According to the 1930's Edison Institute Guidebook, this smokehouse was the original smokehouse located on the property of the McGuffey's in Pennsylvania.
Most rural families had a smokehouse on their land like this one to help preserve their meat. Without refrigeration, meat would become inedible quickly and thus, preservation was necessary.
After rubbing ham or bacon with a salt mixture and letting them set for a few weeks, the meat would then be hung from the rafters in the smokehouse.
The smoke, created by a fire in the floor of the structure that was made from aromatic woods such as hickory or apple, flavored the meat and created a crust that prevented its ruin by flies or other pests.