Beyond the shop: The Retirement of Dr. Aldrich’s Coal Stove

                                     2 - DAY OF RETIREMENT         5 - LAST FIRE

“Beyond the Shop” is a periodical look inside the life of a Barnes Manufacturing team member.

The great grandfather of Tom Barnes, Dr. Stewart Aldrich was born June 9th, 1852, Graduated from the Berea College of Medicine in Berea, Ohio, in 1873, in the study Allopathic medicine. Dr. Aldrich was a “Horse and Buggy” Doctor in the Waukee area before moving to Des Moines in 1895.

Dr. Aldrich built a small, stand-alone office near his home. The Coal Stove was purchased from the Spiegel Catalog Company in Chicago, arriving in Des Moines by train.

After his passing the property stayed in the family, however the office was moved to the back of the property where it was used as a wood shop. Tom’s first memory of the stove is from around the age of 5 “This is where I first remember seeing the Stove, Grandfather was burning wood scraps to heat his workshop”.

In 1961 the Stove made its way to the Barnes Family Farm and was put into service in the old farm house that was down by the barn. “As a you boy of 11, I spent many hours in that house now turned into a workshop, keeping warm by building fires with any combustible materials that I could find.” Tom recalled.

The Old House was torn down, sometime in the early 70’s, and the Stove was moved into storage in the Corn Crib. In 1994 Tom brought the stove back to life when he placed it in his newly built shop at his home in Marion. The stove has played was more of piece of nostalgia and atmosphere, as the shop had permanent hot water heat.

For the last 23 years, on every chilly weekend there has been a fire in the stove. Though the stove is still serviceable, (barely), it is no longer safe to be used for its intended purpose. The attached Photos are of the very last fire to be held inside Dr. Aldrich’s Stove.

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