Grand Lake Stream

Dave McCullough


Several years ago when the price of heating oil was near $2.00 per gallon Andy and I talked about supplementing our oil boilers with a wood furnace.  After studying the situation and talking with several other friends in the area, eight families each purchased an “Alternate Heating” wood gasification boiler. My unit when fully installed cost $7300.  I had decided that the boiler would work best in our attached two car garage and that the hot water would be pumped through the oil boiler therefore keeping the water hot so that the oil would only come on if the fire went out or the water temperature went below a pre-determined point. In an effort to keep the wood handling to a minimum we built 5’ foot sides on standard pallets and found that each pallet held just under a ½ cord of wood.  Then we delivered 28 of these pallets to a local wood processing operation and stacked each pallet with wood.  Usually the task was complete by late spring. The pallets sat thru the summer and cured nicely.  For the first few years we stored the wood pallets outside.  The furnace owner’s manual stated that there should be some moisture in the wood and this system allowed this to happen.  Over the past few years we have placed plywood tops on most of the pallets which makes the wood slightly dryer.  In snow season when the pallet is in the garage near the furnace it also reduced the need to bother with melting snow brought in on the stack of wood.  This morning I was talking with a neighbor who was telling me about his $1500 to $2500 per month heating oil bill. As a young man someone told me that we become the sum total of our decisions and one decision that we made was to burn wood to heat our homes.  It has been a good one!

The Smith General Store is reporting that the coyote hunt continues to move along.  There have been 53 harvested.  Thirty six have been tagged at Smith’s General Store, nine have been tagged at Partridge Farm and eight have been tagged at Two Rivers.  The rewards/prizes continue to grow.  Earl Smith from Lee has the largest male at 41.76 pounds and also the largest number harvested with 15.  Allen Clark from Calais has the largest female at 39.56 pounds.

In talking with Grand Lake Streamers it is good to hear that the snowmobile trails provide nice riding and in the few areas where brush or small trees have fallen the crews have been busy getting things cleaned up.  With the snow this past weekend the trails are just waiting to be ridden on!  The Pine Tree Store is open seven days a week and the West Grand Lake Snowmobile Club is open on Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 3 pm.  Always great food at the club!! Gas can be obtained at the Pine Tree Store.  Call ahead at 796-5027 to know when the store is open.

Find joy in this Maine winter!! Your humble correspondent.  Dave McCullough   or  207-839-4205 or  207-712-8294.