The Tulsa Sears House Lady
I can’t even begin to explain my excitement when I discovered a Sears Hollywood in Oklahoma. Within a couple of days I made the two hour drive one way just to see and get photos of this awesome house! Why so excited? At this point there are only a few known and documented Sears Hollywoods. Sears homes in Oklahoma are few and far between and to find such a perfect and rare model is unbelievable.
This beautiful bungalow is in Enid, Oklahoma. Enid’s history runs deep, back to the days of the Land Run. Enid is the county seat of Garfield County and also in an area known as the Cherokee Outlet. I hope you enjoy this beautiful and rare Sears bungalow.
You may have noticed that the larger catalog image and the actual house don’t really match. Good eye! Let me explain. The Sears “Hollywood” was first offered in 1914 as model 264P234. It was a copy of a bungalow pattern from the west coast by possibly an architect named Jud Yoho. Jud Yoho has this same bungalow as early as 1910 and I have found examples of it in Los Angeles in a neighborhood developed in 1911 using his patterns. It is definitely not a Sears original! In 1918 Sears began giving their homes names instead of numbers and it became the “Hollywood” … perhaps because of its ties to Los Angeles? The house had a slight external makeover and a new dormer but the floorplan remained the same. Sears gave that alternate model a number, 2069. The Sears Hollywood in Enid is the alternate version of the Hollywood, number 2069.
As you can see in my photos it was cold that day, brutal cold. As I was taking pictures the homeowner came outside to see what I was so excited about. When I told him I had driven from Tulsa just to see THIS house he invited me to see the inside! My heart skipped a beat. Not only did I get to see the outside but the inside as well. It is absolutely gorgeous. The woodwork is original and not white. To see the interior go to the album I created for this house on facebook. Continue scrolling to see more exterior photos!
I came equipped with zoom lens so that I could get the back of the house from the alley or the side street. However, since the homeowners were very gracious in showing me their home I didn’t have to shoot from the alley! The catalog doesn’t show the floor plan for the second floor and only mentions a sleeping balcony. I just had to get that sleeping balcony! I really appreciate my tour because I now know what the second floor layout is, that is not seen in ANY of the catalogs! The Hollywood was discontinued in 1923. I hope you enjoy the following photos that I would never had been able to get without the owners permission. Contrary to popular belief, I only shoot from the public right of way. I do NOT enter on to the property without the owners’ permission…EVER.
Isn’t that the most beautiful and perfect Sears Hollywood ever? Look at the next few images to see where the Sears Hollywood originated, where Sears “borrowed” the pattern. This was common. In the early years kit home companies often used patterns from other architects.
I’m one of those people who analyze everything. Everything!
These two houses *might* be Jud Yoho. I know they aren’t from Sears!
Oklahoma Houses By Mail by Rachel Shoemaker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
***UPDATE!*** a reader came across this blog while researching their home and has some interesting information to share about their Radford #553.
Yesterday I drove 80 miles to get my Cherokee Nation car title and tag for my car. Eighty miles? you ask. Who drives 80 miles to get their car tag renewed? I could have gone someplace much closer, yes. However, I made the drive to Sallisaw which is south and east of Tulsa for another reason. Sallisaw is the county seat for Sequoyah County and they have one of a handful of the Cherokee Nation Tag Offices. I went the extra miles for the adventure! I loaded up my camera and gathered my documents and set out to see what I could find.
I took a quick drive through the main thoroughfare of town since I have never been to Sallisaw, that I can recall. On one of the main streets, Wheeler Ave, I found a perfect example of a Radford Design No 553! I was excited.
William A. Radford had an architectural firm in Chicago, Ill in the early 1900’s. He published several carpentry books and he was the editor of the trade journal American Builder. His homes are often mistaken for “Sears” houses. And, actually the mail order companies did use some of his patterns for their kits in the early years. I’m just as excited to find a Radford pattern home as I am a mail order kit home!
Isn’t that a beautiful home? I wonder who lived there? I wonder if the current homeowners know what it is?
I happened upon one in New York a few years ago that is across the street from a Sears #118. It’s a real beauty too! This google screen shot is the best I can do.
I spent some time trying to see what I could find on the house, nothing on the internet. I don’t know who lived there. The census doesn’t list addresses in Sallisaw only Wheeler Road. The house is not on the 1904 Sanborn Fire Maps but is on the June 1909 Sanborn Maps.
