As we find spring approaching, everyone begins to revel at the notion of warmer and longer days to enjoy. We have a wood burning fireplace at The Hollow for our source of heat, and I can honestly tell you my flippers start getting tired from stacking, chopping and carrying wood for 11 months straight, and we really look forward to a break from it all. But, it wasn’t that long ago now that wood burning appliances were the difference between surviving and not.
We’re back at the Metchosin Pioneer Museum today in Metchosin on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. This post continues our now long-running photoblog series “The Antiques Toad Show” which is the direct result of having private access to the museum one day after-hours, with great thanks to our best friends Dad, The Curator. This was a wonderful experience, and we still have quite a few images on file here to share with everyone.
I’ve always been amazed at how function dictates design, but this is always tempered with mankind’s ingenuity and artistic flair. Back in the day, wood stoves like this one were used to heat the home in the dead of winter, and in many cases were also used for cooking and/or heating water. It’s quite obvious the “function” part of the equation here, but what about the “artistic” part? On this stove, two pieces are enameled in blue adding a touch of the personality to the item. If you look carefully, the intricate iron-work is also noteworthy inasmuch that a lot of care and craftsmanship went into its design.
Although this unit might be far less colorful, it is no less ornate. This one is long and skinny, and the top element section was used to heat your hands or your hot-toddy after a long day in the frozen outdoors. Once again, fairly intricate ironwork is visible on this piece, even though it clearly was designed primarily to suit its function.
This unit was on display in a little girls room. We have photos of that room pending for a future post, but in the context of today’s feature this fireplace was a delightful item to include. This particular stove is much more ornate with delicate details and features to soften its appearance than the others discussed so far. It would totally fit into any little girls room as both a decoration and a utilitarian appliance. The weathering evident on this unit must tell a story, and you can almost picture a little girl sitting around this stove with her toy dolls as the brutal Canadian winters raged on outside.
And now we shift our focus away from wood-burning fireplaces to a wonderful antique wood stove.
This is a really, really incredible old cast iron wood stove. There is just so much to take in with this scene, all the weathering and wear-and-tear on the stove adds so much character. Oh, the stories it could tell!! We also enjoy seeing some period-correct cooking pots and pans on the stove, bringing the entire scene to life.
As far as we were told, all the pieces were intact here but time had taken its toll. The really great news about this stove is that it is in process of being completely restored! Each nut and bolt, each piece of carefully designed cast iron has been disassembled and refurbished back to new. We have seen a few images of the stove in its current condition, most of the way through the restoration, and we can honestly say this piece is even more magnificent now. We hope to head back to the museum in the near future to take some images of this beauty in her current state to share, so please do stay tuned.
On a personal note, this is one of my favorite images from the shoot. We really get to see the rich textures and details at work here with the shallow depth-of-focus. I’ll just bet that many-a-finger was burnt on the handle for the stove cover during those nasty winter storms when this stove was running at full tilt.
The museum was so full of great items to view and explore, it was quite the challenge to focus on the ones that stood out for photography. The entire adventure was a pure delight to have, and as mentioned we still have many images to share with everyone. We hope you’ve enjoyed coming along with us on today’s field-trip, and hope you join us on our future posts as we continue to explore the Metchosin Pioneer Museum together.
Thanks so much for your kind visit today, we really do appreciate it. As always, we encourage everyone to leave us any comments that you may have as we really love to hear from all our visitors.