Wood stoves, cook stoves, coal stoves, heat stoves, when you step into Don Fegley’s Key Center Trading Post, history abounds. This charming and colorful man has been restoring stoves for 30 years, shipping from local areas to Mongolia. Price and age vary from stove to stove, oldest 1845 and almost shrine like, most expensive $19,000.00 and entrancing. It’s Don’s craftsmanship and the ability to turn trash to gold that brings movie stars and athletes, Warren Miller, who owns a stove; Disney’s bought a few, the television series “Northern Exposure” has one, and a few rock stars have placed their orders.
To stand in front of a stove and close your eyes, you can envision many things. A grandmother baking after stoking the stove, dad bringing in wood and the family sharing the day’s adventures while warming by the fire. Then there’s the piece of art that was a Victorian family’s pride and joy and the center of many a men’s congregation or a women’s stitchery group. To look at Don’s stoves you begin to wish each could tell the story of where it has been.
As to where Don’s been, it’s here for the most part. Don happened on the site as a real estate agent looking for listings 30 years ago. To see a piece before Don tackles it and to stand before the finished product, you realize what an incredible love for his craft this man has, but alas, Don is retiring! All items are being reduced in his store and all will be up for sale soon.
Will Don and Peggy, his wife of 42 years, travel? Be snowbirds? Do exotic things? Nope…just spend time at home and enjoy. Don celebrated his 75th birthday in October, and with his attitude, knowledge and sense of humor, you know he’ll celebrate many more here.
So if you’re kicking around Key Center someday and you want to see some history and beauty go talk to Don, and while you’re there, check out the one of a kind waffle iron, a true work of love. Keep in touch, Don, and enjoy.