Conestoga Stove

Earnit

New Member
Dec 9, 2020
27
Frenchburg, KY
I recently bought a Conestogo stove by Findlay. It appears to be a copy if a Fisher Grand Ma Bear. I have looked online and can't find much out about them. I purchased it at Morehead, KY from an individual selling it for their grandpa who purchased it at an auction in the 90's. I paid $300. It is like brand new inside and had very light rust forming so I repainted it. I have also seen one for sale in Richmond, KY so a dealer must have been nearby. Other than that, it appears that most for sale are around Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. This one is ULC listed and has baffles in the stove and under it. First picture with colors is mine. Does anyone know anything more about them?

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,118
central pa
I recently bought a Conestogo stove by Findlay. It appears to be a copy if a Fisher Grand Ma Bear. I have looked online and can't find much out about them. I purchased it at Morehead, KY from an individual selling it for their grandpa who purchased it at an auction in the 90's. I paid $300. It is like brand new inside and had very light rust forming so I repainted it. I have also seen one for sale in Richmond, KY so a dealer must have been nearby. Other than that, it appears that most for sale are around Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. This one is ULC listed and has baffles in the stove and under it. First picture with colors is mine. Does anyone know anything more about them?

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Never seen or heard of them but the door design is pretty cool. Probably works just as well as fishers or Alaskas. And $300 was a fair price for an old smoke dragon like that.
 
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Earnit

New Member
Dec 9, 2020
27
Frenchburg, KY
I did find one on Facebook Marketplace for Ontario. It was wider like the Grand Pa Bear stove. So, they did have multiple models. Found out they were made in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. What years did Fishers have legs like these? Or did they?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,118
central pa
I did find one on Facebook Marketplace for Ontario. It was wider like the Grand Pa Bear stove. So, they did have multiple models. Found out they were made in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. What years did Fishers have legs like these? Or did they?
I don't think they ever did. I like the legs as well. I would never consider going back to an old stove like that to heat my house but that one is interesting
 

Osage

Feeling the Heat
Nov 3, 2011
251
kansas
I like the looks of that stove. Think it looks nicer than a Fisher.
 
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Earnit

New Member
Dec 9, 2020
27
Frenchburg, KY
Never seen or heard of them but the door design is pretty cool. Probably works just as well as fishers or Alaskas. And $300 was a fair price for an old smoke dragon like that.
I found that the the door design has some history behind it. Mennonites moved to Canada from Conestoga, Pennsylvania in Conestoga wagons and founded the CONESTOGO community in the same location as present day Kitchener, Ontario. They actually bought the land there. The river there is named CONESTOGO too. I thought that was interesting. I have just realized that I have spent way too much time researching a 35-40 year old stove!
 
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Earnit

New Member
Dec 9, 2020
27
Frenchburg, KY
I like the looks of that stove. Think it looks nicer than a Fisher.
Thank you. I think so too. Definitely different. I was lucky to find any old stove in this condition. I think it was test fired and that is about it. It will be going in my shop .
 

Earnit

New Member
Dec 9, 2020
27
Frenchburg, KY
Photos of stove as purchased. Firebricks are notched and angled. They also interlock. Tops of bricks are factory beveled on a 45 degree angle. Hinges are also different than most Fishers. Top Hinges are like the VA, WVA Fishers. Doors fit super tight between the hinges.

stove2.jpg 123258488_4006164876080204_2566172183603199828_o.jpg
 
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Hoytman

Member
Jan 6, 2020
214
Ohio
I’ve known these existed for a long time, but couldn’t remember the name. I literally just pm’d another member here asking that person if they recalled the name. Clicked on the next thread and BAM!!! There it is. How cool is that!!!
 
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Earnit

New Member
Dec 9, 2020
27
Frenchburg, KY
I’ve known these existed for a long time, but couldn’t remember the name. I literally just pm’d another member here asking that person if they recalled the name. Clicked on the next thread and BAM!!! There it is. How cool is that!!!
Glad to help! If you find any more information, please post. I found that there were Grandma and Grandpa bear copies and inserts. The firebrick seem to be unique to this stove. I hope to have it installed soon in my garage. I still can not find a reference to 1826 and the town of CONESTOGO Canada. All the information says that the town was founded in the 1820's. That is as close as I can find. I also wish I could find a production date from the ULC listing but I don't know much about hw to read those. I just have to guess it as early to mid eighties.
 

