The Stacy Heater
A huge stone veneered heater built by John and Shirl Stacy in Adirondack, NY is my favorite owner built heater. John and Shirl are dog-loving crafts people who live with one yellow, one black and one chocolate lab in a home they built from mostly salvaged materials. They began as groundhogs, living and working in their basement with a recycled barn with antique slates still an unfinished shell above them.
They contacted me by mail and phone and began a long-time correspondence about a heater design. Eventually they drove to Maine for a design session and together we came up with a system they liked. They returned home and built the foundation for the heater, bench and two flue chimney stack. I joined them in the late spring to build the core, layout the bench and help them refine their masonry skills. Their chocolate lab, Journey, had puppies at the time, and throughout my visit, I was gently urged to take a puppy, named Olga, in trade, along with some cash and a handmade Adirondack rocker John had made and given to me.
All that summer, John and Shirl gathered stones one at a time in a 50 mile radius or so from their home and laid out each face of the heater as a dry fitted panel on the floor. When they had each panel right, they laid them in place with almost hidden joints one stone at a time.
Later they came to Maine again and together we hauled, marked and cut some Virginia Serpentine slabs I had for bench stock.
Now they live upstairs and down, basking in the warmth of a wood fire and their own long gentle labor of love for each other and the stone.