1856 Kitchen being restored.  Original pine floor uncovered, stone sink in the corner and 1920s cabinet and sink on the right
1856 Kitchen being restored. Original pine floor uncovered, stone sink in the corner and 1920s cabinet and sink on the right
1856 Kitchen being restored.  Original pine floor uncovered, stone sink in the corner and 1920s cabinet and sink on the right

1856 Kitchen

Kitchen Addition

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.

Intelligencer Article

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."
photo of coal stove wit frying pans on wall beside it and coal bucket and shovel in front
newspaper caption: COAL STOVE - In another corner of the kitchen is this coal stove, in working order and still working. The stove sits where a brick oven was located when the Strawbridges purchased the home in Horsham in 1920

Restoration

  • Donation of a coal stove similar to - but of a later vintage than - the one that was originally here. The original crumbled when we had to move it while doing some plumbing and electrical work a long time ago
  • 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

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, but in doing this the poor stove disintegrated, leaving us with only the cast iron doors.

Door from the old Spears coal fired cooking range at the Penrose Strawbridge House black iron with temperature gauge in middle
Door from the old Spears coal fired cooking range at the Penrose Strawbridge House

Somehow we got lucky! Our friends at Shared Services came across another coal stove - not as old as ours but it'll do.

photo of c1850s coal stove in 1859 kitchen of penrose strawbridge house
c1850s Coal Stove donated to HPHA by Shared Services

Floor

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.

Original pine floor in the 1856 kitchen and 1920s era yello cabinets to right and stone sink in center
Original pine floor in the 1856 kitchen and 1920s era cabinets



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Horsham Preservation and Historical Association
900 Governor Rd
Horsham, PA 19044 USA
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Contact Us

215-343-0659
Horsham Preservation and Historical Association
Support the Future of Horsham's History!
Logo for Horsham Preservation and Historical Association

900 Governor Rd
Horsham, PA 19044 USA
215-343-0659 | Email
version: 1.0.1.33
Ver 1.0.1.33