‘In the Irish Tenement Kitchen’

“Orchard Street Scene”: Tenement houses lined Orchard Street on the Lower East Side in the early 1900s. (Photo via the Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy, NYPL Digital Collections)

An educator at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum will give a talk on the lives of Irish immigrants in the tenement buildings as part of the fifth anniversary celebration of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University.

Kate Hickey writes for Irish Central that on Oct. 10, food historian Sarah Lohman will give a lecture entitled “In the Irish Tenement Kitchen” about the domestic life of immigrants on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 19th century. To get a feel for that kind of life, she “ate like a tenement dweller for a week in 2009 by following an 1877 pamphlet titled Fifteen Cent Dinners,’ according to event details.

Hickey describes an Irish family whose life has been partially preserved at the Tenement Museum. The restored living space of Joseph and Bridget Moore makes up the “Irish Outsiders” tour and gives visitors a glimpse into the life of the struggling parents when they moved into 97 Orchard St. in 1869 with their children.

According to an IrishCentral reporter, “There a very few windows and no lighting in the apartment, there is just candles and it gets very dark. You can be a little freaked out by the music and darkness in the front room.  However, this was a great experience and it just shows you how the Moore family had to live all those years ago.”

Go to Irish Central for more on the Irish-Catholic immigrants and the tragedy the family endured, as well as on Quinnipiac’s Great Hunger Museum and what it has more of than anywhere else in the world.

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