Dining With John and Catharine Butler Before the Close of the Eighteenth Century

In Northeast Historical Archaeology, Volume 42, Special Issue 1 (2013)
Foodways on the Menu: Understanding the Lives of Households and Communities through the Interpretation of Meals and Food-Related Practices.
Eva MacDonald and Suzanne Needs-Howarth

The partial excavation of the homestead of Colonel John Butler in the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has afforded the opportunity to explore the daily activities of one Loyalist family after the establishment of the British colony of Upper Canada in the 1780s. In particular, the large collection of zooarchaeological material (over 14,5000 specimens) can provide information about the availability of wild animal species, as well as the types of domestic animals that the Butlers kept on their farm. Butchering marks provide further insight into the types of meat cuts used in cooking meals for the family and guests. These are compared and contrasted with the ceramic and glass vessels, so that these analyses can be brought together to paint a picture of what it might have been like to dine with John and Catharine Butler before the close of the 18th century.