Stone Building

Color photograph of a stone building with two doorways, reflected in a puddle in the foreground.
Stone Building, circa 2017

NPS / David Newmann

The stone building behind White Haven has served a number of functions over the years, but was used primarily as a summer kitchen and laundry room during the nineteenth century. The structure is what architects call a “double-pen,” a British design that features two side-by-side rooms with gable end chimneys. Early Drawings of White Haven suggest that this structure existed as early as 1840. Enslaved laborers worked in this structure cooking food and cleaning laundry when the Dent family owned the property before the Civil War. There is also evidence suggesting that some of the enslaved cooks may have lived in the attic of this structure.

The stone building fell into disrepair in the early twentieth century. In the 1950s the structure was turned into a three-car garage by the owner of White Haven at that time, Delbert Wenzlick. After the National Park Service acquired ownership of White Haven in 1990, work was done to demolish the garage and renovate the building to its nineteenth century appearance. A large number of broken dishes, crockery, silverware, and other historical artifacts from the nineteenth century were discovered during several archaeological digs around this area, further demonstrating the ways enslaved laborers used this space to perform their duties at White Haven.

 
Color photograph showing three dark grey slate pencils on a plain beige cloth backdrop.
Slate pencils discovered in the Winter Kitchen during an archaeological dig.

NPS / David Newmann

Last updated: February 27, 2019

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St. Louis, MO 63123

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