Wood stove heating

This is our wood stove. It sits in what would have been the formal parlor of our ancient farmhouse. In our home this room is lovingly referred to as the, "hot room". When the stove is roaring this is the room to go to and warm your toes, dry your boots, and heat up your body. The dogs love it and typically our Jack Russell sleeps right in front of it. How she can stand the heat, I will never know. Luckily, we don't depend on it to heat our home. We do have modern heat sources. However, during the ice storm last year it did heat our home and cook our food. It really was a saving grace.

If you have a wood stove in your home, then you know how much work it is. Secret Agent Man cuts all the wood for us. Typically he uses trees from our farm, or a friend's farm, that have fallen and does not cut healthy trees. It is a lot of work for him. Then comes the work for the inside of the house. The cleaning of the stove, sweeping bits of wood on the floor, and you can clearly see in this picture that the glass door needs to be wiped down.

Even though I think our wood stove is a lot of work, while reading one of the Foxfire books, I developed a new appreciation for the ease of our work.

"We had an open fireplace in the living room. We'd build the fire up in the fireplace and sit around that at night. We'd take the ashes up and rake hot coals and maybe a chunk of wood and cover it up with the ashes, called banking. The next morning, whoever got up first, usually my daddy, would rake them out. He'd put some kindlin' in there and build up a fire. We didn't depend on matches then like we do now, so we'd have to keep the fire vovered up. If your fire went out and you didn't have any coals to build the fire, you'd have to go down to the first neighbor and borrow some coals. You'd take a bucket or somethin' down there and get the bucket full of coals and bring them back to the house and put them in and get your fire started."
R.M. (Mack) Dickerson, Summer 1976
The Foxfire 40th Anniversary Book
Faith, Family, and the Land

For more wood stove talk, be sure to check out Tipper.


  1. I've been wondering how difficult it would be to add a wood burning stove/fireplace to our current home. I don't like gas-fueled fireplaces and miss our wood-burning fireplace.

    P.S. - I've got the perfect place for it, too!!!

  2. Wood stoves are very handy to have, especially in the winter. We used to have a Buck Stove in our family room. But, sometimes it would get too hot in the room.

  3. My great grandmother had a wood stove but it wasn't as pretty as yours and it was used as the only heat in the house! Believe me when I tell you that it gets really cold in the South, too!

  4. We have a fireplace. And I love it when the cold wind howls outside. Yes, it is a lot of work, but I would have it no other way.

  5. So envious. I've always wanted a wood burning stove. Pretty town pic in your new header!

  6. I read the Foxfire books in the 70's and we moved to the mountains and tried to live the foxfire life. It got old very quickly. I could write a book my self. But back to the stove. We had an old Ben Franklin that was our only source of heat and of light at night...yep it was.
    Very cozy though and read and played games with the kids in front of it. No TV. There is somethings good to say about that.

  7. Love your new header and your stove is beautiful. Someday I want to put an insert in the fireplace. Since the cold hits us so briefly it is a low priority. Debbie at Wisteria and Roses uses hers everyday. Gary buys some kind of fuel that doesn't make much mess and is very economical if you want to know more ask her.

  8. Great post! Can you imagine borrowing coals today : ) makes me smile to think of someone knocking on the door to ask for them.

    Thanks for the shout out!


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