Jamestown Historical Society

From the Collection – Cookbooks

In the JHS Collection are examples, spanning almost 200 years, of Jamestowners’ interest in collecting and sharing their favorite recipes.

 In 1825 Lydia Ann Gould created handwritten Receipts for Sarah C. Green. In those days the two terms, receipt and recipe, were used interchangeably to describe the ingredients and cooking directions. Gould gave Sarah Green a wide variety of receipts including some for cookies, bread, and a sponge cake.

Mary Howland Gardner (1767-1850) who married Benjamin Gardner in 1801 wrote eight pages of recipes mostly for puddings. In the British tradition, puddings are savory or sweet dishes cooked by being boiled or steamed. Gardner included over 10 pudding recipes such as Rice Pudding, Suet Pudding, Apple Pudding, and Potato Pudding.

Miniature handmade recipe booklets were sold at the 1917 Windmill Day. There were booklets named Corn Meal RecipesCandy Receipts Old and NewOld Fashioned Cake Receipts, and Old Fashioned Receipts.

The interest in collecting and sharing recipes continues to the present day. Jamestown organizations offer cookbooks, usually to raise funds. Jamestown’s Favorite Recipes: A Cookbook of Coveted Family Recipes from the Kitchen’s of Jamestown was compiled by the Parent Teacher Organization of the Jamestown School as a 1979 fundraiser. St. Mark’s Women’s Club, Jamestown Medical Fund, Humane Society of Jamestown, Fidelis Women’s Group of Central Baptist Church, Jamestown Community Chorus, and Jamestown Junior Girl Scout Troop are a few of the organizations represented in the JHS Collection. 

Click here to see some of the cookbooks in the JHS Collection

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