June 2014. The rehabilitation of the slave cabin, begun last September, was completed this month. Though structurally sound, notwithstanding its use in the early 20th century as a garage and auto repair facility, the cabin required extensive work. Plaster and lathe, which made up the finish on the ceiling and above wooden plank siding and on the interior walls, was severely deteriorated. All of the plaster and much of the lathe were removed; the old lathe was then re-installed and new plaster applied. The sash on the cabin’s four windows, which contained some early glass, was removed, repairs and re-installed. These and other repairs were carried out by Chuck Rackley and his crew, who also performed the bulk of the rehabilitation work on the main house at Wilton. The cabin’s two end chimneys had been completely lost over time, and had to be entirely built anew. The extensive masonry work was competed by Charlie Harris (pictured below) and his crew from King and Queen County.
The cabin dates to approximately the 1840’s, some 80 years after the main house was built, and is thought to have housed slaves and served as well as a kitchen and laundry. Archaeological and other evidence from the structure itself showed the two end chimneys to be different in size. A single interior wall divided the 16 x 32 foot cabin into two rooms, each with its own exterior doorway.
The cabin has been furnished with a variety of 18th and 19th century tables and chairs, some of them rustic in character while others have the look of pieces that may have started out in gentry or planters houses. All the furnishings and accessories were purchased through Brian Penniston and Queen Street Mall in Tappahannock.