Upon close review of the Sanborn Maps I saw something I’ve never seen before, the house was notated as (from plans)! I looked at the entire town of Sallisaw and this was the only house with this note.
Do you know of another Radford #553? If so send it to me at email@example.com and I will post it here. Do you know of a Sears house or another mail order house? I can be reached here by comment, at that email address or on facebook Check my photos out on Flickr or Pinterest
I stumbled upon your blog today as I was searching for information on Radford Homes. Two years ago we purchased for $500 at auction a 2 1/2 story, 1904 farmhouse and moved it 60 miles to a small parcel of land we had purchased near Lake Park, MN. There is a nearly identical house on the main street of Wadena, MN (the city we currently reside in), so that led us to believe that the house plans for those houses were in one of the popular plan books of the time. A few weeks ago, while my son was looking for treasures in the attic, we found the original Radford American Homes Specifications booklet for our house, #553! We were so excited to finally know what plan it was, and to be able to look up the original floor plan. Our house was built with only a back staircase – no pretty open stairway near the front door – in order to turn the what was supposed to be the front hall into a bedroom. Our house was also built without the second story balcony over the porch, and instead of a bump-out on the back, there used to be a bump-out on the side of our house.
Our farmhouse was in the same family for over 100 years; we are the first non-related owners. I have been told that one of the former owner’s relatives has the original blueprints and am hoping to convince them to hand them over. We are considering adding a front staircase and it sure would help to have the original plans!
Our house move was filmed for an episode of HGTV-Canada’s “Massive Moves.” Here is a link if you would like to watch it: http://www.moepipeorgan.com/house.mp4
The video takes a few minutes to load and is best viewed in a window less than full-screen.
Thanks for sharing your discoveries on your blog! It was really neat to see other versions / color schemes of our house. Our house was originally painted rusty red but at some point it was painted all white and the porch was enclosed. I would like to put some color back on it, and we are planning to rebuild the porch this summer. I have attached a few photos for you. You are welcome to use them on your site if you like.
Thanks to Suzanne for providing the following photos of TWO Radford #553’s!
And on Main Street in Wadena, MN is ANOTHER Radford #553!
Isn’t that fun? I am so happy that Suzanne found my blog. To my knowledge it is the only information that shows up on an internet search for the Radford #553.
Thanks so much for sharing two more wonderful Radford homes with everyone! I love Radford’s designs and this is one of my favorites.
Make sure you watch the video of their house being moved. It takes a few minutes to load but it is just AWESOME!
Oklahoma Houses By Mail by Rachel Shoemaker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Sears catalog page has been updated! See the covers of over 40 catalogs published between 1908 and 1940. Links to helpful websites and Sears Indexes and recommended reading.
I plan to update the other pages soon.
A few months ago I wrote about one of the first Sears houses built in 1908.
Tonight I want to share with you a couple of the earliest Aladdin Homes built. They are not only the earliest Aladdin Homes but the earliest kit homes built! Probably not actually THE first but in the first to be erected.
The Aladdin Company in Bay City Michigan was the first to offer kit homes, actual ready cut kit homes. Aladdin began in 1906 and their buildings were pre-cut from day one, Gordon-Van Tine in 1907 but not pre-cut until 1916 and Sears in 1908 but not pre-cut until 1915. Aladdin made sure that everyone knew they were first!
All of the catalog images in this blog are from the earliest Aladdin catalog in my collection, 1911. The early years are hard to come by!
What comes with an Aladdin House?
About the Aladdin lumber.
About The North American Construction Company-Aladdin Houses
An Aladdin House will last for generations. Yes, it will! I have found two Aladdin homes that were built in 1906. In my 1911 catalog there is a two page spread that features several testimonies. I was able to find one of the homes still standing! When I figured out where they were located I was pleased to find TWO of them side by side.
Here is that Style M-2 today, 107 years later! The photo is from the New Haven assessor files.
It appears it has lasted for several generations just like they said an Aladdin house would!
According to the 1910 Census Charles Wilcox was a civil engineer for the telephone company. He was married to Julia and they had no children, yet. They were both 29.
Imagine my pleasant surprise to find this 1906 house right next door to the Wilcox’s!
You can see the Wilcox house on the right side. Here is a photo of the house on the left which shows the second house’s left side window arrangement.
