Return to Normalcy?

The stove is side project #7. The other side projects are:
1) A metal and wooden medicine chest for the upstairs bathroom circa 1930. Purchased from an antiques mall in Lexington SC.
2) A metal medicine chest for the downstairs bathroom circa 1935. Found in a pile of material taken from a recently remuddled house.
3) A brass, hanging “pan” light fixture circa 1925 for the downstairs, summer or guest, bedroom. Bought from an architectural salvage shop.
4) An oak table for one of the studies. Found by the side of the road in Charlotte.
5) An small, oak school chair for the side porch. Purchased from a Salvation Army style second hand store in Cayce SC.
6) A door for the under-roof access hole cut by the previous owners in the closet wall of the (eventual) upstairs study.

Side Project #6: Under-roof access panel

The side projects are opportunities for skills education separate from the cirriculum imposed by the actual restoration of 118 Henry Street. I’ve learned how to clean and polish brass, how to frame and drywall an wall opening, and several other ancillary techniques working on them. I’ve also learned how to procrastinate on house work by focusing on the side projects when I need a break from the wall/trim/door/window restoration work. So far, the status of side project #6 is complete. The status of side project #5 is abandoned; the chair will be used as-is with no repairs or decoration. The status of the the remaining side projects is “incomplete in various stages.”

The stove became a side project when I realized it could not be used in its current state. Although I haven’t had the gas sub-system pressure tested, there is one burner valve that is loose and, potentially, could leak. Rather than pay a plumber to tell me it won’t pass a pressure test, it makes more sense to pay an appliance restoration specialist to make the whole stove usable. No worries, the “move kitchen wall” sub-project will need to be done first anyway.

Each new project on an old house is like the surprise in a box of Cracker Jacks: you never know what you will ultimately get. It’s no wonder that everyone I’ve met or talked to that has an old house is very laid back. The Type A personality would go NUTS with the circuitous progress and pace of old house restoration.

Crystal Olive Stove

Some information about the stove:

There are four burners on the bottom and the oven is mounted up top. It’s mostly made of black cast iron with some sheet metal. It weighs between 250 and 300 pounds. It’s 67″ tall, 39″ wide counting the two wing-like extensions on the sides, and 36″ deep.

It was made by the Olive Stove Works in Rochester PeeAay and it’s a “Crystal Olive”. From the markings on the castings, it was cast on November 16, 18, and 20 of unknown year. On the main cook surface, cast in the metal is “No. 180”. Unknown at this time if this is a serial or model number.

A Google on “Olive Stove Works” reveals:

–The University of Delaware has an Olive Stove Works catalog dated 1912 in their “Food, Dining, and Entertainment” exhibit.
–The Olive Stove Works Foundry is listed in the “Pennsylvania Iron Furnaces and Iron Works Name Index”.
–H.C. Fry, born 1840 in Lexington KayWye, was director and stockholder of the company from 1879 thru 1922.

The next step in side project #7, the stove, is to re-assemble and, in detail, photograph it. The photos will be sent to the stove restorers for appraisal and estimate.

Work continues on the windows in the upstairs study. Each evening, we get another coat of paint on a pair of sashes. Each sash has 2 coats of acrylic primer on both sides, 2 coats of white semi-gloss latex on the “outside” side, and 2 coats of light tan, “sawgrass”, semi-gloss latex on the “inside” side. Pity the poor owner, who, in another 80 years, has to strip the paint from the windows in the next cycle of restoration.

One last note of interest, DeShawn’s birthday is November 19th.