Sierra Timberline marks 30 years of growth, changes |

Sierra Timberline marks 30 years of growth, changes

It’s been 30 years since Skip Stahmer gave up running a back hoe and began selling airtight Timberline wood stoves from the back of his pickup truck to local folks who wanted to heat their homes.

While his store, Sierra Timberline, has grown considerably from a 400-square-foot space located in the front of a Grass Valley antique shop in 1978, energy efficiency has remained a constant theme, one that many customers are seeking out in the wake of rising energy costs.

“All of a sudden, we are back where we were 30 years ago,” Stahmer said.

Sierra Timberline carries wood-burning and gas stoves in both vintage and modern styles for heating the entire home or providing more intimate heat for one room that the family gathers in.

To round out the year, Sierra Timberline carries energy efficient spas, awnings and solar shades, patio furniture and old fashioned heartland cook stoves, both wood burning, gas and electric.

The store has been located in the home center on Idaho-Maryland Road for almost 20 years. Stores that specialize in flooring, tile and granite, lighting and home theater products are conveniently located within the same modern complex.

“It’s nice to have something like this in the community. We’ve been able to help Grass Valley move forward,” Stahmer said.

Timberline stoves were phased out in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the Environmental Protection Agency set strict clean air standards. Today’s stoves burn five to 10 times cleaner and are up to 30 percent more efficient, releasing very low levels of particulate matter into the air, Stahmer said.

Sierra Timberline customers span the population, from people living off the grid, to those that want to reduce their dependence on fossil fuel and to newcomers who want to adopt a rural foothill lifestyle.

A decline in home sales has affected Stahmer’s business, just as it has many construction-related trades. But his customer base and experience helps keep him afloat, he said.

“That has certainly taken sales from my store. Fortunately, the community is large enough, it’s self sustaining,” Stahmer said.

To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail or call 477-4231.

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