The Sears #118, A VERY Popular Early Sears Modern Home

In all of my searching of Sears houses one of the most popular early models I have found is the number 118.  About two years ago I started reading through all of the Sears general merchandise catalogs.  I became very familiar with the millwork and homes.  How many people do you know that have read through all of the Sears merchandise catalogs?  Most I should say, all from 1900-1945 and here and there for other years.  When my collection of 118′s reached about eight I thought to myself this was a popular model for early Sears because they all dated between 1908 and 1911!

I’m not surprised that it was so popular, it was featured in the Sears merchandise catalog in Fall of 1908!

The Sears #118 was one of 40 modern home plans offered by Sears in 1908.  Did this center feature make it popular?

The Sears #118 was one of 40 modern home plans offered by Sears in 1908. Did this center feature make it popular?  Catalog page from Fall 1908 general merchandise.
Click image to enlarge.

Since May of 2012 I have located FOURTEEN of the Sears #118′s! And, I haven’t really looked that hard, I used a few testimonials  but several I have just stumbled upon and recognized them.

In May of 2012 Addie Hoyt posted a blog inquiring if a testimonial house in Terrell Texas was still standing.  I took on the task and found it within an hour, easy.  Little secret I have, when looking at random start with the tracks, a water tower and or a grain elevator and work your way out :)

In May of 2012 “Addie Hoyt” posted a blog inquiring if a testimonial house in Terrell Texas was still standing. I took on the task and found it within a few minutes, easy. Little secret I have, when looking for kit homes at random start with the railroad tracks, a water tower and or a grain elevator and work your way out :)

See the water tower? I was serious! I found this house in a matter of minutes. 501 9th Str Terrell Tx

See the water tower? I was serious! I found this house in a matter of minutes.
501 9th Str Terrell Tx

I did a lot of research on Jocephus Autrey and his family that morning. I created a tree for him on ancestry.com and I still get updates for him once and awhile.   I used to create family trees for homeowners of kit homes and that became too time consuming.   The locals  now call this house the Felder House.

I soon discovered another Sears #118 in Fishkill, NY at 885 New York 82, Hopewell Junction.

I soon discovered another Sears #118 in Fishkill, NY at 885 New York 82, Hopewell Junction.

While perusing real estate listings I found really pretty Sears 118 in at 240 Blue Heron Lane in Matthews, Va  Image courtesy of Realtor.com  This house has several interior photos which I will share at the end.

While perusing real estate listings I found really pretty Sears 118  at 240 Blue Heron Lane in Matthews, Va

Image courtesy of Realtor.com This house has several interior photos which I will share at the end.

And courtesy of another real estate ad I was able to find this Sears #118 at 4031 War Creek Road in Thorn Hill, TN

And courtesy of another real estate ad I was able to find this Sears #118 at 4031 War Creek Road in Thorn Hill, TN

  Here is something you don't see very often in a real estate ad!  Sears #118 at 4031 War Creek Road in Thorn Hill, TN  How cool is that?

Here is something you don’t see very often in a real estate ad!   Sears #118 at 4031 War Creek Road in Thorn Hill, TN

How cool is that?

In Bayfield Colorado and on their Historical Walking Tour is the home of Dr EW Newland. The house is at 1543 Hwy #160 in  Bayfield, CO.

In Bayfield Colorado on their Historical Walking Tour is the home of Dr EW Newland. The house is at 1543 Hwy #160 in Bayfield, CO.

I would love to have a few good photos of this house!

Using this testimony I was able to find yet another Sears #118.  However, it wasn't easy!  Charles Dahms lived on a farm so I had to find the land plat and with the help of Mark Hardin we soon located this very rural home.

Using this testimony I was able to find yet another Sears #118. However, it wasn’t easy! Charles Dahms lived on a farm so I had to find the land plat and with the help of Mark Hardin we soon located this very rural home.

