Otis House

Chloe Barbardoes

Chloe Barbadoes was washerwoman from the West Indies. She worked for 15 hours a day, 7 days a week, doing laundry for both boarding house residents as well as the wealthy homeowners who lived on the South Slope of Beacon Hill.  Cleaning laundry was very difficult work; clothing was washed by hand in pots of nearly boiling water and then pounded and scrubbed to get the dirt out. Once cleaned and rinsed of soap, clothes were laid out to air dry before heavy irons, heated in a fireplace, were used to smooth away the wrinkles.