Wednesday, June 15, 2011

In the Days Before Refrigeration

By Sally Holton, Washington County Extension Homemaker
Mr. B.M. Holton, father of Nathaniel, Tony, Lula and Dorsie, was a butcher by trade. He began this business in 1917 and continued it for 45 years. I never heard that anyone got tainted meat, but I have often wondered why they didn’t. His work was done under a tree and without running water.
Mr. Holton sold beef to stores in Belhaven, Washington and Plymouth.
Daniel W. Paul, native of Pungo, says he remembers in the summertime when people wanted beef for special occasions or just because they needed a break from vegetables and pork, men in the neighborhood would canvas to see how many families would buy beef, which had to be cooked with purchased to prevent spoilage.
If enough people wanted beef, Mr. Holton slaughtered enough animals to yield the pounds to accommodate the people. As soon as the beef was prepared, Mr. Holton delivered it by mule and cart, selling it house to house.
“Before Refrigeration” was published in 1992 in The Precious Past, Reminiscences of the Way Life Used to Be, by Washington County Extension Homemakers. All rights reserved.

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