Earnit

New Member
Dec 9, 2020
27
Frenchburg, KY
I wonder if that is when they started making the wagons?
I looked it up and found an 1826 reference to the Pennsylvania Turnpike being filled with Conestoga wagons being driven by teamsters with big "stogie" cigars. I think 1826 could reference that or when the town of Conestogo, ON, Canada was populated/ founded. Still a guess though.
 
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Earnit

New Member
Dec 9, 2020
27
Frenchburg, KY
I wonder if that is when they started making the wagons?
I found this, and since we are Americans, I like the explanation a lot better. "William Ashley and Jedediah Smith, in search of new trapping grounds, lead the first wagon parties along the trail through South Pass, Wyoming and eventually make their way to California." This was a journey that started in 1825 and ended in 1826!
 
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PA Mountain Man

New Member
Dec 14, 2020
42
Lisburn, PA
From wiki the Conestoga was around long before that
More history on the Conestoga wagon
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,053
NE PA
I did find one on Facebook Marketplace for Ontario. It was wider like the Grand Pa Bear stove. So, they did have multiple models. Found out they were made in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. What years did Fishers have legs like these? Or did they?
That leg style started in 1980 when Fisher went from the unlisted style with angle iron corners that become legs to the Listed bent corner firebox with what was called Standard legs. The larger legs with horizontal steel scrolled plate was called Fireplace Style. Then they went to bolt on and had optional cast iron Furniture style and the Bear Leg style.

The first firebox with bent corners like that in the Fisher line was the XL and Goldilocks in 1978.

Many times doing the Fisher history I came across licensed fabricators that would use the basic Fisher design and make subtle changes and have their own doors cast to start their own line. Some lost their license to build Fishers and became their own brand. If a stove like this was patented, many times the name will cross over to a Fisher fabricator licensee. Or an advertisement will give the builders name and address that matches a Fisher fabricator. The Three Bear Stove, Frontier, Timberline and All-Nighter were all well known Fisher fabricators first . Sometimes a relative would start their own business or steel fabricators making other products would tool up for a run of stoves during their slow season. I found articles showing there was more iron used in the stove industry than the auto industry in their hay day. Most fabricators were near rail and some moved their operation near ports for mass transport of materials.
 
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Earnit

New Member
Dec 9, 2020
27
Frenchburg, KY
Coaly, thanks for the information! So, do you think this would be a 80-88 model stove? It is ULC listed. Doors hinges are unique like the Va and WVa Fishers. Opening is the exact dimensions of the GrandMa stove.
 

Earnit

New Member
Dec 9, 2020
27
Frenchburg, KY
How far are you from London and Manchester KY? I have family from there.
Richmond is just up the road from
That leg style started in 1980 when Fisher went from the unlisted style with angle iron corners that become legs to the Listed bent corner firebox with what was called Standard legs. The larger legs with horizontal steel scrolled plate was called Fireplace Style. Then they went to bolt on and had optional cast iron Furniture style and the Bear Leg style.

The first firebox with bent corners like that in the Fisher line was the XL and Goldilocks in 1978.

Many times doing the Fisher history I came across licensed fabricators that would use the basic Fisher design and make subtle changes and have their own doors cast to start their own line. Some lost their license to build Fishers and became their own brand. If a stove like this was patented, many times the name will cross over to a Fisher fabricator licensee. Or an advertisement will give the builders name and address that matches a Fisher fabricator. The Three Bear Stove, Frontier, Timberline and All-Nighter were all well known Fisher fabricators first . Sometimes a relative would start their own business or steel fabricators making other products would tool up for a run of stoves during their slow season. I found articles showing there was more iron used in the stove industry than the auto industry in their hay day. Most fabricators were near rail and some moved their operation near ports for mass transport of materials.
Coaly, do you have a list of Fisher manufacturers? If so, were any built in Kitchener, ON, Canada?