Visit the Heritage Museum’s new exhibit “The Times They Are A Changing”
for a tangible look at how things used to be.
This is an authentic washday ‘receipt” written for a bride in 1900.
(Donna Barlass, Church Cookbook)
1. Build a fire in the back yard to heat kettle of rain water.
2. Set tubs so smoke won’t blow in eyes if wind is pert.
3. Shave one whole cake soap in boiling water.
4. Sort things, make three piles: 1 pile white, 1 pile coloured, 1 pile work britches and rags.
5. Stir flour in cold water to smooth then thin down with boiling water.
6. Rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard. Then boil. Rub coloureds but don’t boil—just rinse and starch.
7. Take white things out of kettle with broom stick handle then rinse, blue and starch.
8. Spread tea towels on grass.
9. Hang old rags on fence.
10. Pour rinse water in flower bed.
11. Scrub porch with hot soapy water.
12. Turn tubs upside down.
Go put on a clean dress—smooth hair with side combs—brew cup of tea—set and rest and rock a spell and count your blessings.
Well I am sure you’re as exhausted as I am just thinking about what it took to have clean clothes over a hundred years ago.
The Heritage Museum, 2851 Church Way, Mill Bay,
Opening in July beginning with private tours
To book a tour contact email@example.com