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More Ways Our Ancestors Stayed Warm During Winter

To read the story referenced, “4 Forgotten Ways Your Ancestors Stayed Warm During Winter,” click here.

I thoroughly enjoyed this article. I grew up in a log house on a ranch in Wyoming and we heated and cooked with wood. I remember getting up and running behind the cook stove to dress and I remember the wood floor “burning” my bare feet.

Every room in the house doesn’t need to be heated, at least to the same extent. We slept upstairs under a roof that badly needed repairs. I remember waking up with snow on our quilts. I still like a cold bedroom and have the heat turned off in mine. I think it’s good for us!

We put large stones on the stove every morning and every evening they would be wrapped in cloth and taken to bed to keep our feet warm. Dressing in layers is important when it’s cold, as air is trapped between layers. Long underwear and over shirts were every day wear, but when it was really cold, we wore pants over our pants, two pairs of socks and three shirts: undershirt, sweater and an over shirt.

Also, most people were generally more active back then and that helps keep one warm. If you get chilly, exercise. Brisk walking or housework or lifting and moving things will warm you up!

After I grew up, my husband and I bought an old farmhouse with one lonely pitiful gas heater, which we promptly took out and replaced with a wood stove. Eventually we replaced the electric kitchen range with a wood cook stove. That house wasn’t quite as cold because it was in better condition and the upstairs bedrooms had vents in the floors to allow the heat from downstairs to rise.

Pat

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Good article. It caused me to go back in my memory to the old family homestead. I was raised in a two-story home built in the late 1800s by my great-grandfather. It was large by standards then, and it as the article states had a fireplace in all of the downstairs rooms. Second floor heat was accommodated by capitalizing on “heat rises” with large in-floor vents that we could open at night. An interesting story about this home is that years after my father had remodeled the home adding indoor plumbing etc. it was modernized. After both my parents had passed away we decided to sell the home. The realtor came in and was amazed that a home built in the late 1800s had an upstairs master suite with a full bath and walk-in closet. She and her associates went on and on about how forward thinking my great-grandfather must have been to have allowed room for such future amenities. Eventually, I pointed out that the house originally had sleeping porches off the upstairs bedrooms, and that is where my father enclosed them and this afforded the space for baths and closets etc. Yes, our ancestors were very resourceful and really understood the nuances of living “off the grid” in comfort. I could go on with many examples but I will not bore the reader any further. Thanks for an entertaining and worthwhile article.

Spike

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Needless to say, socks are a necessity in keeping warm. I recently went to a thrift shop and found a huge pair of men’s wool socks (I’m female) and they keep my feet warm better than the thin store brands.

I also don’t like hats when I sleep, so I have a small lap blanket above my head and I just pull it over the top of my head (not my face) when I sleep.

Since I have no children, allowing pets to share your bed also keeps it a little warmer.

Elan

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