Ash Hopper Hollow, located in the
beautiful hills of Smith
County, is where I lived for the first sixteen years of my life. I've
heard it was named Ash Hopper Hollow because it had so many high hills, and the
hollow emptied out way down on the river banks, therefore, being shaped like an ash hopper.
Have you ever wondered what an "ash
It is the vat that was used by early
settlers when they made lye soap. Believe me when you have lived in
a place by this name, you make sure you know what it is, how to spell it,
and how to pronounce it.
Read on. . .
In making soap the first ingredient required was a liquid solution of
potash commonly called lye.
The lye solution was obtained by placing wood ashes in a bottomless
barrel set on a stone slab with a groove and a lip carved in it. The stone
in turn rested on a pile of rocks. To prevent the ashes from getting in
the solution a layer of straw and small sticks was placed in the barrel
then the ashes were put on top. The lye was produced by slowly pouring
water over the ashes until a brownish liquid oozed out the bottom of the
barrel. This solution of potash lye was collected by allowing it to flow
into the groove around the stone slab and drip down into a clay vessel at
the lip of the groove.
Some colonists used an ash hopper for the making of lye instead of the
barrel method. The ash hopper, was kept in a shed to protect the ashes
from being leached unintentionally by a rain fall. Ashes were added
periodically and water was poured over at intervals to insure a continuous
supply of lye. The lye dripped into a collecting vessel located beneath
If you would like more information concerning the history of soap
making visit the following website. http://www.alcasoft.com/soapfact/history.html
The Handcrafted Soap by the Soap Factory
in Ash Hopper Hollow