Date of Award

Spring 1988

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Betsy Hahlman

Committee Member

Mark R. Wenger

Committee Member

Richard A. Rutyna

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H85G76


The study of an architectural feature, the chimney fireplace, suggests changing social patterns in late colonial Virginia society. An examination of fireplace equipment in 175 room-by-room inventories, together with evidence from surviving buildings and documentary sources, reveals changes in chimney fireplaces which in turn signal deep-seated changes within this colonial society. To place the Virginia chimney within its broader context, a brief history of the chimney fireplace precedes the study of changing construction materials, fuel and fireplace equipment, and heated and unheated rooms. The social significance of the chimney fireplace, a status symbol in colonial Virginia, is discussed with relation to the increasing seclusion of the family in late eighteenth century Virginia.


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