City of Riverside California Metropolitan Museum

Back Porch of Heritage House

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 A porch like this really served as an extension of the kitchen in the 1890s.  The wash boilers were brought out from the range where the water had been warmed and the clothes were run through the hand-cranked washing machine and wringer.  On rainy days, the laundry was hung on the porch to dry.  On baking days, bread and pastries were put in the pie safe -- away from the heat of the kitchen -- to cool.

 The cooler room, insulated with double-brick-thick walls that extend through the basement to the ground, maintained interior temperatures lower than elsewhere in the house.  This is where the 1870s Alaska ice-box is kept.  Our ice-box holds about twenty-five pounds of ice, which could have needed replenishing daily during a particularly hot summer.  In Riverside, the cost of block ice was between one and two cents per pound.

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