Scotch Pot

the scotch pot
the scotch pot

      My grandmother, Jean, started teaching me how to cook at a young age. Being one of three people living in a small house, I always cherished the time we spent together. As a cook for the local YMCA in Binghamton in the 1930s, Jean had valuable skills that went past her 8th grade education. She was a small woman her whole life, so small that she could be carried in her father’s hat the day she was born. As a premature baby, she wasn’t supposed to live a long life, but outlived many of my relatives. Cooking was her passion, and something she made sure to pass along to me. The best dish we made was pot roast in the old pot called the “Scotch Pot.” 

      The pot was originally intended to be used over an open fire, but we used it on the stove growing up. My grandmother received the pot from her mother on the Tripp side of the family when she was young. Although it is uncertain when the pot was first used, it has clearly been passed down from my ancestors in the colonial northeast. According to genealogy papers, my earliest known ancestor, John Tripp, was born in England in 1610. He immigrated to Portsmouth, Rhode Island and shortly after began his life as a carpenter. Unfortunately, many of the other family heirlooms from this side were lost in a fire in the 1900s, making the preservation of this pot even more special to me and my family. 

      I associate the pot with memories of my grandmother and still use it to this day for important holiday celebrations. This pot reminds me of the hardworking women of my family and the delicious food we’ve shared over the years. 

Place(s): England; Portsmouth, RI; Binghamton, NY
Year: 1610

– Told by Carol Boyce, written by Halle, Theresa, and Maya (members of the Community Engagement class)

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more