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February 12, 2014

WHAT is going on with this crazy weather pattern?!
For those of you in the path of the latest ice storm sweeping
across the South East - stay indoors and stay warm. 

Did I tell you that my mother's parents were farmers?  In their farm house was the requisite fireplace but there was also a sparky little pot belly stove that fascinated me as a child.

When visiting my grandparents in the winter months we'd huddle around the stove and take turns 'feeding' it kindling and wood.  Various pairs of gloves and mittens would be placed on the stove to thaw out after the outdoor chores were done and I still remember the smell of drying wool.

While I wouldn't want to go back to the days of standing in front of the little stove and rotate warming our front sides and then our backsides, I definitely love the charm of those little stoves.

Not only was the stove a source of heat,
it also provided a cooking surface.

Like with most consumables, the more
affluent purchased more ornate stoves:

This beauty was manufactured by the Scranton Stove Works:

An industrial pot belly stove was a
staple in most one room school houses.

Modern cabins are starting to incorporate
new stoves with the old design:
Northline Express


In 1966, George Atherton of Hartford, KY, created a
solution to a problem that most of us would agree with:

If you don't need it for the heat, old pot
belly stoves make charming planters:

Mehitable Day

Three Sisters' Sanctuary
I think that the main reason pot belly stoves aren't more
collectible is that they're just so dang heavy and hard to move.

Stay warm, friends.


  1. The first photo, of the pot bellied stove by the china cabinet is exactly what I have wanted to do - I wanted to get one and make it look as if it were piped in. No such luck yet. They are so heavy and expensive and my husband doesn't have that "decorative" vision. I was thinking recently about making my own fake one. Don't know yet how I would do that. Love your blog. RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!!!

    1. Thanks so much! We have so much in common - my husband, too, has frequent bouts of impaired "decorative" vision! These little stoves are adorable and I'm keeping my eye out for one.

  2. When I was growing up, our heat came from a coal stove in the front room and a wood stove (not pot-bellied) in the kitchen. We have the pot belly stove that belonged to my grandmother, but it is just stored away and not out to be seen. There is just no space for it in the house at this point.

    1. But how great that you have it. One day you'll have the perfect spot for it and what great memories it will bring back for you. Maybe you could tuck it into a little corner?

  3. They are so charming! Love your childhood memories - so sweet! When we first moved onto our raw land, we used a potbelly stove to warm our tiny cabin. I still have it - now painted and waiting to be used as a night stand when my loft bedroom is done. Love all the vintage photos. xo Karen

    1. What a great idea - to use the little stove as a night stand. Twenty years ago it was much easier to find a pot belly stove than it is today. Sadly, I think many of them went to the scrap metal man. 8 /

  4. I found your blog via ramblings from rosebank. I enjoy vintage style and flea markets and repurposing. After scrolling down and finding your profile I think you are a kindred spirit. We recently bought a house heated by a woodstove. Of course they are much more efficient these days. I thought lighting and cleaning the thing would quickly become a burden but I've found a primitive comfort in the ritual.

    1. Thanks so much for finding me! fleaChic is a writing discipline for me and I enjoy it so much. I've always had a soft spot for these darling little stoves - they're indomitable, working so hard to keep everyone warm and are a central part of the home. I've got my eye out for one that I can use as an indoor plant stand but so many that I've found need a full sand blasting. But I won't give up, there's one out there for us.

  5. Love the old pot belly stoves..My grandparents had them...I would love to have one..I'd find a use for it..But, yes..They are very heavy..