"Prepare your butter for use as in Common & Immerse it in the Liquid & Keep it continually covered & it will keep sweet & good."
From the Housekeeping Book of Eleanor Parke Custis Lewis, 1832
Milk products were produced and stored here. Hanson, the enslaved cook, required an ample supply of fresh cream and butter in preparing meals for the Lewis family and their many guests. Slaves milked cows nearby and poured the liquid into pans, which were then placed on shelves that lined the interior walls. Cream would rise and be removed for use or to be churned into butter.
The inside of the dairy was kept clean and cool; the lattice-covered openings on each side of the structure promoted ventilation. A well, located next to the kitchen and wash house, provided a convenient source of cool, fresh water, as did nearby streams.
Visitors to Woodlawn would have seen and smelled various livestock including cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens. Enslaved people were responsible for their care.