The smell is distinctive… burning hardwood, and the aroma lingers inside our walls. That “smoky” odor of winter. Some people long for it each winter. The wood stove is an iconic part of our legacy and our history.
Our old classic wood stove has definitely kept that “Old School Hardware” feeling in place for our customers and also for us as business owners. This is one great thing about our store that I love… it is deeply rooted in local history.
Our wood stove is definitely one of the most recognizable features within the hardware store that people initially see once as they walk into the front entrance.
No matter what time of year it is, those who have never visited our hardware store, always ask about the wood stove. Hands automatically seem to go up in order to signify the sensation of warming by the stove, even in the heat of a summer day.
That sensation of warmth often brings back a burst of wonderful “old school hardware “ memories… and then you see the smile emerge on the faces of those who visit with us. The love of our “old school hardware store” grows💕.
Our hardware wood stove history dates back to circa 1930’s-1940’s. Nollie Neill, a Glascock stove historian, has been a wonderful source of information for me. What we know for sure is that our “old school” wood stove is a Giant 24N model made by Glascock. This model was not put into production until the mid 1930’s. Glascock Stove was located in Greensboro, NC.
A bottom piece of our stove needed replacement in the 70’s. The stove maker, Glascock, was no longer in production mode. The last 24N rolled out of the Greensboro foundry in 1966.
Harvey, the hardware store owner at the time, headed down there anyway to the “graveyard” of old replacement parts and found the exact piece he needed to get the stove back into service.
Customers are usually curious about our Giant 24N wood stove. A few typical customer questions range from “Does it still work?” to “How old is it?” And most folks are surprised to find out the wood stove is WCH’s main source of heat in the winter!
Our hardware store Giant 24N wood stove cranks out a great deal of heat for the store. These models were designed to heat stores, schools, homes, garages, larger spaces that needed a good source of heat. Glascock met the demand all across NC.
Before the cold temperatures hit each year, the wood stove is regularly cleaned, polished, and maintained in order to keep it in the best possible condition for daily use in the cooler weather.
We do keep a nice woodpile out behind the store so we can keep the “store fires” burning and our customers comfortable while they shop for essentials.
All of our wood is bought from local sources. Richard & I like to purchase products from our neighbors in our community.
Our hardware store wood stove has become a gathering place for those in our community. People use it as a central meeting place to discuss news, and local events. Often our regular customers will come sit around the stove and just rock for a little bit before heading back out into the cold weather.
Even during local downtown events in the winter our customers know they can drop by to warm by the fire before a horse carriage ride, stop in during Lightup Downtown, or just to wait and warm before for the Christmas parade is to begin.
To me, nothing is better on a cold, and snowy day to be warming around the wood stove. Locals seek to visit with us on these days, roaring fire always going & snow supplies in hand. Honestly, these are my favorite days.. the snow days around the wood stove at Wilkes County Hardware.
We even have had a few local media broadcast/advertising folks to showcase our store via the hardware store wood stove as a centerpiece. I guess it is just that “Old School” way of gathering around and slowing down in the busy world we live in today.
I’ll take “Old School” any day, going back to our roots/heritage— community building, & living at a slower pace. It has become an essential element of #thehardwarelife.