Built around 1825, the Plank Kitchen is the oldest building on the property. The one room building most likely served as a temporary residence for the Williams family when they acquired the property in 1829, but had not yet built their house. Following the construction of the Main Farmhouse in 1855, the building functioned as the kitchen. A detached kitchen was once common, especially in the South, to protect the main house from the hazards of heat and smoke from continual use of the fireplace.
In general, the kitchen was the domain of women. When Mrs. Burchett Williams worked in the kitchen in the early 1800s, she would have had the help of her 2 daughters, as well as an enslaved woman named Eliza. Eliza had been gifted to the Williams family by Burchett’s father. By the time of the Civil War, the Williams family had 12 slaves, many of them children.
The Plank Kitchen continued to function as the farm’s kitchen until the 1940s when the Poole family added electricity to the property and built an indoor kitchen in the main house.