This unusual building is all that remains of a large complex that produced great quantities of food to feed the nearly 1000 residents of Bishop Hill. Imagine the bakery brewery across the street, Big Brick’s dining hall, an ice house, a smoke house, a slaughter house, large holding pens, and barns for livestock surrounding this smaller building. The first floor of this building was where meat was processed, butchered and salted, and then it was stored in the fully bricked basement. The floors were built to hold heavy carcasses of meat with 2” x 12” tongue and groove boards supported by 2” x 8” joists just 12” apart instead of the normal 16” - 18”. Because of the great quantities of salt used to preserve the meat, the wooden floors are super-saturated with salt and any metal footed furniture is sure to rust rather quickly.
Official Walking Tour Bishop Hill Illinois Guidebook to Buildings, 2010.
Wheat Flour Messiah, Eric Jansson of Bishop Hill by Paul Elmen Southern Illinois University Press 1997
History of Bishop Hill, A Story of Swedish Pioneers Collected and Compiled by Theo J. Anderson, self-published.