In a recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center one of our employees saw a wood stove from the past.
In the homes that were set up in the Heritage Center the wood stoves did not have any stove pipe to show how they would typically be set up. But we know that in the past wood stoves made a huge improvement on people's lives, they were more heat efficient than the fireplaces and offered an easier way to cook. These homes were typically one room with an upstairs where the older children would sleep. The younger children would sleep downstairs with their parents where it was warmer and where the mother could look after the child during the night.
One of the stories that was shared at the Heritage Center was from a woman who remembered staying with her grandparents in their one room cabin. She slept in the upstairs loft, it was winter and snowed through the night, when she awoke, the snow had come through cracks in the walls and roof and had dusted her blanket. Even with wood stoves homes were not as well insulated as today's homes are.
But even now a wood stove can be a great addition to a home, especially as a back up heating system for those winter days when the snow storms knock out the power.