The kitchen on the rear section of the Penrose-Strawbridge House was added to the house in 1856 while William and Hannah Penrose presided over the farm, and may have been related to the marriage of Abel and Sarah Penrose in December of that year. It may have been built on an existing foundation meaning that it may have replaced something built earlier of which we have no record. We do know that there was a beehive oven on the rear of the large hearth in the adjacent 1721 dining room that was removed when this or a previous structure was added. This was the last addition made to the home by the Penroses. The original coal stove was likely original to the kitchen as is the stone sink. The linoleum floor could have been installed any time from the 1870s on and we believe the cabinets were installed by the Strawbridges in the 1920s-30s. Different periods over-lapping so our restoration is going to follow by including all pieces from all eras. We are also going the add some modern appliances so the room is an actual working kitchen,
- Donation of a coal stove similar to - but of a later vintage than - the one that was originally here. (see below)The original crumbled when we had to move it while doing some plumbing and electrical work a long time ago (see further below)
- Stove is missing a couple hinges
- 2 windows have been restored
- 2 windows on north were beyond restoration and were replaced
- 1920s Kitchen Cabinet stripped and primed - ready for final paint
- 1920s Kitchen sink need replacement
- Walls and woodwork stripped and primed - ready for final paint
- We have removed the linoleum and exposed the original pine floor
- Refinish Pine Floor
- All electrical updated
- New Lighting
- Modern Appliances
Spears Coal Stove
The kitchen was actually one of the first things we worked on and is now one of the last things we are restoring. One of our earliest activities in the house was to remodel the 2nd floor as a caretaker's apartment .Part of this remodeling was to add a kitchen and wash room above the 1st floor kitchen and this required running some plumbing up through the 1st floor kitchen. We need to move the original 150 year old coal stove Mrs Strawbridge spoke so fondly of in the article below, but in doing this the poor stove disintegrated, leaving us with only the cast iron doors.
Somehow we got lucky! Our friends at Shared Services came across another coal stove - not as old as ours but it'll do.
The floor of the kitchen is pine but this has been covered over with linoleum which could date back almost to when the floor was installed. Linoleum was being exported to the US as early as 1869, and was manufactured in New Jersey starting in 1887. So this could have been installed by the Penroses or later by the Strawbridges when they were renovating before moving in. The cabinets and sink in this room appear to be 1920s vintage.
We have removed the linoleum and plan to restore the original pine floor.
Margaret Strawbridge was interviewed for the "Women's Notes" section of the Daily Intelligencer 12/14/1971 page 6 titled: Strawbridge home:House of Beauty Hidden in Horsham by Susan M Hansen. The kitchen is described:
"The kitchen of the Strawbridge house is a warm, cheery place. Tucked away in a little corner is a stone sink, the original that was built into the house. Mrs. Strawbridge uses it to arrange plants and flowers and claims it has been in constant use ever since the house was built (or at least since 1858)
Also in the kitchen is an old coal stove, still in working order and still working. A coal scuttle and little coal scoop sitting beside the stove and the merry blue-gold flame licking up from the center attest to that.
"We had a kitchen tour through here last here" Mrs. Strawbridge told me. "They were delighted with my stove, they really were."