Thanks to the Scott County Assessor we can get a glimpse of the side of this Sears #118 located at 4910 296Th St in Dixon Ia,

Thanks to the Scott County Assessor we can get a glimpse of the side of this Sears #118 located at 4910 296Th St in Dixon Ia,

From the assessor records,  another beautiful  Sears #118  at 105 3rd Street NE in Mitchelville, IA

From the assessor records, another beautiful Sears #118 at 105 3rd Street NE in Mitchelville, IA

While looking through one of my favorite blogs about old houses I discovered and unknown Sears #118 at 200 E 1st North St in Mount Olive IL!   After several emails and even phone calls I'm not sure I had the realtor convinced, I know she was surprised. I am hoping that when Rosemary Thornton made a special trip to get photos of the gorgeous interior that she was convinced :) This house has a lot of potential. They show a 1903 date but I'm thinking 1908 or 1909. I was able to identify a lot of the millwork and hardware but not the art glass and a few other things. I wish the best for this beauty! It is one of my favorite finds.  Please take a few minutes to see the interior on Rosemary's blog! This Sears #118 is located at 200 E 1st North St in Mount Olive IL.

While looking through one of my favorite blogs about old houses I discovered and unknown Sears #118 at 200 E 1st North St in Mount Olive IL! After several emails and even phone calls I’m not sure I had the realtor convinced, I know she was surprised.

I am hoping that when Rosemary Thornton made a special trip to get photos of the gorgeous interior that she was convinced :) This house has a lot of potential. They show a 1903 date but I’m thinking 1908 or 1909. I was able to identify a lot of the millwork and hardware but not the art glass and a few other things. I wish the best for this beauty! It is one of my favorite finds. Please take a few minutes to see the interior on Rosemary’s blog!
This Sears #118 is located at 200 E 1st North St in Mount Olive IL.

This Sears 118 was a happy accident, I happened upon it in an image search for something completely different!  The thumbnail popped up and I'm like whoa, a Sears 118!  Upon investigation all I could find out was that it is Mexico.  Mexico, Mo that is.  LOL     I am hoping that someone will see this and send me a message with more information!   I tell people that I find houses in some of the strangest ways, I'm NOT kidding.

This Sears 118 was a happy accident, I happened upon it in an image search for something completely different!   That happens sometimes.  The thumbnail popped up and I’m like whoa, a Sears 118! Upon investigation all I could find out was that it is in Mexico. Mexico, Mo that is. LOL      I am hoping that someone will see this and send me a message with more information!
I tell people that I find houses in some of the strangest ways, I’m NOT kidding.

And very recently, last month or so, I stumbled on this lovely Sears #118 at 413 N Price St in Sweetwater, TN.  It is currently on the market.  They say 1908 and I think that is quite possible!  I have found other Sears houses built in 1908 and could verify that.

And very recently, last month or so, I stumbled on this lovely Sears #118 at 413 N Price St in Sweetwater, TN. It is currently on the market. They say 1908 and I think that is quite possible! I have found other Sears houses built in 1908 and could verify that.

Let’s see, I think we have four more left! I hope you are still with me. These houses are too pretty not to share.  And remember, it took me almost two years to gather them all up.

In 1910 Anton Korger built a Sears #118 in Eau Claire Wisconsin.  He even sent a letter to Sears.  Thanks to this testimony and some digging I was able to find his house.

In 1910 Anton Korger built a Sears #118 in Eau Claire Wisconsin. He even sent a letter to Sears. Thanks to this testimony and some digging I was able to find his house.

It's a little difficult to see through the landscaping.   Maybe someone in Eau Claire will read my blog and send me better photos! Anton's house is at 1403 Omaha St in Eau Claire, Wis. Anton and his brother Henry owned a tailor shop, Korger Bros at 100 N. Barstow. Henry lived next door to Anton. What a great discovery!

It’s a little difficult to see through the landscaping. Maybe someone in Eau Claire will read my blog and send me better photos! Anton’s house is at 1403 Omaha St in Eau Claire, Wis. Anton and his brother Henry owned a tailor shop, Korger Bros at 100 N. Barstow. Henry lived next door to Anton. What a great discovery!

If you need a place to stay in Lennox, SD I recommend this lovely Sears #118 that is also a bed and breakfast!  The Steever House Bed and Breakfast in Lennox is absolutely gorgeous!  Tell them I sent you.  Oddly enough, another bed and breakfast told me about this house possibly being a Sears #118.  A shout out to a gorgeous Sears Alhambra, The Triangle Ranch, for the tip.

