Monday, April 25, 2005

It’s An Odd Way To Celebrate, I know

It is an odd way to celebrate, but then maybe I’m a bit of an odd person. Let’s see if you can figure what I bought. Here are some hints. I lined one chimney, bought an 1895 cast iron stove that burns wood or coal, and I have 2 coal burning fireplaces. Did you guess it yet? That’s right, I bought coal!

To some this may seem like nothing special but I’ve never seen coal before. I’m excited. I’ve always lived in temperate climates where heat in the winter, while nice and very much a necessity, is not a life or death issue. I’ve never lived near coal country either and so I’ve never seen it. Coal used to be the main source of heat for my house and much of the area. While researching the original owners of the house I found that the head of household, a Mr. Thomas Petch, ran The Eureka Lighting Company around the turn of the century. He was an early electrician, but also sold gas lighting. I found the add below in the 1898 city directory. As you can see he also sold Coal, Coke, and Coal Tar.

So I’m getting coal. Nobody stocks it so I’ve ordered a 50 pound sack if Bituminous Coal to play around with. I wonder when was the last time there was coal in my house?


jm said...

I've said it before...You are a brave man, Grex.

I'm still trying to get the coal dust, dirt, rocks and such OUT of my house. Sigh.

Greg said...

Why be normal?

Jocelyn said...

I just love your blog- you are the real deal. Can't wait to see what you do with that stove too.

derek said...

I lived in a coal heated apartment in Berlin a few years ago. I was out before the winter, but there was a huge stack of coal in the hallway, and it was a 5 story walkup. There was one fireplace to heat the whole apartment. I visited the owner in the winter, and there was even more coal in the hallway. She said the toilet would freeze when it got really cold. Coal heat is still common in parts of Europe.

Greg said...

High praise from Lakewood 2-Flat, thank you. I enjoy your blog as well. I’ve been living vicariously through your almost completed kitchen. Mine is so far from being done. One step at a time.

Karen Anne said...

I grew up in a house that was heated by coal. There was a coal bin in the cellar.

(Has some magic happened that makes coal environmentally couth?)