If you're looking for a nice, big wood stove, as well as a piece of Alaska history, you might want to check out the Alaska Dog Mushers Association’s fundraiser auction on Saturday night at Pioneer Park.
One of the auction items is a wood stove that has sat in the Dog Mushers Hall on Farmers Loop for the past 30 years. The stove has never really been used much, in large part because of insurance reasons associated with renting the hall, which the ADMA does.
The stove has been a decoration of sorts for the most part, club president Shannon Erhart said.
“I dont’ remember it ever being used as a main source of heat since I got involved with the club in 1989,” Erhart said. “I think maybe it was planned to help heat the building but once we made the building commercial I don’t think it was ever really used because of insurance.”
The ADMA is billing it as “a rare opportunity to own a piece of Alaskan history.”
The stove was built by the Christman brothers, Roger and Denis, of Salcha, in the late 1970s using VSMs — vertical support members — leftover from the building of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, according to a description of the stove on the club’s web site (www.sleddog.org).
“The stoves are perfectly welded,” it reads. “No rope type of seal is needed in the door due to an exact metal to metal seal constructed around the opening. These stoves often have a horseshoe welded to the draft plate, used as a handle to open and close the draft accordingly. The VSM pipe is cut and fabricated in a style that allows for the flat top to be used as a cooking surface if needed. Many a hot meal has been prepared on a Christman Stove.”
Erhart said it was Kathy Fitzgerald’s idea to to sell the stove.
“We took it out in August and it was sitting on the porch and we were talking about giving it away,” Erhart recalled. “Kathy said, ‘Don’t just give it away; there’s some people that have some real sentimental value for them. We should use it as a fundraiser.’ ”
Erhart isn’t sure what kind of price the stove will attract.
“We’re hoping for $1,000 or $1,500,” she said. “It’s a big wood stove. You can’t buy one anymore.”
The auction is from 5-9 p.m.