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Home Life in the 13 Colonies of America

Home life in the colonies was very simple compared to the way we live now. The colonies were filled with multiple types of people. Some people were wealthy, and some were poor. People came to America for a variety of reasons including, fleeing persecution, seeking freedom, and seeking fortune. Two aspects of their life were housing and food.

     Homes in the colonies were built very differently compared to the ones now. The houses were called salt box houses. Instead of having multiple rooms, they had one room called the keeping room. The families would cook, eat, sleep, and bathe, all in that one room. Because there was only one room, sometimes an attic would be installed for extra storage. In some houses, the families would have to make the houses bigger, just so that everyone would have a place to sleep. The houses were usually made out of wood, however, some wealthy people could make them out of brick or stone. The houses had much simpler design than they do now, but were upgraded quickly.

     The diet the people had was different from the diet we have today. People would eat what the farmers grew, or what they could trade with Europe. Their diet consisted of corn, squashes, fruits and vegetables, bean porridge, and fish or meat. Everyone, including the children, drank cider, beer, milk, and water. They ate or drank what they could find or buy.

     The colonists had to put in lots of work, to get the same things we can go buy at a grocery store. Every family that moved to the colonies had to make their own house, food, and clothes. Even though it would be expected that these hardships would discourage newcomers, it actually inspired many new immigrants to come to America.


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