When anyone walks into our kitchen for the first time, usually the first comment or question has to do with this old stove. Like many things that have been around awhile, it has a story. I grew up seeing this stove in my Aunt Bo and Uncle Al’s home. My Aunt and Uncle bought their first and only home in the 1930’s in the township of Centerville, California (now one of five townships that make up Fremont). They purchased this Wedgewood stove in 1950, which on the surface does not make for a good story but there is a family connection to the Wedgewood Company. My Aunt Bo’s father, Joseph George (my great-grandfather), worked for the Wedgewood Company. In 1915 the Panama International Exposition was held, and according to oral family history, the Wedgewood Company gave my great-grandfather the assignment to make a scaled replica of their wood/coal burning stove. The scaled down version of their modern stove would be shown at the Exposition. In the process of casting the parts, extra pieces were made in case there were any flaws in the castings. After he completed the one to be shown at the Exposition, he had enough extra parts to make a stove for his youngest daughter, Mable (Aunt Bo), who at the time was 10 years old.
My Uncle Al passed away in 1984. When my Aunt Bo passed away in 1996, my parents offered my Aunt and Uncle’s 1950’s Wedgewood stove for our “Old House” (built in 1908). The kitchen in our home was remodeled sometime in the 1930 and my Aunt’s stove was in better condition, gas and a better fit for the time period of our kitchen than the 1970’s avocado green electric stove that came with the house. Many years later, when my parents were clearing out their attic, my Aunt Bo’s childhood stove came to our home to join the stove she cooked on for most of her life. Many times when I am cooking on this stove, especially when the house is quiet, the memories of my Aunt and Uncle in their home seem like I was just there yesterday.