February 28, 2011

The Stove Depot

The Old Stove Depot 1982
My dad, Bill Hawkins  started his own business called The Stove Depot Hearth and Home.  He would sell all kinds of fireplaces, stoves, accessories, outdoor furniture and so much more. At one time it was the biggest stove shop in all of New England but this week was the last days  of the store. In this article I will share with you some of my fond memories I have from the Stove depot.

 My dad started his own business about thirty years ago. He bought a little shop in Canton, Ma. I can remember the train tracks running right next to the store.
Whenever a train passed, bells would ring and  the shop would start to rumble and shake. It was kinda scary and I remember feeling relieved with the sound of the train going further and further away. We used to put pennies on the tracks the train would run over them and squish them flat. 

My Dad kept this picture on his desk
   A few years later my dad bought a much bigger store in Canton. My favorite part of this store was the the show room. It was a huge room filled with working fireplaces and stoves. As a small kid the ceilings seemed to be a hundred stories high. All of the grills and patio furniture was set up in the middle of the room.  I would have a great time testing out all the new patio furniture like the reclining chairs, benches, the swings but my favorite were the hammocks.

My dad even sold things like water fountains and colorful outdoor flags. There were artificial tress all around the furniture and a big warehouse door that would let  the summer breeze in. It was like sitting outside when you were really indoors. Sometimes it would even feel like I was on  vacation.

 Sometimes my dad would take me and my brother Jon into work with him. I would use one of the small glass patio tables as my desk. I would stamp endless amounts of paper work with the Stove Depot's logo and I loved polishing up the stoves. I was a weird kid, still am actually. My dad is a great salesman I can remember sitting in the lawn chairs and listening to him sell the stoves.He would bring me and my brother out to lunch at a restaurant down the street. My dad was good friends with one of the waitresses there she would bring paper and crayons especially for me and Jon. After lunch it was time to go back to "work."

The Stove Depot 2011
There was a big back warehouse where there was a mountain of big bags of wood pellets stacked up. Me and  Jon would climb up the bags and sit at the top. Sometimes the guy who worked i the warehouse would even arrange the bags so we would have a little fort to play in.

There was a a little silver bell that the salesmen would ring when they needed something from the warehouse. I loved ringing that bell but I don't think the workers did they would come into showroom and see that it was just me again smiling at them, sorry guys.  After the day was done we would all have some fun out in the parking lot. We had a small Go Cart back then that we loved to drive around in circles. I have so many great memories of being there.

Lily and her PaPa Bill 2011
My dad sold his business ten years ago I was sad to see it go but happy to know he would still own the building.  Since then the shop was never felt the same. The new owner split the big showroom it into two small rooms and lowered the ceiling down to about 8 feet high. He no longer sold any of the fun patio furniture and accessories just stoves. It no longer felt like a vacation resort to me. 

Now the owner is downsizing to an even smaller building that is miles and miles away. Last week was the last days of the Stove Depot as I remember. Now  it is a big empty building waiting to be sold. It is a little sad for me but I will always have those memories and I feel like there are only more good times to come. After all, it's not the shop that meant so much to me, it was being able to share those times with my dad and brother. Without them it would have just been another day at work.

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