Colonial Life


1. Everyone depended on each other and worked hard; still there were quiet moments for sharing friendships.

2. Excess milk was made into rounds of cheese by tightening a cheese press to squeeze out all the water and whey.

3. Putting away food “against the winter” was everyone’s job. This little girl is collecting walnuts.

4. Besides taking care of chickens, pigs, sheep, horses, cows, and goats, colonial children enjoyed their pets.

5. Spinning and weaving wool was often done by little girls. Some would spin on the great wheel when they were so small that they had to stand on a footstool to reach up.

6. The center of the colonial home was the kitchen where the family gathered at mealtimes. In this original “family room” the family worked and relaxed too.

7. Water was drawn or pumped by hand from a deep well for drinking and cooking. Sometimes it had to be carried quite a distance.

8. Girls learned early to help with household chores—cooking, candle dipping, soap making, food drying, and caring for younger brothers and sisters.

9. Wood chopping, stacking, and carrying was a never-ending chore on a colonial farm. A wood fire in the large fireplace cooked meals the year round and also heated the home in the winter.

10. Mother and children tended the “kitchen garden” while father did the heavy work in the fields.

11. Cannon and soldiers’ cabins at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

12. Liberty Bell, famous symbol of the United States’ struggle for freedom.

13. Eager hands fill a hat full of water from an outside pump.

14. Independence Hall in Philadelphia where the Second Continental Congress met, the Declaration of Independence was adopted, and the Constitution drafted.

15. Only six feet wide, Philadelphia’s Elfreth’s Alley is “the oldest continuously occupied residential street in the United States.” It was built in 1690.

16. Children hunker down in Elfreth’s Alley to watch a top spin.

17. Sitting on the “stoop” while making a button hum.

18. Supposedly Betsy Ross lived here and sewed early United States’ flags.

[photos] Children in these photographs by Richard Ross are members of the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Stake.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Ron Eddington