Structure 5 Pavilion VI Image Gallery

Structure 5 first appears on the engraving titled View of the University of Virginia taken from the South Side, published by Casimir Bohn in 1856 with various windows and no door on its eastern wall. In 1859, the Executive Committee of the Board of Visitors reported that a smokehouse was constructed for Professor Lewis M. Coleman, then the resident of Pavilion VI[1]. Structure 5 is believed to be said smokehouse. The Anonymous 1870s map shows a drain line departing from the location of Structure 5, although the structure itself is not depicted. A drain line is necessary for smokehouses as water is drawn out from the meat using salt during the meat-smoking process. The excavation conducted by Rivanna Archaeological Services in 2008 was able to find the foundation wall but failed to find any cultural artifacts due to the site’s limitations. It is unclear when Structure 5 was demolished.

The overall digital reconstruction of Structure 5 is based on research into other smokehouses, while the details come from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to Brockenbrough on 15 November 1825, in which he describes how a smokehouse should be built:

“1. they should be tightly paved with brick to prevent rats from burrowing under
them.

2. a shelf should be run all round the inside of the house above the top of
the door 12 I. wide at least; 18 I. would be better, smooth planed below, and no
supports below. a rat from below can never pass that shelf to get to the meat in
the roof.

3. not a crevice should be left for a ray of light to enter the house. a fly
cannot stay in a room compleatly dark. every housekeeper knows the losses in
meat houses from rats & flies.”[2]


[1] Executive Committee Minute Books of the Board of Visitors, 1859-1921. Volume 1: 1859-1866, September 23, 1859, p41. RG-1/1/3.461. Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Virginia.

[2] TJ to Brockenbrough, 15 November 1825, ViU:PP