Woodland Home Kitchen

One of the most important centers at the Houston home was the kitchen. A simple, single, large wooden room with a stone fireplace in the back, the kitchen served as the location for preparing food, washing clothes, soap making, animal butchering, candle making, and storage. It was separated from the house to protect from fire and heat especially in the summer months. During the winter, the large fireplace served to shelter and dry perishable items. Next to the kitchen a small garden provided herbs, spices, and vegetables.

One of the most important figures in the Houston’s kitchen was Eliza Revel, an African-American slave, who traveled to Texas with Margaret after she married Sam Houston. Eliza served as the main cook and directed the daily activities around the kitchen. Margaret was very dependent on Eliza, especially during her numerous pregnancies and health problems. Of course, serving Margaret meant that Eliza was forced to sublimate her own desires and wishes to those of her white owner.

After the Houston’s left Huntsville and Woodland Home was sold, the kitchen was removed from the property. The replica on the museum grounds is erected on the original site in as complete detail as possible. The museum provides demonstrations of hearth cooking and other activities inside the kitchen at various times in the year.