Thursday, February 25, 2016

Warm Memories

pot-bellied stove and coal bucket display
Museum of the American West
Lander, WY
This display was in the corner of the school house building on the museum grounds, and it was the coal bucket, not the stove, that brought back memories of my childhood.

Stockermatic coal stove
coal hopper at the end with lid
(photo from Google images)
The farmhouse was heated with a Stokermatic for most of my childhood, and one of my chores after school in the winter was to haul coal into the house - two buckets at a time to fill the hooper at the end of the stove. The photo shows a similar model. The raised lid shows where the coal was dumped into the stove. An auger pulled the coal into a burn chamber which had a double door on the front of the stove. The door dropped down to reveal a metal bin where the coal clinkers were placed and a thick metal door that opened into the burn chamber. The clinkers were cleaned out of this chamber with a special claw like device and placed in the bin a couple of times a day. When the bin was full and cool, it was my job to empty it near the garden.

I loved to lay in front of the stove and do my homework or simply take a nap. Sometimes I even sat on top of the stove.

The stove did not work well when the electricity was off because the auger was electric.

Coal was purchased locally from a dealer near Burma Road: the place now sells fireworks.

When I was in high school, the Stoker was replaced with a natural gas stove, and my coal hauling days were over.  That museum coal bucket contained a lot of warm memories.

13 comments:

  1. Was it a chore you enjoyed? One of my daily chores was to take out the trash. It's a simple chore, but I never took pleasure in it. When John and I married we each picked our least favorite chore for the other one to do. I agreed to always do the laundry and he agreed to always take out the trash.

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  2. Never experienced that but had to smile when you said you like to lay in front of it and do your homework. I did the same thing with a electric wall stove:)

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  3. Oh Nancy!! I am grateful you shared this post!! It was my job to go and get coal from the coal crib, and bring it to the house. We would bank the fire, and it would keep the cold Colorado winter from coming in our door. Later, I would fill it with kindling, to start the next fire. I wish I had one...I would fill it with

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  4. Little quilts. (sorry, I had a computer crash right in the middle of typing). I remember those clinkers so well!

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  5. How interesting! Our house was heated with an oil burning stove that sat between the living and dining rooms. I have fond memories of bread rising on a little stand next to it, mittens drying next to it, or the dog sleeping on the rug in front.

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  6. Oh your chores! Important chores make children feel responsible I think!
    No wonder you turned out so well!!! Im trying to send you an email. Your address is not working which may be my fault. Can you email me please?

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  7. That museum stove is beautiful!!! Can you imagine that being permitted in a classroom today ......sheesh! One of the little darlings might burn themselves. Guess we were smarter in the olden days. We KNEW not to touch hot stuff ---- well, at least not TWICE.

    I bet you had some pretty shapely arms from carrying those buckets.

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  8. That's a fancy pot-bellied stove! One of the things that my mother kept from her childhood home was the pot-bellied stove. It sat in the corner of our living room and she later donated it to a Virginia museum. It was very plain--no fancy scroll work like this one.

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  9. I like how these museum items triggered your memory. Lovely memory, Nancy. I like the shape of the coal bucket. It could hold a lot of yarn now ;)

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  10. "Warm memories," indeed. And really good pictures! Love the story you have shared.

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  11. I love this post, as we heat our home with our wood stove. We have my grandparents coal bucket that we use for hauling the ashes out with.

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  12. I'm pretty sure we were born the same year and yet our growing up years were so different. Love to hear your memories of your home and farm. I was a suburban girl always living in subdivisions. I didn't live farther than a hour or so from the coast until I was married. That's the Navy's doing not mine cause I am really not all that much of a beach goer.... Fun post.

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  13. Up here my parents had a wood stove so we cut and stacked wood. Interesting to hear about your coal bucket daily duties:)

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