Thursday’s Thoughts ~ The Buck Stove

2-13-2014 9;32;17 AM Brandy 1982

our daughter, Brandy, in front of the Buck Stove cir. 1982

Our state (Georgia) is in the midst of a winter storm.  Some folks are stuck in their homes, many without power. Waking up in a warm house, when the temperatures are freezing outside makes me extremely thankful!   However, in times like these, I can’t help but remember our old ‘Buck Stove’…

In 1978, six years after purchasing our mobile home, Ed built a large addition onto it.  By then, we’d outgrown our living space, but couldn’t really afford to build a house. We more than doubled our living space, which was nice, because we were expecting our first child.  The problem was, our mobile home heating system wasn’t large enough to heat the extra living space.  We were forced to find an additional heating source.

Ed’s parents gave us an old propane heater, and we picked up a second propane heater from somewhere else.  The first winter we heated with those heaters, we almost went broke buying propane, plus we didn’t stay very warm either!  It quickly became obvious, we needed to find a different heating source.

Before the next winter, Ed bought a wood-burning heater, known as the ‘Buck Stove’.  Buck Stoves were a fairly new concept, back then.  It proved to be one of the best purchases we ever made, as it saved us a ton of money in heating costs!  Ed’s daddy had lots of pine trees growing on his land, and back then, people were always giving wood away, if we’d go cut it up.

One down-side of heating with the Buck Stove (in addition to dealing with dust and ashes), was trying to keep the fire going around the clock!  Most of the time, the fire would have gone out by early morning.  We usually woke up to a somewhat cool house each morning.  Ed’s job was to get the fire re-started when he got up, so the house would be warm for the rest of us when we got up.

Another down-side of heating with the Buck Stove was trying to regulate the heat output.  The stove was equipped with a thermostat and a fan, which had three different speeds.  The hotter the fire got, the harder the fan would blow.  Ed was sometimes notorious for building fires so hot, sometimes we’d have to open the windows and doors!

Ed got his ability to build ‘hot fires’ honest.  One time, when Ed and I had been out-of-town, my father-in-law went to our house to build a fire in the Buck Stove, so we wouldn’t have to come home to a cold house.  He built a fire so hot, it actually made the stove-pipe glow red!  It burned every bit of the paint off of the pipe, too.  Honestly, it’s a wonder our house didn’t catch on fire!

The up-sides of having a Buck Stove were the low cost of heating, and being able to sit and enjoy the fire.  The stove came with glass inserts on its doors, but the doors were removable, as well. Sometimes we’d remove the doors and roast hot dogs or marshmallows in the fire!  The children loved doing that.

Our Buck Stove saved us, once, during ‘The Storm of the Century”.  We were without power for quite a while, and boy, was it cold!  We put a sheet up over the open doorway to the dining room, and huddled inside of the living room, beside the Buck Stove.  The wind was blowing so hard outside, that the sheet covering the dining room door was actually blowing!  The Buck Stove fan couldn’t blow out any heat, since there was no power, but we were warmed from the heat of the fire.  I was able to warm our lunch on the top of the Buck Stove, too.

Eventually, Ed and I were able to add a central heat and air unit to our old house.  By then, we’d had our Buck Stove for twenty years!  I was tired of the ashes and dust, and wanted to use that corner of our living room for other things. Reluctantly, Ed eventually agreed to sell the heater, but says he hasn’t been truly warm since!  To tell you the truth, on days like today, I wouldn’t mind having the old Buck Stove back either.

Stay warm!

Published in: on February 13, 2014 at 11:07 am  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. As I sit and the snow pours down outside the window I too wish I had your bu ck stove instead of feeling the warmth generated by my $$$$ heat, oops O mean propane heat.

  2. We have a wood burning stove as well. We have had it for about 30 years. We have central gas heat if we need it, but most of the time the stove takes care of it. I can relate to all your stories. We did the same thing when that storm hit and we were without power for 3 days. And the ash and smoke are a bother sometimes. In the beginning, Hubby built a few fires so hot I couldn’t breathe! I can’t begin to imagine how much money it has saved us…and Hubby has never had to pay for wood!

  3. Husband Walter and I have considered a wood-burning stove if we ever come to agreement on building and downsizing. We are coming to realize, however, procuring that “no cost” wood we now enjoy, wouldn’t be so economical if he becomes unable to safely to the necessary cutting, loading, hauling and splitting. Age comes with more and more things to factor in to decisions. Loved your Buck Stove memories.

  4. Brandy is precious in that photo (and is probably still precious!)!! This is a great story and I thank you for sharing it!! The memory will help keep your heart warm!! Be safe up there!

  5. When I was in high school we had a buck stove too. It really kept us warm too.

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