If you need a place to stay in Lennox, SD I recommend this lovely Sears #118 that is also a bed and breakfast! The Steever House Bed and Breakfast in Lennox is absolutely gorgeous! Tell them I sent you. Oddly enough, another bed and breakfast told me about this house possibly being a Sears #118. A shout out to a gorgeous Sears Alhambra, The Triangle Ranch, for the tip.

Here is an updated photo of the Steever House Bed and Breakfast which is also a Sears #118

Here is an updated photo of the Steever House Bed and Breakfast which is also a Sears #118

This Sears #118 was built in 1909 and is located at 1006 N Main Str Poplar, Mo.  Any chance a reader out there can send me a few photos?

This Sears #118 was built in 1909 and is located at 1006 N Main Str Poplar, Mo. Any chance a reader out there can send me a few photos?

The Sears #118 from my 1908 4th edition Sears Modern Homes.

The Sears #118 from my 1908 4th edition Sears Modern Homes.  Click image to enlarge.

This Sears #118 is a very rural farmhouse and the best I can do is a view from my Bing airplane!  Hey, I find them that way too, I found a Sears Magnolia in my Bing airplane :)   This large farm is located at 48779 290th Ave in Rolfe, IA.   Who can run out to Shimkort Farms and get photos for me?  :-D BTW, this one took a little work.

This Sears #118 is a very rural farmhouse and the best I can do is a view from my Bing airplane! Hey, I find them that way too, I found a Sears Magnolia in my Bing airplane :)
This large farm is located at 48779 290th Ave in Rolfe, IA. Who can run out to Shimkort Farms and get photos for me? :-D
BTW, this one took a little work.

Lo and behold, I was looking in the Pocahantas County WV assessor files and NOT the Pocahontas County in IOWA assessor files!  Here is a photo, not the best, from the county assessor files.

Lo and behold, I was looking in the Pocahantas County WV assessor files and NOT the Pocahontas County in IOWA assessor files! Here is a photo, not the best, from the county assessor files.

FOURTEEN Sears #118′s, that’s quite a few! See why I believe it was a popular early model? I’m looking for number fifteen. I would love for it to be here in Oklahoma! I have a few more on my radar but they aren’t in my backyard like the awesome Hollywood is!  It is quite possible that there is one here in Oklahoma given that these fourteen are pretty spread out.

But, I’m not the only one who has found a Sears #118! Oh, yeah, there are more! Rosemary Thornton has found a couple too!   There is one in Alton, Ill.  And in Westfield, Ill.  And this Sears #118 is in Fort Wayne, Indiana.   Flickr is another good source to find kit homes.

I have interior photos of some these homes that I have matched up with images from my building and materials catalogs. I think you will enjoy seeing all of the similarities from house to house. I’m going to take a “blog break” for some lunch and let’s hope I don’t stumble on another Sears #118!  I’ll be back after while with more to share.

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A Perfect Sears Hollywood…………..in Enid Oklahoma!

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 RunEnid 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.

This Sears Hollywood/2069 was built in 1918

This Sears Hollywood/2069 was built in 1918

 

The Sears Hollywood from my 1918 catalog

The Sears Hollywood from my 1918 catalog

 

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.

The Sears Hollywood alternate 2069 was first available in 1918

The Sears Hollywood alternate 2069 was first available in 1918

 

 The Sears 2069 (Hollywood) in Enid is a PERFECT match!

The Sears 2069 (Hollywood) in Enid is a PERFECT match!

 

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!

The Sears Hollywood/2069 in Enid Oklahoma

The Sears Hollywood/2069 in Enid Oklahoma

 

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.

A rare view of the Sears Hollywood/2069. The sleeping balcony is directly above the sleeping porch.  Now THAT's MY kinda house :)

A rare view of the Sears Hollywood/2069.
The sleeping balcony is directly above the sleeping porch.  Now THAT’s MY kinda house :)

 

I LOVE this sleeping balcony!

I LOVE this sleeping balcony!

 

I got this great shot of an eaves bracket while standing on the sleeping balcony!

