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The surface of the ca. 1812 plaster fragments found in the cellar were also covered with whitewash.  Whitewashing the walls in functional spaces, such as kitchens, was a very common practice in Madison's time and it not only illuminated the space by reflecting ambient light, but it also helped to sanitize the room due to the whitewash's low PH.


Mason Lewis Rucker whitewashes the ceiling of the North Cellar Kitchen.