The second house is at 95 Parker Pl. It was the home of Bertus Powers 36, his wife Elmira 35 and their 12 year old son Ralph. I’ll give you ONE GUESS where Bertus worked! That’s correct, he was an engineer at the telephone company as well! I’m betting that these two houses were ordered by the telephone company. Aladdin sold a lot of houses to companies for employee housing.
Here is the Style M-2 from my 1911 catalog. I think it might be the opposite side of Charles Wilcox’s house.
What were Aladdin’s terms? Cash or credit? They made that very clear as well!
Terms, plain and simple. Cash with a 5% discount if paid in full upon order. You couldn’t get yourself in debt with Aladdin! I like that. But, then again, I’m frugal.
Do you know where a mail order kit home is? Send me a message here or on facebook.
In 1916 in Davenport, Ia Gordon Van Tine company vice president Harry Van Scott gave careful thought and planning into a home for his family. The architects at Gordon Van Tine designed an impressive colonial home with every modern convenience specifically for Mr. Scott. It was his desire that every Gordon Van Tine customer have the same advantage to own such a beautiful home as well. In 1916 model number 554 was introduced as one of the first ready cut homes Gordon Van Tine offered.
Harry Van Scott’s impressive colonial still stands today in Davenport, Ia.
Harry Van Scott’s home shortly after it was built. This photo appeared on the back of the 1916 Gordon Van Tine catalog.
Shortly after, in approximately 1917, and about 700 miles south of Davenport, Ia a prominent Oklahoma banker and state senator selected that same impressive colonial home for his family! Tom Memminger was elected the first State Senator from the district comprised of Atoka, Coal and Bryan Counties. Mr. Memminger built his home, also a model number 554, in Atoka, Oklahoma for his wife and son and daughter.
Tom Memminger served as a State Senator from 1907-1910 and then again in 1922. He was Chairman of the first Democratic Central Committee of Atoka County. In 1916 he was an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention. He was one of the organizers of the Atoka Building and Loan Association, an owner of the Atoka Press as well as president of the Atoka State Bank until his death in 1927. The home remained in the family until 1975 when his daughter Martha passed away at the age of 83.
Isn’t the car awesome? I identify houses not cars so I turned to my friends for help on this one. They tell me it is a 1920 Ford Model T Centerdoor Sedan. I am guessing that is how they dated the photo. Based on some posters in the attic I think the house was built around 1917 and I’ll show you those later. Here’s that awesome car!
The Gordon Van Tine model 554 is a rare model. The house in Atoka is the only other known house other than Harry Van Scott’s house in Davenport. At this time I might add. The current owners contacted me after discovering that their “Sears” kit house was actually a Gordon Van Tine kit house. That happens a lot!
I was not aware that it is rare until I contacted Dale Wolicki about the discovery.
Doug Lewis sent me current photos as well as what I have shown you. It’s a beautiful and impressive colonial still today! I hope you enjoy seeing the house as much as I did.
Here’s the most fun part of all! Seeing the inside, seeing the millwork matched up with the images from a building materials and millwork catalog. By the way, Gordon Van Tine was originally a sawmill in the mid 1800’s that incorporated in 1907 and formed the Gordon Van Tine Company as a way to sell more product through their houses so they too had material catalogs.
In the first image you saw the living room of Harry Van Scott’s house. Let’s look at it again enlarged.
Wait for it………….
Wait, there’s more of the interior!
Let’s head upstairs…………
And the newel post from the material catalog.
Quite a match so far! We’re doing good.
Beautiful! This can also be seen not only in the materials catalog but the homes catalog.
Wow, did we just BINGO? And there’s even more to authenticate this house! But first let’s take a peek in the bathroom because the original clawfoot tub is still being used. Plumbing was optional in all mail order homes as was electrical for obvious reasons. Gordon Van Tine offered a few plumbing packages and by looking at the tub we can determine which package they selected.
The Memmingers chose the Royal Plumbing Set.
Let’s take a look in the attic and see what we can find!
I want to thank Mr Lewis for providing the next couple of photos. This is the real authenticator here! We have Gordon Van Tine identification marks. Sears lumber was stenciled for assembly where as Gordon Van Tine had blue grease pencil writing.
Under the stairs Mr Lewis found this marking.
Mr Lewis also found that his floor joists were marked!
Wasn’t that fun? I want to thank Doug Lewis for contacting me about his kit home. He came across my blog while researching his “Sears” house. I enjoyed learning about the Memminger family and this blog was fun to put together because of the Lewis’ family’s photos.
