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Read on to learn more about the city and its chimneys:
A Quick History of Independence, MO
Named for the “Declaration of Independence”, the city was founded in 1827. Before becoming an official hub for fur traders and outfitters, the land was inhabited by Missouri and Osage Indians. It was also once a stopping point for Lewis and Clark in the early 1800s. Due to being the furthest west location on the Missouri River reachable by cargo and steamboats, Independence became a popular post for trade and travelers utilizing the river as well as the trails. Things were mostly peaceful between settlers and visitors until the 1830s. At this time, Joseph Smith, leader of the Latter Day Saints Movement, began a church in Independence that he prophesied to be the center for the Second Coming of Christ. The followers of this religion were called Mormons. The Mormons were in conflict with the other townspeople which resulted in a small war in 1838 that drove most of the 10,000 members of the church out of the state of Missouri.
Despite the civil issues, the town prospered. In 1849 the first mayor was elected and Congress recognized the city as the head of the Oregon Trail. It was also a prominent part of the California Trail between the 1840s to 1860s. The city suffered from battles that took place during the Civil War where the Confederate army won control of the city.
After the war, building increased and extended from Kansas City and the population nearly doubled in the 1890s. Former President of the United States, Harry S. Truman, was a prominent political figure in Independence in the 1920s and 30s before his presidency. The city experienced large growth again in the 1950s and 60s, reaching over 110,000 residents. Although this city has every modern amenity its 117,000 resident could need, Independence celebrates its roots with Santa-Cali-Gon Days commemorating its significance in the old trails and preserving its historic courthouse and buildings.
The Fireplaces and Chimneys of Independence, MO
BY ROBERT BERRY, OWNER OF FULL SERVICE CHIMNEY
Historic Architecture of Independence
The chimneys of historic Independence, Missouri are as stylish as any masonry hearth construction found in homes built prior to 1900. With the attention to architectural style and design, these flues were not appendages to the home, but rather statements of style and refinement. The mansions adorn with these chimneys frequently had multi-use chimneys and fireplaces, each unique, but matching in style. Early fireplaces were a blend of functionality because they were needed for warmth and interior decor with no shortage of fine tile and woodwork. The mantles, frequently made by hand, offered carvings of the blue-collar artisans which cannot be found today. However, the chimneys and fireplaces of this period, although well built, have the qualities of most older hearth products. That is, they were constructed without the safety considerations and modern materials that homes need to keep them safe. A frequent omission to these chimneys is the absence of a flue liner.
What is needed to have a warm hearth?
Clay flue liners did not become available until around 1900 and were sporadically incorporated into new construction until 1945. This means the first homes of Independence likely are needing their flue inspected for any needs the liners may have. The other concerns these older chimneys may have are if the needed clearances to combustibles are present. Sometimes, chimneys and fireplaces are built without the proper distance to 2x4s and lathe construction. As a result, these nearby combustibles can overheat, resulting in risking a home fire. Sadly, compromised flue liners and poor clearance to combustibles are not the only an issue of 100+-year-old chimneys. These are the issue Full Service Chimney helps homeowners with regardless of the age of the home.
Full Service Chimney is the hearth resource for Independence
Full Service Chimney has been a resource to Independence homeowners since the late 1980s. The unique issue to the hearths and chimneys commonly found here, keeping abreast of the latest technologies and restoration techniques, are our specialty. If you have a modern gas fireplace or are caretaker of a century-old historic home, allow Full Service Chimney to be a resource for all of your fireplace and chimney needs.
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