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Spring & Smoke Houses


A springhouse, is a small building, usually of a single room, constructed over a spring. While the original purpose of a springhouse was to keep the spring water clean by excluding fallen leaves, animals, etc., the enclosing structure was also used for refrigeration before the advent of ice delivery and electric refrigeration. The water of the spring maintains a constant cool temperature inside the spring house throughout the year. Food that would otherwise spoil, such as meat, fruit, or dairy products, could be kept there.

The Springhouse at Dey Mansion was reconstructed in the 1960’s. The Springhouse was built using brownstone from the former Steimetz-Sip house (later owned by the Frederick Brackle family) located on 714 River Road, Clifton, NJ. The Steimetz-Sip house was built c. 1699 and was slated for demolition for the path of Route 21 in the late 1960s. In efforts to preserve the house, the Passaic County Parks Commission purchased the building and salvaged the materials for use in furthering the interpretative and restoration at the Dey Mansion. Brownstone was used to construct both the springhouse and plantation house.


A smokehouse is a building where meat or fish is cured with smoke. The finished product might be stored in the building, sometimes for a year or more. Even when smoke is not used, such a building—typically a subsidiary building—is sometimes referred to as a "smoke house." When smoke is not used, the term "meat house" is common.

The Smoke House was reconstructed in the 1960’s in effort to further interpret colonial life at the Dey Mansion. The current structure is wood framing covered with wood siding. The roof is in a hip configuration and covered with cedar shingle.

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