Close the door behind you please, we’ll have another look at the house as we are leaving!
What an impressive colonial home and it’s in OKLAHOMA!
Have you seen a Gordon Van Tine number 554? It was later renumbered to 563. Here is another image from my 1920 catalog.
Do you know of a mail order house just waiting to be discovered? If so please message me here or on facebook. You can find me in Pinterest as well. I also try to keep everything on Flickr where you can see the images in original size. My photos are shot with a Nikon D700 so the images are great. I have also uploaded a few of my rare catalogs.
And please visit my mentor’s blog, without Rosemary I wouldn’t be where I am today. I want to thank another person who has taught me a lot the past couple of years, Dale Wolicki.
Their guidance and encouragement keeps me going!
Everyone have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
The Lewis Company of Bay City Michigan published their first catalog of pre-cut homes in 1913. They were one of three kit home companies located in Bay City for several years, Aladdin, Lewis which later became Liberty and Sterling. Tulsa is home to Aladdin Readi-Cut Homes, Sterling, and now I have identified three Lewis homes. That is VERY exciting! The three Lewis San Pedro homes are located in historic Maple Ridge.
The San Pedro is a very distinctive house and once you see one you will know it! This is the catalog image of the San Pedro from Lewis catalog 1914.
The San Pedro was not a popular model for Lewis Company. According to the man who knows more than anyone about the Bay City companies, Dale Wolicki, the Lewis company didn’t even build a San Pedro model in Bay City! It wasn’t a big seller, no model home built, what a rare treat to have THREE built in Tulsa, Oklahoma!
I have been “looking” at these houses in Maple Ridge for three or four years telling my self I know that house is *something* but I could never find it. When I saw the catalog image I put two and two together. I remembered seeing this image which was published in this book dated 1920.
Unfortunately that San Pedro was demolished about ten years ago. Why? I don’t know. I haven’t found out, yet.
I decided to look through all of my John Brooks Walton books to see what information he might have on that house. No luck. HOWEVER, I did see this house in an advert in one of his books. I have cropped out everything but the house. Take a look!
WOW! Deja vu! That house is at 303 E 18th Str in Tulsa. A few weeks ago I showed my photos to my friend Rosemary Thornton and she thought that this photo was the actual catalog image! If I didn’t know for sure I would have thought the same thing.
This side by side will explain that.
My research shows that the Lewis company shipped three homes to Oklahoma between 1917 and 1920. Most of their records were destroyed in a fire in 1925 but a few were salvaged and are at the Bay County Historical Society. Are the three San Pedros in Tulsa those three houses? Quite possibly because the dates ours were built fall in that exact time frame.
I did a quick search of city directories to see who lived in the San Pedro at 303 E 18th. In 1917 Harry B Pees and his wife Effie were living there until 1919/1920. Harry was a drilling contractor. Per the city directory in 1920 the house was occupied by a lawyer, Fred W Kopplin and his wife Mary. I think we can assume this house was likely built in 1916 sometime.
Just a few houses north of the San Pedro above is another San Pedro! This San Pedro is at 1723 S Detroit and per the 1918 city directory was occupied by MC Rodolph and wife Francis. He was an attorney at McKeriel Rodolph and Ira J Underwood in the Ohio Building. In 1919 the city directory shows RW Kellough at this address which is interesting because he was the original owner of the Gordon Van Tine #560 at 1601 S Madison. Then in 1920 the city directory once again shows Rodolph as the occupant. Hmmmm.
It’s too bad that one of our San Pedros was demolished. I am excited that we still have two of this rare model that the Lewis Company offered in their early years. This is big news for us!
Take a look at what you can see as far as kit homes we have within a few blocks in Maple Ridge.
I am excited beyond words to add the Lewis Company to my discoveries! That gives us homes from Sears, Aladdin, Gordon Van Tine, Wardway, Sterling and Lewis. When I first started this search in the summer of 2008 this was what I found on the internet. Do a search for kit homes in Oklahoma now and see what you come up with! And I haven’t even started to share what I have discovered on here. This blog is a very small fraction.
If you know about a mail order kit home please drop me a message. And, yes, I have heard of the Boulanger house and I hate to say it but it is not a Sears #102 or a Sears house.
A few years ago the Tulsa Historical Society caught wind of my research project, my passion. I helped them put together a short program based on many of my discoveries. You can contact them for information on arranging to see that program.