The service wing of the house was designed for practicality and to be carefully hidden from public view. Workflow was a priority in the service spaces, and the design reflects that. Many modern conveniences were installed that allowed the domestic staff to complete their daily tasks efficiently.
“The kitchen by first right is the cook’s domain. The butler’s pantry–so called–and the dining-room are the field of the waitress’s operations.”
From The Up-to-Date Waitress, 1908
The Cook's Domain
Domestic Workers in the Kitchen
1880 Domestic Servants
The 1880 national census listed the following people as domestic servants who also lived in the mansion house. As the eldest person on staff it is likely that Sarah Law was the cook or head housekeeper.
Hannah Keefe, 22, Servant
Eliza Walsh, 28, Servant
Annie Stayes, 28, Servant
Sarah Law, 38, Servant
Charles Law, 15, Servant
1900 Domestic Servants
The 1900 U.S. Census recorded more details about a person’s occupation. As a result, we know specifically that Emeline Hildebrand was the housekeeper and that Alice S. was Mary Eustis’s music teacher.
Emeline Hildebrand, 61, Housekeeper
Annie O’Connor, 37, Servant
Mary McGinness, 26, Servant
Alice Shiva/Spicer, 43, Teacher Music
1910 Domestic Servants
By 1910 Emeline Hildebrand was still the head housekeeper and Hilda H. was the cook.
Pauline E. Bowie, 34, Seamstress
Charles H. Bowie, 42, Steward
Hilda Hedwig, 27, Cook
Mildred Krumin, 21, Laundress
Emeline A. Hildebrand, 77, Housekeeper
Oswald S. Perry, 38, Carpenter
The Cook and Her KitchenFrom Housekeeping Made Easy, 1888
Understanding the Kitchen WorkflowClick on the image to learn about the kitchen work flow design.
Understanding the Kitchen Workflow
The service wing was designed to allow for a smooth work flow. This map outlines the design for the kitchen.
The Tasks at HandFrom Housekeeping Made Easy, 1888
Walker and Pratt Stove
This stove is dated 1879, which means that it was a brand new, top of the line item when it was installed here the same year. A large black iron hood was installed over the coal stove, the outline of which can still be seen in the bricks. Prior to the 1970s when radiators were installed this coal stove was the only source of heat in the kitchen.
On Speaking Tubes
Because this wing was tucked away far from the public spaces or family bedrooms, it was important for the family to be able to communicate with the domestic staff who lived and worked here. To accommodate this, speaking tubes were built into the walls of the house during construction, running from strategically chosen rooms down to the kitchen. There are six different speaking tubes:
1. Night Nursery
2. Second Floor Hallway
3. Third Floor Hallway
4. China Closet
5. Master Bed Chamber Dressing Room
“The habit of calling from the top to the bottom of the house is sometimes permitted when only one servant is kept. It should never be allowed…Speaking-tubes are most desirable, but when they are out of the question a bell can almost always be arranged which will notify the family of the arrival of visitors, or will serve to call the maid, if her presence is desired above stairs. American voices have sufficient reputation for loudness and shrillness already, without increasing these unpleasant tendencies by screaming orders up or down a couple of flights of stairs.”
From Housekeeping Made Easy, 1888
On Speaking Tubes
A Modern Call System
The Electric Annunciator
When electricity came to the house, a new call box system was introduced to facilitate communication between the Eustises and their staff. A family member would push a wall-mounted button in one of twenty spaces throughout the house, causing the bell at the top of the call box to ring and the specific room that was calling to be indicated. Depending on the room, a parlor maid, chamber maid, waitress, or other staff member would attend to the family member calling.