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Read on to learn more about the city and its chimneys:
A Quick History of Shawnee, KS
Shawnee, named after the Shawnee Indian tribe, has a unique history differing from the surrounding Kansas City metro cities. The tribe signed the Shawnee Indian Treaties in 1825. These treaties removed the Shawnee Indians from four different states and relocated them to the 1,600,000 acre reservation in Kansas. The reservation, primarily in modern Johnson, Douglas, and Wyandotte counties, spanned from Topeka to the Missouri border. The land became home to 1,600 Shawnee Indian natives who began arriving in 1828. In the 1830s, three missions were established on the reservation that provided training in domestic, manual, and agricultural trades. Tragically, a smallpox epidemic killed a majority of the people, including four other tribes who recently moved to the reservation. The result dwindled the population down to only 1,000. In 1835, the Shawnee Sun newspaper launched in the native language. The tribe endured more hard times until 1854 when their land was unjustly traded and most of the tribe was uprooted again to Oklahoma. The same year, the Kansas-Nebraska Act opens the Kansas territory up to white settlers.
Shawnee Town was incorporated in August of 1856 and became home to many settlers. The first district court was held in Shawnee after it was designated the first county seat in 1857. William Quantrill and his guerillas raided the town, along with its neighboring establishments, in 1862, destroying property and killing two people. The first City Hall was built in 1960 in the city square. The historical buildings were preserved by the historical society for Old Shawnee Town in 1966. The population continued to grow and the city annexed more land leading to its change to a first class city in 1971. This continued through the next thirty years and parks, schools, and public amenities were built to accommodate the changes. In 2006, the city celebrated its 150th birthday. Since then, Shawnee has continually seen great growth and development as it is now home to approximately 65,000 residents. It has been recognized as a Tree City USA, Bicycle Friendly City, and included in Money Magazine’s “Top 100 Cities to Live In” list. More importantly, Shawnee has memorialized its rich history and taken great care in preserving it. By continuing the Old Shawnee Town living museum and celebrating its roots with Old Shawnee Days, citizens and visitors from all around the area can take part in learning about and celebrating this one of a kind city.
The Chimneys and Fireplaces of Shawnee, KS
BY ROBERT BERRY, OWNER OF FULL SERVICE CHIMNEY
The rich history of Shawnee is found in home’s chimneys and fireplaces as well.
The original settlement of the Shawnee area, going back over a hundred years, was home to pioneers whose need was a chimney and place for the fire to warm the occupants and prepare meals for the families. Many of these original homes utilized wood burning stoves that served that purpose. Into the 1900s, larger and more modern dwellings replaced the hand-built cabins with their simple chimneys and hearths. The availability of both materials and craftsmen greatly improved the livability of the homes. They also added to the safety that wood-burning appliances needed for house fire prevention. Between 1900 and WWII, the addition of clay flue liners greatly added to the safety of chimneys and decreased the common issue of smoke backing into the home.
Shawnee’s original citizens relied on fireplaces and the chimneys
Shawnee enjoyed the post-WWII building boom with the rest of the country. These new homes, at the very least, had a straightforward masonry design. It began in the basement (connected to the furnace and water heater) and extended through the center of the home, penetrating the roof near the center of the peak. Larger homes in the area had a second chimney and hearth, in addition to the gas/coal utility chimney, dedicated to fireplaces located in living areas. Since the home had a central heat source, the status of the fireplace moved to that of entertainment and less as a stand-alone heating amenity.
Masonry chimneys servicing gas exhaust need extra attention
The stand-alone brick chimneys, as well as those with a fireplace and gas flue, were built with the expectations of the older gas appliance technology. Modern gas appliances have higher efficiencies. As such, the moisture content of this exhaust is a heavy burden on older masonry chimneys. With the addition of a new furnace or gas logs in a fireplace, the chimney system needs a properly sized liner added to ensure safe operation and to protect the chimney from excessive damaging moisture. Full Service Chimney has been helping to extend the life of these older chimneys so that homeowners can enjoy the savings of modern appliances without risking chimney damage or carbon monoxide leakage to the home.
For three decades Full Service Chimney has served homeowners
Homes built since 1990 have very different chimneys from earlier designs. As such, even these fireplaces and chimneys are of the age where maintenance and servicing are needed to keep them in tip-top condition. Many of these homes have two needs in regards to their fireplaces: maintenance to return to safe use and remodeling to match the current modern features of the home. With remote controls and high heat outputs, homeowners can gain both on and off use and a restoration of an older hearth fireplace. Full Service Chimney is frequently hired to change a wood burning fireplace to the more convenient direct-vent gas fireplace inserts.
Allow Full Service Chimney to evaluate your fireplace system and discover the options to affordably turn your fireplace into the hearth of your dreams.
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