Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Root Cellar at Jacob Huber's Tavern

Vaulted Arch (Root) Cellar


Jacob Huber’s Tavern

now known as

Forgotten Seasons Bed & Breakfast
304 East Newport Road
Lititz, PA 17543

The large vaulted arch cellar (or root cellar) is located under the eastern side of the house and was the first part of the Tavern to be built circa 1733 - 1735.

The cellar extends from the front wall of the Tavern to the rear wall, or about 30’ long. It is 12’ feet wide, or the same width as the Dining Room and original Kitchen located above it.

The exterior stairway leading to the cellar has a southern exposure. The steps are made of sandstone. They wore down as people entered the cellar. At some point the wear on the step was deep enough that they would be flipped over so a flat surface would be exposed to the top.

There are 8 candle nitches located, four on each side, located where the arch for the ceiling begins. These were used to light the cellar while individuals were working in the cellar preparing the food.

Four cast iron hooks are built into the vaulted ceiling and were used to hold 2 branches. These branches were in turn used to hang meats and other items on.

There are 2 air vents, one on each end of the cellar, used to circulate air.

In the Kitchen, a trap door was located in the floor that provided access to the “dumb waiter” underneath. This dumb waiter was used to lift and lower items from the root cellar into the kitchen area above. The dumb waiter was a platform attached to a rope and pulley.

An individual worked in the root cellar doing preliminary preparation of food, then place the food items on the dumb waiter. The dumb waiter with the food on it was then raised up into the kitchen for final food preparation.

This root cellar design allowed for an individual to work in the root cellar with the exterior door closed. The food could be moved from the cellar to the kitchen without having to go outside or through the dining areas. The candles in the nitches provided the light for them to see. The air temperature always remained 54 degrees regardless of the season.


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