Outdoor Fireplaces – What History Can They Tell?
I have been traveling quite a bit lately. Additionally, I have been fortunate enough to have gone to some really neat locations. Just a few visited in the past few months are Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, Winterpark, Colorado, El Paso, Texas, and the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. When I go to a new place, I love the opportunity to walk around and explore the old and new.
One thing that seems timeless is the fireplace built in an old house lot. They still stand, absent the house or an old cabin. I love walking around these towns and noticing great outdoor fireplaces built in new areas, at shopping malls, at apartment complexes, and even outdoor patios of fancy bars and restaurants.
The old vintage stone fireplaces through their cracks and stains can sometimes tell a silent story, letting your mind wander at how much they have seen and been witness to over the passing years. Who graced the hearth and seating around these graceful structures? What conversations and decisions took place in front of the fire?
Imagine the fireplaces in the homes and parks of West Virginia that kept home owners and those fighting in the civil war warm. They used them every day during the harsh winters. Imagine the fireplaces in the Grand Canyon lodges that kept tourists warm during the 1930s when the park was really becoming a destination. Now those are old fireplaces with stories too abundant for us to even imagine.
How About the New?
But let’s think about how we can create our own memories and stories around an outdoor fireplace. When you spot an outdoor fireplace at an outdoor shopping center, stop and check it out. Sit on the hearth and if it is providing heat, enjoy it for a few minutes. Relax and even grab a drink if you have time. Become the history that can be told by that fireplace 100 years from now.
Pay attention to where you are and if you see an old or even a new fireplace that needs to be in a photograph, take a pic and send it to us at, firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know where and how you found it.
Thanks and as always, happy building!