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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Out with the Old

So what was so very important so long ago has faded in time. My Grandparents house in the mountains of Southwest VA used to be heated with at first several fireplaces then these were blocked off and converted to coal stoves. 

Here is one still standing during restoration. Sadly, the coal shed is gone, but I still know where to find some coal from so long ago. I know some others know where this is in the yard. 

What at one time was paramount to the comfort and safety of this home has been passed by with time. The bricks of the chimneys have been removed as well. As they were laid out in the yard I thought about the over 100 year old bricks. I and my Mother picked a couple up. 

My Mother hates the cold. I get that! This house was very cold despite the best efforts to heat it. 

Although I know the new heat pumps and gas packs will do better now, I do miss the warmth and glow of the kitchen wood stove and the coal stoves. I bet very few people now even know that they existed. 




  1. Coal stoves were wonderfully efficient, but the smokey by-product ... not so much. I'll take a wood stove, anytime though.

  2. In the deep South we didn't have coal stoves, but we DID have and use fireplaces and wood stoves!!! Real piece of history there! Maybe use it as a garage heater?

  3. Houses are warmer now because of advances in insulation technology, although it's true that furnaces and heat pumps are more efficient, also.

  4. Lovely, steady heat. I still love the smell. But the coal dust got into everything.

  5. In the words of David Allan Coe (from "If That Ain't Country"):
    "Coal-burnin' stove, no natural gas
    If that ain't country, I'll kiss your ass"
    My Dad (b. 9/3/45 in East Texas) grew up the oldest son of a sharecropper (& occasional bootlegger). He always remembered, as the oldest, having to get up & fire up the coal stove in the winter, before going out to milk the cows.
    --Tennessee Budd