Good Ol’ Elmira
Their trusty coal stove gets them through winter.
She was sitting in someone’s damp basement, leaning precariously while propped up on a stack of crumbling bricks. She had only three legs, but it was love at first sight.
A new Elmira Stove Works stove costs more than $5,000; this one was marked down to $800. We knew a bargain when we saw one.
We ordered Elmira (as we fondly call her) a shiny new leg, and she is now the centerpiece of our large sunny kitchen at Short Creek Farm, our home nestled deep in the hills of West Virginia.
We live in an area known for being without power for sometimes weeks at a time. During the winter, you can’t let your water pipes freeze, and you have to keep your babies warm and fed. We have a propane gas log we can use when the power is out, but its fan runs on electricity.
Nothing, however, beats Elmira when she has a roaring fire in her belly. Her left side has a yawning mouth for wood or coal, and her right side sports a water tank with a spigot for instant hot water. You can heat coffee or tea on the stovetop and slide homemade biscuits into her toasty interior.
Owning Elmira is like having our own insurance policy. With her by our side, we know we can survive whatever the upcoming winter dishes out.