Vermont Castings Vigilant Parlor Stove Advice

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New Member
Nov 10, 2012
Hi All,

I found this forum and thought you might be able to advise me on a fair price to ask for a Vermont Castings Vigilant Parlor Stove, model # 035634.

We used this stove as the primary heat in a 1,300 sq ft home for 20 years. We bought it from a relative who had it stored for several years, so I'm not sure of it's exact age. I love this stove, but we built a new house and don't have a place for it anymore. I thought my husband might like to use it in his shop, but he told me it's too nice for a shop. ??

I posted it on Craigslist for $700, but I haven't had a single call. Am I asking too much? Any advice is welcome!


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That is indeed a beautiful stove and appears to have been well cared for based on the pictures.

The thing that may be going against you is that it is a "Pre-EPA" stove and that may reduce the value considerably in some markets. You didn't say where you live, but I know a couple states won't even allow folks to install non-EPA certified stoves anymore. If you are in an area that allows these to be installed then your timing may just be off - i.e. folks looking for a used stove on CL may have their needs satisfied.

It is hard to tell pricing in any given market (I'm terrible at it) but from an objective standpoint keep in mind that folks can buy a new EPA stove for about what you are asking - granted it may not be as pretty, but beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. CL is an odd market too - there are folks out there specifically looking to avoid EPA stoves so you can get lucky there too - just all about timing. When you search for stove listings in your area what are you finding others asking and what do they have to offer?
Some markets for this stove are better than others. For example it might sell better in the northeast than in the Midwest. This could be just a matter of timing or perhaps price. $700 is more than the stove sold new about 32 yrs ago. If you want to hurry up the sale list it for $550 or just be patient until a buyer looking for this stove finds your listing. It may take a few weeks.
Hmmm...Thanks. I wasn't even aware there were EPA and pre-EPA stoves. We live in a rural part of AR, and I don't think there are regulations about wood stoves, but perhaps this is a concern for people who live in cities. I only found one other listing for a Vermont Castings stove and they were asking $400, but it looked rusty and not in good condition. Ours has been well cared for. I looked online at new Vermont Castings stoves and they are $2,000+, but I didn't realize ours is pre-EPA.

Do you know the year it was made? I googled the model number, but was unable to find the year. All I know is that it's a least 25 yrs old.

I'm kind of hoping that it's not worth much, and my husband will decide to use it in his shop! (I'm a bit attached to the stove) Thanks for the info.
Ha! I can't thank ya'll enough. My husband just read your responses and he wasn't aware of the pre-EPA info either, but his thoughts were "nonsense, I'll just keep the stove and use it in the shop." Yippee! I know the stove will get dusty and won't be as pretty out there, but I'm glad we're keeping it. This may sound silly, but that stove has lots of fond memories for me. It was in the middle of our dining room for 20+ years and I would put pots of soup, beans or greens on it, and I used the warming shelves to keep dishes warm at family holiday gatherings. It just gave our dining room such a "homey" feel. When it wasn't that cold, I used it with doors open with the spark screen. I cleaned it weekly to keep it looking nice. Now, it will be in a dirty old farm shop, but I imagine the men will enjoy sitting around it drinking beer when they're cooking fish in the shop! I may invade the "man cave" with pots of soup or chilli every once in a while.
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A great looking stove you have there renny, clearly has been well loved and looked after, a credit to you.

Ahhh...thank you. I can't tell you how glad I am that we're keeping the stove. Initially, I thought another family would enjoy the stove in our old farm house, but my husband correctly pointed out that a wood stove is not wise to have in a rent house. (the old house already has a wood-burning fireplace and he worries enough about that) He's installed a gas wall-heater with a thermostat and I know that's more practical for renters.

I'm thrilled that he's decided to keep our old parlor stove to use in the shop. I'm going to be looking for some comfy-cool chairs to go around thet stove 'cause I think the stove is cool.
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No.... Call from Craigslist posting. I had the stove posted for $700 and he offered $500. Husband is thinking about it.....
So.... what happened? You should have jumped at the $500, then search for another Vig that he can put in the shop. You can probably find a less pretty one for $300 or so.

don't leave us hanging!
So.... what happened? You should have jumped at the $500, then search for another Vig that he can put in the shop. You can probably find a less pretty one for $300 or so.
don't leave us hanging!

Sorry, didn't mean to leave you hanging! No, we didn't take the $500, so we still have the stove.
Great! It's nice that you can continue to enjoy it.
Sorry, didn't mean to leave you hanging! No, we didn't take the $500, so we still have the stove.

I just ran across this thread and really enjoyed the pics of your nice vigilant. I bought my vigilant new in 1978 directly from the VC foundry in Randolph Vermont to use in a drafty old Ohio farmhouse, and I still have it along with a treasured typewritten letter from Duncan Syme responding to questions I asked about operation. I also bought a Defiant for the farmhouse in 1980 and had it shipped from Randolph, but shortly thereafter I moved to Arkansas to a house that was too small for the Defiant's output and sold it to a friend.

My Vigilant did not come with glass doors in 78, and I didn't appreciate the difference until I bought two Defiant Encores with which we heat our house in Arkansas now; it is really handy to see what the fire is doing and also just plain pleasant to watch the fire at night. I don't have warming shelves for the Vigilant either, but I did get two of them with one Defiant Encore and found one on eBay for the other DE, both of which are forest green.

My Vigilant will eventually go into a 3rd floor addition I am planning for our little 70s house by Beaver Lake where the DEs currently see service, one up and one downstairs. My wife claims the one downstairs as "her stove" and uses it when she is doing her crafts there; I guess you could call it her Lady cave. The Vigilant has been a treasured family member since 78 and I fully understand your reluctance to part with an old friend, even if its new home will be a dusty man cave. At least you can visit it now and then and wipe a little dust from those pleasant memories.
Duncan Syme, a great guy who designed the early Defiants and had a hand in the other earlier models along with Charlie Page. Some good history there. Not to get off track nice Vig.:cool:
Yes, VC made a big mistake when they drummed Mr. Syme out of the company he founded, and later had the good sense to invite him back to design the Defiant Encore, the last stove he designed for them. I toast him with a glass or two of Chillable Red nearly every evening in the glow of the upstairs DE and give a big thought of thanks to him at the start of every heating season. A dealer I corresponded with said Duncan had come into his shop for a door gasket kit for his own Encore and he was happy to give him one on the house; I hope he is still doing well in up Randolph. I often think of his comment that, "If you don't have a wood stove, where do you hang your mittens when you come in?"

Here's our own DE Green Goddess, the favorite spot of the cats every evening.


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