Piece of Detroit history, giant stove at state fairgrounds, catches fire

DETROIT (WXYZ) - A piece of Michigan history went up in flames Saturday night after being struck by lightning. Firefighters rushed to the State Fairgrounds because of a blaze at the historic "World's Largest Stove."

The stove dates back to 1893 when it was created for display at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. At that time, Detroit was the stove-making capital of the nation and the large scale model was created by the Michigan Stove Company.

According to state historic preservation records , the stove had a home at the fairgrounds from 1965 until 1974 when it was removed for repairs. It wasn't until 1998 that it returned to the Michigan State Fairgrounds after restoration by the Detroit Historical Museum.

Though it was a replica of a cast iron stove, the large monument was made of hand-carved oak. The fifteen ton stove model is 25 feet tall and 30 feet long.

Some may know the stove for the "Garland" name that it bears or from its pre-1965 location near Belle Isle, on Jefferson Avenue.

There's no word just how badly the historic stove was damaged or how the fire started.

No fair has been held at the Michigan State Fairgrounds, located at 8 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue, since 2009 when state funding was eliminated for the event.

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