What's A Still Room?

In the 1700’s the woman of the house was a highly skilled homemaker. She required a high degree of training, and devotion to run her household.  Many households had to be self-sufficient because they were unable to rely on the convenience of our modern-day equipment or weren’t able to take a “quick” ride to town to get what was needed.  Many times town was a long coach ride away. Tasks such as gardening, baking, brewing, weaving, and preserving were desired skills to have. One of her most important skills was doctoring her family since physicians were few and far between. Even apothecaries of the day were not convenient to get to without some thought and planning ahead. Because of that, most homes of the day were equipped with a room designated as the “Still Room” or the distilling room.  This is where the high-level skills of the homemaker came into play.  She was relied on to be the family “doctor”.  The “Still Room” was equipped with tinctures, lotions, teas, and formulas to help the family get through many sicknesses. It was also full of dried herbs that had been collected and carefully dried from the herb garden. 

Along with these skills came the responsibility to record all that she had learned from her “doctoring” to pass down to her daughters.  These “still books” were sometimes passed down through many generations and kept up to date by each woman that received it.  They were intricate and beautiful books full of pictures of plants and sometimes drawings with complete formulas and instructions. So you will notice on my website a weekly blog about “What is Happening in my Still Room?” this is a throwback to that era. So be sure to check it out each week as I show you the latest project that I’m working on. This is also the idea behind my newsletter, “Letters to My Daughters”.  “Letters to My Daughters” is my still book, my written record of what I have learned through the years of being a wife and mother that I can pass on to my daughters.