Cunningham Hog Killin'

Detail of a family hog killing in December 1974

Many people have never seen a “hog killin’.” We are very lucky that Mrs. Hayden Cunningham has kept a pictorial detail of a family hog killing in December 1974.

“As a child I remember the hustle and bustle a few days before and the day of hog killing and for the next few days… A few days before you had to get all the equipment ready, the smoke house cleaned out, the salt box cleaned and readied for the meat, the sausage mill gotten down from the attic, the scalding tub, the rack to hand the animals on, the cast iron pots had to be cleaned and the knives had to be sharpened.

Then, early that morning, the neighbors would start arriving, most of the time, each person knew what their job was and the work was began. Usually it was a cold winter day and most of the work would be done outside the house. The feeling of neighbors helping neighbors, this is what fellowship is about. And don’t forget the meals, the women would cook sometimes for days prior to the killin’ to be ready for all the people that would be there. I can still smell the aromas coming off the cooking of the lard and cracklin’s. The mixing of the seasoning mixture to go into the sausage and the “rub” that was put on the hams, shoulders and bacon, and the smell of the smokehouse, still the aromas from the season before.”

In conjunction with the Ham Festival, we have been able to get a collection of pictures of an old fashioned Hog Killin’ from Mrs. Frances Cunningham from the Rockcastle Community. Come in and enjoy the pictures of farm life from a bygone era at Cadiz Hardware, or visit the pictures here on the site. “We are always looking for old pictures of Cadiz & Trigg County to display in our store and to put on disk for the Historical Society.

A big thanks to Mrs. Frances Cunningham for sharing their family’s hog killin’ with us.
Written by Bob Brame, Cadiz Hardware, LLC

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