A Taste for Mustard: A cache of condiment bottles from a Loyalist homestead

Author(s): Denise McGuire

Year: 2014


During the excavation of a house foundation at the Loyalist-period Butler homestead in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, a small cache of condiment bottles was discovered in a space determined to be a larder or pantry. Based on the form of the bottle, the condiment that filled the bottle was likely dry mustard powder, the bottles of which have more often been recovered from military sites. One of the bottles is of particular interest as it was embossed with the name ‘Rhodes & Kemeys’ and originated from a small mill manufacturing powdered mustard and glass bottles in Ossining, New York. These types of bottles are not often recovered from domestic sites in Ontario and may speak to the history of the site via the preferences and habits of its occupants over the course of its 30 years of existence (1783-1813). Using these artifacts, this paper aims to examine the uses of mustard from its consumption as a food condiment to application of medicinal treatment in both military and non-military contexts. It will also highlight the Butler family’s ties to the merchant network between British Canada and the United States in a post-Revolutionary world.

Cite this Record

A Taste for Mustard: A cache of condiment bottles from a Loyalist homestead. Denise McGuire. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436700)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-13,12