Douglass moved the kitchen indoors at a time when it was uncommon to have a kitchen indoors. Most houses had an outdoor kitchen so that if a spark from the fire escaped, only the kitchen burned and not the entire house.
Douglass installed a coal stove at Cedar Hill because coal does not give off sparks in the same way as a wood fire. In spite of this, it took Douglass a while to get his house insured because of having the kitchen indoors. The coal stove in the house was made of cast iron and was patented in 1896 after Douglass’s death. The kitchen also had a “dry sink” that did not have running water. Melt water from the ice box or other water was used to clean dished in the dry sink and then the water drained from the dry sink into a cistern.