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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Our 1914 Acorn stove

~ 1914 Acorn stove, 3 electric ovens, 1 warming oven, 7 gas burners ~

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. 

~ enamel tea kettle found at thrift store ~

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!

~ 1914 Acorn stove emblem ~

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?" 

~ two lower ovens, both roasting "cold" ovens ~

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. 

~ 7 propane gas burners, 3 large, 3 small, 1 simmer ~

"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?)
~ oven indicator on the hot oven ~

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." 
~ side view ~

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. 

~ old soup ladle ~

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 Livingstone's 
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 ~


  1. Cool stove! I wish I had something like that, but we don't have gas in our subdivision. Have you ever found a manual to go with your Acorn?

  2. What a wonderful, amazing old stove. I absolutely love it. What a great piece to own!!! xo Diana

  3. Anonymous10:34 PM EDT

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Sandra.

  4. I love this story, how great is that! Love that stove too, she's a beauty!

  5. What a wonderful stove story. What more could you ask from a stove than heat and eat.

  6. It's an AMAZING stove. It's propane? I'm so jealous. I have a propane range/oven and I can cook on the stovetop when the power is out, but I can't bake in it because the "brain" must light it. I'd love a stove like yours. Our power was out just yesterday.

    Great story.

  7. Another wonderful story! Sandra, you have a book in you about Thistle Cove Farm!

  8. That's an awesome stove, Sandra, and an awesome story!

  9. What a fantastic job on the restoration. So nice when someone takes the time and has the talent to save a piece of history. Unfortunately so many just go buy a new item and toss the old one.

  10. How wonderful, Sandra! It's gorgeous!

  11. Just awesome! I love stories like this-

  12. Love, love, LOVE the stove! I had bought a green and white one when we were building our log home, but Rick wouldn't get on board. Soooooo, I had to sell it and get a modern gas stove, which we have been very thankful to have when our power has been out for days!!

  13. Oh the stove is a beauty and I loved the story, too!

  14. What a great stove and story about how you came to be in the same 'Heat and Eat' with Ralph Lauren. I bet yours is happier, too.

    Sue CollectInTexasGal~Today's Post~
    Friday Faces...Confederate Cousin

  15. I would love your recipe for your infamous Bird Seed bread. That is one beautiful stove! (as I drool all over my keyboard) LOL

  16. Sandra- that's an amazing story-- you told it beautifully. That stove is gorgeous-- I can't even imagine having all that awesomeness in my home--

    You are so lucky!

  17. A beautifully told story Sandra. I'm with Michelle - you need to write a book about your life at Thistle Cove Farm. You're a natural story teller. A very enjoyable post!

  18. WOW Sandra, I love this story of your vintage stove. It is a beauty for sure and what a blessing to have it in your life and cook with.
    You really do wonderful stories within your blog and I agree with Carol, you need to write a book.

    Thank you for sharing. Have a great weekend.

  19. Oh what a beautiful stove!

  20. What a beauty she is! You have such a collectible. I hope you'll be cooking on her for many years to come :)

  21. What an amazing story, I have always wanted a stove like that. It is just beautiful and I bet it is a joy to cook on. I had a old stove not near as nice as that one but I bought it from the owner and she was in her ninety's. She thought it was time she bought a new stove. I loved mine and when we sold our house to move the people who were buying the house wanted my stove. Since I had only paid 50 dollars for it and they offered five times as much, I left it, I still kick myself.
    I just love that story. What a keeper. I bet you had fun.

  22. What a delicious story about your gorgeous stove ... so glad you prevailed.


  23. Anonymous8:56 AM EDT

    love the pictures and the story behind it! thanks for sharing this here.

  24. Your antique stove is downright gorgeous and it has a wonderful story to it too!

  25. Oh I loved, just loved your stove history. I bet it is so lovely to cook on too xx we have an aga and love it just as you do yours. They are so hard working and reliable and make food taste so good.
    Hugs Lynn xxxx

  26. The little wood burning Fisher stove in my Conservatory was a total 'rescue'.

    Love being in there during cold rains, snows, and know it's a totally pitiful story compared to yours.

    Great story, glad you thought to share it. How many stories go untold?

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    (perhaps the best moments with my Fisher were during a business lunch and I had left the new box of matches on top.......omg, you can't make this stuff up.)

  27. What a beautiful story! I am wondering what happened to Dave! I remember seeing this type of stove at my grandparents home! SO sad how all these lovely things are gone now. Hugs Anne

  28. I love it! That is one gorgeous stove and what a story. I've seen Ralph Lauren's place when Oprah visited him. Don't remember seeing the stove but how cool would that be that you have the other one.....

  29. That looks fantastic, he did a great job restoring it - lucky you! I would love to have a stove like that but DH likes the modern, oh well. Wouldn't you love to know what kind of meals were cooked before you?

  30. A stove is so important, and I loved reading about how you came by your beloved stove.

  31. Vic, we have a propane tank, no natural gas. Nope, no manual because I can't find anyone who knows anything about the stove.

    Diana, it's been wonderful!

    Mildred, I'm so glad, thank you.

    Annie, thanks, sometimes patience does pay off!

    Nancy, part of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, eh?

    Jody, the top burners are propane but the ovens are electric. ??? Made NO sense to me but that's the way it came.

    Michelle, you might be right!

    Vicki, awwww, thank you!

    TL, there's another old stove in my outbuilding, waiting to be restored.

    Karen, thank you, we've enjoyed it.

    Kathy, thank you!

    Becky, sorry to hear about your green/white stove; they work so great and have such a history; just love 'em!

    Linda, thank you!

    Sue, I wonder if RL still has his?

  32. Jill, I'll see if I can write it down; mostly, it's just toss and taste -grin-.

    Vicki, I'm blessed well beyond my deserving.

    Carol, thank you for enjoying my story!

    Celestina Marie, you're so kind; thank you. I always think my stories are entertaining but who listens anyway...? -grin-

    Lisa, thank you!

    MK, for as long as I'm here, this stove will be in use.

    Farm Girl, life has taught me if I really love something, hold on to it, especially if it cannot be replaced. I'm sorry about your stove.

    Glenda, thank you. I'm just glad he had my deposit for so long and I didn't bother him. Dave and I are trusting souls.

    Kamana, thank you for your gifts of comment and visit.

    Donna, it *is* a good store, isn't it? -grin-

    Lynn, it's been a great stove for almost 100 years.

    Tara, would love to hear THAT story! I can imagine it now....

    Anne, Dave died in 11/11; it's been a struggle and a challenge.

    Debbie, I don't know if RL still has his stove; can't imagine he'd get rid of it.

    Astrid, it would be lovely to know what kind of meals and WHO cooked on this stove.

    Gretchen, it's been a wonderful stove and we've thoroughly enjoyed it.


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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