Somewhere on my drive to the Smokies from Chicago in 1973, I came across this general store on a rural road. It truly lived up to its name, “Miscellaneous Sales”. It sold a small assortment of food, antiques, and furniture. The cast-iron wood burning stove reminded me of one my grandmother had. She bought it around 1910 and used it well into the early 1960s.

The stove was not just used for cooking. It was used for heating. On cold winter mornings, the entire family would get dressed around the stove (there was an unwritten rule about no peeking). They also used the stove for heating hot water for baths, which were generally taken once a week on Saturday nights (before church). To conserve water, tubs were not drained between bathers, just topped off with more hot water from the stove.