By Mary Sheldon
President, Hernando Historical Museum Assoc., Inc.
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the cookstove is the heart of the kitchen. The wood-burning stove on display in the kitchen at the May-Stringer Museum was originally in one of the schools in the Annutteliga Hammock area in the northwest part of the county. It probably served either the Stafford School or the Hebron School. Parents wanted to provide hot lunches for children in the rural communities, so they held a fish fry to earn the money to purchase the stove. The beautiful green and cream color Diamond King enamel stove was ordered through the Sears and Roebuck catalog and cost $26.50. It was shipped to Tampa where men from the Hammock drove a team of horses and a wagon to pick up the delivery. The stove was later installed in the Hammock Consolidated School (Rock Cannery building now) in the 1940s. Guests to the Museum are charmed by the pretty, but utilitarian kitchen range. It has a series of grates that allow for the ashes and embers to be sifted out to allow for more fuel to be added. One end of the stove has a reservoir to heat water...luxury! The oven door holds a temperature gauge and two warming bins help the cook produce a hot meal. The ladies of the Hammock took turns cooking lunches. I’m only guessing that the students took turns washing the dishes!
The Museums are open! Noon - 3pm
The May-Stringer: Tours Tuesday - Saturday - 352-799-0129
The 1885 Depot: Tours Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 352-799-4766
The Countryman One Room Schoolhouse: Tours Saturday - 352-515-3054 or 630-464-2313