapsed.

9 thoughts on “Smokehouse, Pine Grove

  1. ariel

    Now I feel rather sad that I don’t have any broomsedge brooms in my past (honestly) but I’m happy to know what grass glows so nicely in front of several old buildings I photograph.
    Brian are extant smokehouses in the South a bit like hen’s teeth, few and far between? The outbuildings in the North were oftentimes multipurpose & I have difficulties figuring out what may be a smokehouse around here. I’ve found lots of outbuildings with the abandoned houses but to the best of my knowledge never a smokehouse. [My parents’ old house, however, has an upstairs room that was a makeshift smokehouse for some time. The marks on the floor from dripping meats are still visible.]

  2. Jesse M. Bookhardt

    Ah, the smell of a seasoned smokehouse makes this old South Georgia Cracker, feel warm inside. With a dish pan and butcher knife in hand, I remember being sent by Mama to the smokehouse to slice off some delicious ham or bacon. The place was kinda dank and distinctive in odor. There were salty dripping of past years of smoking pork on the dirt floor and ash scattered around from the smoldering hardwood fires that had flickered over the years. Mama would cover the meat with water and next day pour the water off removing lots of excess salt. The cured meat would then be prepared for the frying pan. Ham or bacon with eggs and grits was our standard breakfast. Some times we ate home made smoked sausage. Biscuits and locally milled sugar cane syrup was a good supplement to the meat, eggs, and grits.

  3. patty

    I remember going to my grandparents farm in Rebecca, GA and my aunt would sweep under the big tree in the backyard with a broom made out of broomsedge. Being from the big city, I never quite understood the purpose of sweeping under a tree. Now it is just a fond memory.

    1. Barbara Tanner

      My Great grandparents lived in a home with a dirt yard and Chinaberry trees. If the dirt was swept frequently, you could track the coming and going of critters, mainly snakes. In Valdosta and Naylor, the rattlesnakes grew to 8 feet or more.

  4. Stan Arline

    Broomsedge was/is used to make brooms,it was cut and wired to a handle,used to sweep the house,porch,and often to yard when there was no grass.There was often no grass because the chickens destroyed or ate it.Those chickens were called yard chickens,and layed eggs close to the house. This is a part of vanishing Georgia that is difficult to photograph.

    1. Hugh H. West

      I believe my grandparents used only twine to make their brooms. I don’t recall a handle. Also, they used gall berry brush brooms to keep their sandy white yards clean.

      1. Jesse M. Bookhardt

        Hugh, I remember the same. Most broom sedge brooms were made of cut and trimmed sedge just bundled and tied together with twine. I do remember some that were attached to a wood handle. Gallberry yard brooms were common and in my opinion more efficient in cleaning a sandy yard. The limbs were stiffer. There is nothing like a beautifully cleaned and swept sandy yard. The broom sedge brooms were better used to sweep the old pine floors of most farm houses. Have you ever seen a home made corn shuck scrub broom? Our ancestors knew how to survive off the natural world much better than we. They had to.

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