The Elm wood stoves by Vermont Iron Stove Works,
formerly of Warren, Vermont and Waterbury, Vermont
The first Elms were made in the Bobbin Mill in Warren, Vermont in the mid 70's when the price of home heating fuels had begun to get dramatically more expensive. Many people felt that burning wood was a way they could take advantage of the wood that grew on their property and save money in the process.
Small companies sprung up having developed stoves as simple as welded box stoves and as complex as ornate cast iron and soapstone heaters. The design for The Elm was a result of a local design competition. Each of the three stoves had it's own unique look and features. Vermont Iron Stove Works was formed to manufacture the original Elm stoves. Vermont Castings was started with the Defiant as it's original model. A third called the Maple was never produced.
Through the years from 1976 to about 1988 the Elm was produced in both catalytic and non-catalytic models in three basic sizes, being 18", 24" and 36" log capacities. As wood stove manufacturers we were subject to a series of strict testing procedures. Both safety and efficiency were tested. In the end it was probably the cost of the testing that finally caused the company owners to decide to end production. It was costly to keep re-engineering and retesting the stoves to pass those standards. As a result the company does not exist, and original equipment replacement parts and procedures are hard to come by.
In 2004 I began to do internet searches to see what was out there regarding the Elm stoves. I was surprised to find very little. Although there are sites that say they have parts for the stoves, a closer look at those sources shows that some parts are not suitable for the home owner to try to install themselves. In some cases copies of original parts have been made in cast iron. The people who made them sometimes made parts that are smaller than the originals, and do not fit properly. In some cases the iron alloy was the problem and the part needed to be re-engineered in another material. I have spent time over the last year gathering information from many Elm owners and by purchasing and disassembling old Elms to analyze the problems. The result of this is that I have replacement parts that are in many ways superior to the original equipment parts. Many of the stoves are 25 to 30 years old, and can remain very useful for many more years to come with some basic maintenance and repairs.
Donald from Maine writes: I have a large camp in Maine, with high ceilings, and our Elm stove heats it easily. Not only is it great to be able to stand beside it and feel the radiant heat, but that heat circulates all throughout the house and it holds a fire through the night. Thanks for a great stove!.
Bill from Montana writes: The Elm is my only source of heat, and we also cook just about all our meals on it. I have never had a stove that was so easy to operate, and so durable over the years. We are ordering parts and gaskets to rebuild it for the next 25 years!
Jennifer from Maine writes: My husband is home all the time and wants to be able to brew his tea on a wood stove. He has such an easy time since the Elm will boil water in a matter of minutes. Thanks for all your help!
Dan from New York writes: I wanted to rebuild my Elm with the original parts to make sure it will last me through retirement. The parts fit perfectly, and your instructions were very helpful, thanks again.
Bob and Betty from Ca. write: My daughter is a mechanic, and is going to help us rebuild the Elm stove that she grew up with. Please send the new baffle and gasket kit. She has seen your youtube videos and is confident she can do the work herself.
Melanie and Cyrus from N.H. write: We often had renters who had a hard time getting the hang of using our catalytic Elm. It is a great heater, but now it is much easier to operate with the new stainless steel air tube system you installed for us. It burns clean, and was a welcome change.
Red and Billie from Vermont write: Years ago the 18" Elm was the right stove for our smaller home, but now we have moved to a larger house and rebuilding it as a 24" Elm allows us to keep our old friend and enjoy the flames and have more cooking surface on the stove as well.
Jim from Wyoming writes: I have an Elm in my camp and I need a stove that will start producing heat right away since I have no backup heat. I'm glad I chose an Elm because I can feel heat from it within 10 minutes of firing it up.
I have had conversations with many elm owners. Some are the original owners, and many have bought their Elms more recently. They have been looking for a source of information on taking care of their stoves, and this site was developed as a resource to aid in their goal of bringing their stoves back to it's original condition. It has been this give and take of information that has made this possible. I encourage each of you to contact me for help with any Elm related problems. I am located near Montpelier, Vermont, and am usually available during normal business hours or by email anytime. Thank you for your interest in the Elm stoves, and I look forward to hearing from you.