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Quick Facts

Condition: Reconstruction

Where is it Located

About the Stove Room

The Stove Room was part of the Greenhouse’s heating system. Note that there are two fireplaces in this rather small room. The corner fireplace was part of a system that supplied the heat for the Greenhouse on the opposite side of the building. Hot air from the fire was conducted through flues and channeled under the Greenhouse floor. During the colder months of the year, it was necessary to keep the fire going all night in order to maintain a proper temperature for the tropical plants in the Greenhouse. An enslaved boy or man slept in this room in order to tend the fire and make sure it continuously burned. This individual probably slept on a pallet in front of the room’s central fireplace.

Through correspondence with his former Revolutionary War-aide Tench Tilghman, George Washington consulted Margaret Tilghman Carroll (1743–1817), who was renowned for her orange and lemon trees, on the construction of his Greenhouse. Carroll's greenhouse included an intricate hot air heating system for growing tropical plants indoors year round.