HAYDEN FARM HOPHOUSE
See Hayden Farm, Map-Lot 035-017, for history of the farm to which this building originally belonged.
Ed. Note: Hophouses:
There were several hophouses in Hollis. One still stands on Hayden Road. There was one until recently on Worcester Road. The Herb Society of America New Enclyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses, 2001 pp 237-238 gives the following description:
“Humulus (Hops) Cannabidacaea
Two species of climbing perennials make up this genus, distributed in northern temperate regions. The golden form of Humulus lupulus and the variegated form of H.japonicus are popular in cultivation as fast growing, colorful climbers…Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants; only females produce the decorative cone-like inflorescences known as ‘hops”... Beer was originally made using bitter herbs …From the 9th century, the use of hops in brewing beer gained popularity due to their preservative qualities…Hops were used medicinally by several native N American tribes for insomnia and pain, and were well-established in European medicine by the 17th century. …recommended ... for skin infections, jaundice, headaches, and “heat of the liver and stomach” (The English Physician Enlarged 1653). Extracts of hops were listed in the U.S. Phamacopoeia (1831-1916). …Twining herbaceous climber with bristly stems and 3-5 lobed, coarsely toothed leaves, to 15cm (6in) long. Tiny green male flowers are produced in branched clusters; larger females appear in strobili (“hops”) beneath soft, pale green, aromatic bracts, to 2.5cm (1in) long, in summer…..
Economic Uses: Hops are the main flavoring in beers. Distilled oil and extracts are also used in food flavorings and soft drinks…Dried hops are added to sleep pillows.
In Hollis, no doubt, hops were used to preserve and give flavor to beer. In colonial days beer or cider were important beverages which could be safer than water. Hop house buildings were tall and narrow to allow for the vines 10-20 feet to be hung to dry. Hops are still grown for decorative purposes