UPDATE: 11/12/2015 I just found out the stove restorer’s name is David ERICKSON, not Livingstone. Haha on me.
When Dave and I moved to the farm, he asked me what I thought we’d need most. I told him, “heat and eat”. He looked at me quizzically. I told him because we were living in a rural area, we’d have to be self dependent; we couldn’t rely on anyone other than ourselves to provide for us. More than likely, we’d lose power due to storms, wind, snow or ice and, more than likely, we’d lose phone service for the same reason. We needed to be able to keep ourselves warm as well as provide food for ourselves. Thus, heat and eat. I wanted a well, a gas cook stove and a wood burning stove for heat.
Back in December, I blogged about our Woodstock Soapstone stove we used, and I use, for heating. When Dave asked about a heating stove, I told him about cast iron stoves and pot bellied stoves which is what I knew growing up. Aunt Bonnie used a pot bellied stove and burned coal which is the warmest heat imaginable. It’s also the dirtiest heat imaginable which is why I leaned toward a wood burning heat stove. Dave did some research, as he always did, and came up with the Woodstock Soapstone stove which has held its price admirably. Well done, Dave!
When we moved here, there was a stove…of sorts…but nothing that we wanted or could really be used. It had been well used and, hopefully, well loved for years, probably decades, and it was time for “our” stove. In the autumn of 1995, while reading This Old House magazine, I found an article featuring David
Livingstone Erickson who renovated old stoves in a former train station just outside Boston Littleton, Mass. I showed Dave the article, we oohed and cooed over the antique stoves then turned to each other, both of us wearing wide grins. “Why don’t we buy one of his stoves?” So I found Mr. Livingstone’s Erickson’s phone number, called and asked about his stoves. He said he was working on a pretty sage green and white model that we could have if we’d send him a deposit. We agreed, sent him a check and then waited…and waited…and waited… Finally, on Monday, July 1 he called us and said, “Your stove is ready, when can you pick it up?” We looked at our schedule and said, “How about Thursday?”
I arrived late Thursday afternoon, gave him the certified check and they loaded our stove. As I was saying good-bye, he asked casually, “Have you seen my other stoves.” As Dave would have said, “My ears got pointy” and I said, “No and I’d love to see your other stoves.” We walked into his warehouse and I just about passed out. It was full of beautiful, restored vintage antique stoves. I’m not quite sure what’s vintage or antique so you choose. Anyway, I walked around admiring his stoves and spied this Acorn.
“This is a beautiful stove; is it for sale?”
Livingstone looked at me and said, “Well, a woman is interested in it.”
I asked, “Is this a woman who gave you a deposit six months ago and then never once bothered you?”
He looked at me. “She didn’t give me a deposit, she just said to call her when it was finished because she might be interested in buying it. Besides, it cost more than the stove you bought and I don’t take personal checks because I’ve been burned.”
I nodded. “I understand but if I can have cold, hard, Yankee dollars in your bank account by 5 p.m., will you sell me the stove?”
His eyes got big. “I don’t take checks, how are you going to do that?”
I explained about bank wire transfers, called Dave and
Livingstone Mr. Erickson gave him the necessary banking information, then Dave said, “It’s 1:00; I’m headed to town now.”
The green and white stove was unloaded while I looked through the telephone book to find a U-Haul store. The sage green and white stove was a perfect fit on the truck but this black and white beauty was about one-third larger.
I found a hotel room and settled in for the evening and the next morning, bright and early, I was at the shop to pick up our stove. One of his men met me at the door, eyes big as saucers. “Right after you left yesterday, that woman showed up, the woman who thought she wanted the stove. She walked into the shop and said, “I love it!”
I started to laugh. (Sorry, was that wicked?)
He looked at me and continued, “I’ve worked here a lot of years and this is the first time something like this has ever happened.”
About that time, Mr.
Livingston Erickson came out and continued the story. “Yeah, it was a little rough for a while but like I told her, you never gave me a deposit. This other woman (meaning me) gave me a deposit six months ago and never bothered me again.”
I said, “It must have worked out all right because the stove is still here.”
Livingstone Erickson said, “and so is the money in my bank account.”
This old stove has been a charmer and still works as well as the day we purchased it; we’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s baked thousands of pans of Thistle Cove Farm shortbread, baked my infamous Bird Seed Bread, slow cooked roasts, hams, casseroles, soups, stews, omelets and God alone knows what else.
This old stove has blessed us with a lot of meals and held up to the “heat and eat” aspect of our living here. It’s a half ton (maybe but not really sure how much it weighs) of beauty and purpose and continues to make wonderful meals. When we’ve lost power, the gas cook top still cooks and we’d still eat hot meals and I’m able to make hot coffee, tea and hot chocolate, perfection!
We have been blessed, greatly blessed indeed.
A few months ago, I found David L
Erickson’s card and called him; no answer. I did an internet search but can’t find him so haven’t a clue if he’s still in business or even alive. Even so, he’s remembered fondly and daily as I continue to cook on my 1914 Acorn stove.
P. S. When Dave and I bought the stove, Mr.
Livingstone Erickson told me, as far as he knew, this 1914 Acorn was one of two in existence. The other he’d restored and it was now living in Ralph Lauren’s Colorado home. (I bet mine is happier -grin!-)
Blessings ~ this old 1914 Acorn stove ~ David
Livingstone Erickson ~ propane ~ as always, great memories ~