Scott over at his blog Views Infinitum has challenged us to find out a bit about the local history in our own towns. This assignment isn’t due till Wednesday so you still have time to find some history near you and participate! I’d love to learn more about the towns you all live in!
I admit I don’t know very much about my own town. I’m not even sure it qualifies as a real town given there’s only a party store, a lawyers office, a garage… and…The Candle Factory!
The Candle Factory has been housed since 1960 in a building that was built in the 1830’s as a general store. It is characteristic of many buildings in Midwestern towns that were founded in the mid-19th century. You may even have grown up in a town with buildings just like it. Notice this wall where the bricks don’t quite match the bricks on the front of the building?
That’s evidence of the staying power of history. A few years ago we had a tornado come through town; it stripped all the bricks from this side of the building. I talked with the owner of the business today and she said the tornado flew in a side window and out the front, but thankfully didn’t damage the equipment inside.
Want to meet Phoebe and see her candle-making equipment? Well come on in!
It runs the whole length of the building, moving the wicks high above the main floor, gradually bringing them down to the big pot of hot wax into which they are dipped and then moving them through a hole in the floor into the basement to give them extra cooling time, eventually bringing them around full circle and back up to the ceiling again for another trip to the hot wax. It looks somewhat medieval, but it’s a marvel that any engineer would find engaging. Today they were hanging wicks on the equipment getting ready to dip long tapers.
If you like candles and want something truly special, handmade with with love, check out their website. They ship all over the country. They do special one of a kind candles, hand decorated with whatever you need. In some families a Candle Factory Christmas candle is an annual holiday tradition.
Think I’ll have to start a tradition too. Support your local artists, you know? And if you don’t have a Candle Factory in your town, well come on…support mine!
Thanks Phoebe for showing me your business, sharing it’s history and spending time with me, some stranger with a camera and a need for a story.
It was nice meeting you!