Wood was vital to sustaining life in the nineteenth century. Wood was burned for heating and cooking purposes. Wood for all fireplaces in the Owner's Compound was stored here in the Wood House.


  • c. 1929 photo of the Wood House in the center background
    c. 1929 photo of the Wood House in the center background

The wooden beams and stacks of split wood that you see on the other side of the fence mark the site of the Wood House, where at least two enslaved persons stored and chopped firewood for the Owner’s Compound. Their work was equally vital in providing heat for cooking all year long as it was in providing heat for comfort in the wintertime. The wood in this building supplied ten fireplaces in the Collins Home, four fireplaces in the Colony House, two fireplaces in the Kitchen/Laundry, and two fireplaces in the Bathhouse, for a total of eighteen fireplaces. In addition to that, enslaved persons used hot coals from these fireplaces for the bread oven in the Kitchen and the three hearths in the Smokehouse.

Self-Guided Tour Brochure, Somerset Place State Historic Site.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Roanoke Beacon