• Pomeroy Place, front view
    Pomeroy Place, front view

Pomeroy Place recipe books

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Manuscript Location
Fenimore Art Museum Research Library, Special Collections: Recipe Book Coll., Cooperstown, NY
Holding Library Call No.
Recipe Book Coll. P771
Manuscript Cookbooks Survey Database ID#
Place of Origin
United States ➔ New York ➔ Cooperstown
Date of Composition
Vo1. 1 ca. 1838-1880; Vol. 2 ca. 1830

Pomeroy Place, a home on the corner of Main and River Streets, in Cooperstown, New York, was built in 1804 by William Cooper for his daughter Ann and her husband George Pomeroy. The Pomeroy family occupied the house for nearly fifty years, after which the house came into the possession of the Bowers family with whom it remained nearly as long. This collection consists of two volumes that originated in the house.

Volume 1 consists of 39 loose sheets, most with writing on both sides, which contain 113 culinary recipes as well as directions for knitting a scarf. The collection may have been begun by 1838, for one recipe, Sweet Potato Pudding (page 8), is noted as "Tested, 15 of November 1838 in Claremont - New Hampshire - proved Excellent." The inclusion of a recipe for White Mountain Cake, which emerged in the 1870s, suggests that the volume was continued into the late nineteenth century. The recipes include Macaroon Custards; Wafer Pancakes; Tapiocha Pudding, very good but rather too thick; Black Cake, Lida Shepherd's Cake, Runaway Cake, Composition Cake, Clara's White Mountain Cake, and Know Nothing Cakes; Rice as Vegetable; Pine Apple; and Spanish Fritters. Several of the recipes appear to have been copied from published cookbooks.

Volume 2 is written in a small booklet with a marbled cover. Possible clues to the authorship of the book are provided by the inscription "GNS" and by a recipe for Grandfather Seaman’s Brine for Beef on page 25. The date 1838 is written on page 8 and three recipes call for pearl ash, an early chemical leavening, suggesting that the book may date from around 1830. The volume contains twenty-three culinary recipes and twenty-six recipes for household products, gardening, brewing, and winemaking on approximately 32 pages, as well as an index on the inside back cover. The culinary recipes include Raspberry Vinegar, German Puffs, Washington Cake, Composition Cake, Gingerbread, Wafers, To Preserve Cranberries, and To Make Sausage - Good.