Cast iron cooking stoves

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Have you ever given any thought to the way of life back in the 17th Century? How did they ever get all the housework and chores done without the modern day appliances? Let me give you a little history on cast iron cooking stoves.

Count Van Rumford of Bavaria was born Benjamin Thompson in Woburn, Mass., in 1753. Loyal to the British crown, Thompson served as a spy during the American Revolution. In 1776, he fled to London leaving his family behind. He studied physics in England, and in 1802 his dream of inventing a kitchen cooking range ended. George Bodley patented a cast iron cooking stove.

In 1905, one of the cooking stoves that were patented was purchased for use in the Frenier Train Station, located in St. John the Baptist Parish. It remained at the train station for 10 years and on Sept. 29, 1915, the great hurricane hit the area destroying all the towns. They were known as Ruddock, Napton and Frenier. About a year ago, I was able to locate the person that has had the stove from the Frenier Train Station for the past 50 years. I am pleased to say that it is now on display in the Louisiana Treasures Museum along with nine other cast iron cooking stoves.

Stop by, visit the museum, and talk with me about the history of the many stoves and the collection on display in the museum. I can also be reached by calling 225-294-8352 for information and tours.

Wayne Norwood is a lieutenant with the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Department and owner and operator of the Louisiana Treasures Museum located at 10290 Highway 22, West Pontchatoula.