The Summer Kitchen

The summer kitchen is part of our Luginbill homestead. It was used from the late spring until the early fall. Its primary purpose was to keep the heat generated by cooking and preserving foods out of the family’s main living area. It was also used for washing, sewing, butchering, and soap boiling. During the winter months it would be used for storage or as a laundry area.

Many summer kitchens were constructed with two main rooms: one for cooking, preserving and doing dishes and the other for eating. In the eating room, long tables and benches were used because as many as 30 people could be present for a meal as as result of the large number of people needed for farming. Some summer kitchens, like this one, had an additional second floor which was used for storage or as a guest room for hired hands. Sometimes it was used to house newly-married family members.

The summer kitchen was donated by Vernon and Jean Neuenschwander and moved to the Village in 1988 from its original site on their farm at 300 West, 5323 South, Berne, Indiana. In 1991, another summer kitchen was donated by the Amish family of Crist K. Hilty and was moved from 2295 West, 250 South, Berne, Indiana. In 1993, it was moved again on the grounds and converted to an office and entrance building.