When wood was the major fuel for heating and cooking, woodsheds like the one located here and elsewhere on the farm provided a place to store firewood and keep it dry. Harvested from Olana's woodlots, trees were cut into logs and shorter lengths at the farm's saw mill, split into firewood, and left outside all summer to air dry. In the autumn, when sufficiently seasoned, the wood was often sorted by size and type and stacked in the woodshed.
Firewood would have been transported from the woodshed to smaller storage areas around the estate. The wood supplied fireplaces and stoves throughout the main house, coachman's house and stable, Brezie farmhouse and Cozy Cottage for cooking, laundry, and general heating.
Left Photo Caption: This ca. 1934 photograph shows logs drying outside of the woodshed, with smaller pieces piled up inside. The building's wide front openings and high ceiling facilitated adequate circulation of air.
Middle Illustration Caption: Olana's archives include numerous bills and receipts for tons of coal and "stove chestnut," a size of coal suitable for use in stoves. The firewood and coal were stored in the basement.
Top Illustration Caption: Plan of Olana, by Frederic Joseph Church, 1886. When Frederic Edwin Church purchased his farm, approximately 45%
of the 126 acres consisted of woodlots and wetlands. He acquired other woodlots as the estate grew.
Right Photo Caption: Olana was originally heated by a hot-air system fueled by a combination of wood and coal that provided heat to the main rooms on the first and second floor. A second hot-air system was installed in 1889. Heat generated by the furnaces was supplemented by fireplaces in the primary first- and second-floor rooms and heating stoves in the basement work areas, servants' quarters, and secondary spaces. (Photo is of the sitting room)