Mrs. Fox’s Table: Mealtimes at the Boott Mills Boardinghouses, Lowell, Massachusetts

Author(s): Mary C. Beaudry

Year: 2018


Archaeology at Lowell’s Boott Mills produced evidence of mealtimes in corporation housing. Yankee mill girls who boarded in a house run for 50 years by Mrs. Amanda Fox, and, later, Irish and Eastern European immigrants who boarded with Mrs. Fox’s successors, as well as skilled workers in adjoining tenements and supervisory personnel at the nearby Agents’ House ate differently prepared foods in contrasting settings. I take a comprehensive approach to the "total experience" of mealtimes for workers and supervisors, combining evidence of foods eaten and of the highly dissimilar sensory experiences diners had in different settings.  Of interest in returning to Mrs. Fox’s table, and other tables in Lowell, is the degree to which the food served to and eaten by Lowell’s workers, and their differing experiences around food, exemplified 19th-century notions of proper diet and its relationship to the construction of the self and of personal and social identity.

Cite this Record

Mrs. Fox’s Table: Mealtimes at the Boott Mills Boardinghouses, Lowell, Massachusetts. Mary C. Beaudry. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441808)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 394