Colonial smokehouse to be restored for Connecticut history lovers

CLINTON, Conn. (WTNH) — “I’m the son of a man who was a farmer in the Yorkshire Dales and anybody who’s been there will know that 99% of field fences are built in dry stone.”

Andrew Pighills, a stone mason from Yorkshire, England that’s now settled in Connecticut, is currently restoring a small colonial smokehouse back to its original glory.

“Well for years the historical society has been aware that there’s a stone smokehouse behind this antique home. Last September, Saint Alexis decided that they wanted to have the stonehouse removed from the property,” said David Bautz, president of the Clinton Historical Society.

But instead of removing the historic building, Bautz embraced Pighills’s idea to restore it.

“We thought it was a wonderful idea…use it as an educational tool to educate our young people about the history of Clinton and the way life was in colonial times,” Bautz explained.

The smokehouse is believed to have been first built over 150 years ago, making it a unique find even in historically rich Connecticut.

“The smokehouse itself we believe erected around 1850, so it’s quite old it’s also quite rare because it’s a stone smokehouse,” said Pighills.

Pighills, a man who is proud of his work, wants others to feel the same way when they build something with durability.

“I take pride in my craftsmanship. At the end of the day, I look and I can say I built that and that’s going to be there for generations to come. I mean even someone who’s putting in a wooden fence that’s going to last 15 years, they should take pride in it and a lot of people do with stonework. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be standing for several centuries,” he said.

Restoring the smokehouse so it can be appreciated for future history lovers has important meaning to Pighills.

“That’s the beauty of stone it almost lasts forever. I always tell people I’m not building this for you I’m building this for your children and your children’s children,” he explained.

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