Fox’s Victorian Kitchen: The Great Stove Safari
Blog entry by Karla Pearlstein, Restoring History, Oct 20, 2008
Kim and Roy Fox are clients of mine and in the process of restoring a Victorian kitchen as first described in “Fox’s Victorian Kitchen: A Creative Interchange of Insights and Ideas”.
Kim and Roy were struggling with their stove selection for the restoration. They had successfully found many elements for the kitchen on their own. But the stove they had found and purchased on the web had quality problems when it arrived. Fortunately, they were able to return it for a refund, but they were unsure of where to look for another stove. They were leery of going back on the web, but needed to figure out how to locate the type of stove they wanted.
Images: (left) Eriez Stove at Erickson's Antique Stoves, (right) Eriez Stove top
In my travels as restoration consultant, I have traveled numerous times to the New England states and have a number of contacts there. I recommended Dave Erickson (of Erickson's Antique Stoves in Littleton Massachusetts). Dave has an amazing stove restoration shop located in the historic 1870's Littleton Train Depot. There he has a work shop, showroom and warehouse with a wide array of both parlor and cook stoves available. And in my experience, whatever he doesn't have, he can find.
Based on their own research, Kim and Roy were pretty sure they wanted a Magic Chef six-burner stove with two ovens and a warming oven. They were uneasy about choosing a stove using photos again, so I recommended that they take a trip back to the East Coast and meet with Dave. That way they could see the many options that Dave has both at his shop and in his huge warehouse.
Images: (left) Decorative detail on Eriez Stove, (right) Kim Fox with stove
They made the decision to go and ended up with a totally different stove than they had initially been considering. They purchased an Eriez Stove because it had the features they wanted and an older looking appearance they liked even more. They were also impressed with a Real Economy Stove because it was one of the first gas stoves and more closely reflected the period of the house. But that stove was not as practical as the Eriez so they reluctantly left it behind. They ended up finding and purchasing a wonderful laundry sink at Dave's as well.
Kim and Roy also purchased a wonderful mixer faucet they found on line. It, too, arrived with quality problems. After numerous local inquiries, they seemed to have run up against a dead end. No one wanted to work on it. I contacted Walter Parker of School House Plumbing in Dudley, Massachusetts, and he thought it would be no problem to repair the faucet. Walter is truly the “Plumber From the Gods”. He understands every nuance of period plumbing. I picked up the faucet and sent in on to Walter for repair.
Images: (left) Real Economy Stove needing restoration, (right) Laundry sink
Walter had the repaired faucet ready and waiting for Kim and Roy when they visited his shop in Massachusetts. They had the opportunity to spend time with Walter, look through is amazing shop (located in an old school house, thus the name School House Plumbing), and purchase some other plumbing parts that they discovered while there.
All in all, Kim and Roy had a fun and productive trip to the East Coast. They triumphantly returned having found the perfect stove, their faucet repaired, and some other wonderful finds as well. I am glad that I was able to help bring them together with some great resources. It is one of the most important things I do as a restoration consultant.