I got this great shot of an eaves bracket while standing on the sleeping balcony!

 

Here's a close-up of that second floor dormer.  That second floor room is awesome!

Here’s a close-up of that second floor dormer. That second floor room is awesome!

 

Those eaves brackets are common on Sears kit homes.

Those eaves brackets are common on Sears kit homes.

 

Columns on the Sears Hollywood

Columns on the Sears Hollywood

[caption id="attachment_1839" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Hollywood Porch Column

Hollywood Porch Column

 

 Hollywood porch column on the fireplace side.  Notice the small window, that was a change made in 1918.  The early model didn't have that small window or the bench seat under it inside.

The Hollywood porch column on the fireplace side. Notice the small window, that was a change made in 1918.  The early model didn’t have that small window or the bench seat under it inside.

 

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!

The Sears 1914 model 264P234.  The first year this model was offered.

The Sears 1914 model 264P234. The first year this model was offered.

 

Jud Yoho #466 1910-11

Jud Yoho #466 1910-11

 

Is there anyone in L.A. that would get some photos of this 1911 house for me?  :)

Is there anyone in L.A. that would get some photos of this 1911 house for me? :)

 

These two houses *might* be Jud Yoho. I know they aren’t from Sears!

Is there anyone in L.A. that would get some photos of this 1911 house for me?  :)

Is there anyone in L.A. that would get some photos of this 1911 house for me? :)

 

Tulsa Oklahoma Houses by Mail, Sears Homes, Wardway, Aladdin and more

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Oklahoma Houses By Mail by Rachel Shoemaker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Sallisaw, Oklahoma

***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.

The Cherokee Nation Car Tag is a beautiful tag!  I've always wanted one but I didn't live within the boundaries until they were expanded a few months ago.

The Cherokee Nation Car Tag is a beautiful tag! I’ve always wanted one but I didn’t live within the boundaries until they were expanded a few months ago.

 

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!

Radford #533 at 321 S Wheeler Str in  Sallisaw, Oklahoma

Radford #553 at 321 S Wheeler Str in Sallisaw, Oklahoma

 

Radford No 533 from 1903

Radford No 553 from 1903 publication.  GW Ashby Architect

 

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.

Radford 533 in New York

Radford 553 in New York

 

 The #533 form Radford publication 1903

The #553 from Radford publication 1903

 

 The #533 form Radford publication 1903

The #553 from Radford publication 1903.  That’s quite a house!  I LOVE it!!!

 

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.

June 1909 Sanborn Map shows the house as the second house from Ida and Wheeler.  BTW, that corner house was gone by 1914.

June 1909 Sanborn Map shows the house as the second house from Ida Av and Wheeler. BTW, that corner house was gone by 1914.

 

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.

June 1909 Sanborn Map shows the house was built from plans!

June 1909 Sanborn Map shows the house was built from plans!

 

If you travel I40 through east Oklahoma  take a drive through Sallisaw and you will find this beautiful home on Wheeler Ave.

If you travel I40 through east Oklahoma take a drive through Sallisaw and you will find this beautiful home just a couple of miles north of I40  on the west side of Wheeler Ave.

 

A Radford 533 in New York.  It's beautiful as well.  Notice they have concrete statues at the steps?  LOL

A Radford 553 in New York. It’s beautiful as well. Notice they also have concrete statues at the steps? LOL

 

Fortunately it was on the corner so I could get a good shot of the side and back.  This is the south side of the house and faces Ida Ave.

Fortunately it was on the corner so I could get a good shot of the side and back. This is the south side of the house and faces Ida Ave.

 

 Here you can see the north side of the house.   A perfect match on every side of the house!

Here you can see the north side of the house. A perfect match on every side of the house!

 

I enjoyed my adventure to Sallisaw and love my new Cherokee tag.

Do you know of another Radford #553? If so send it to me at searshomes@yahoo.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

***UPDATE!***

Dear Rachel,
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.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Moe
Wadena, MN

Thanks to Suzanne for providing the following photos of  TWO Radford #553′s!

Our Farmhouse original location - near Georgetown, MN (20 minutes north of Moorhead)

Our Farmhouse original location – near Georgetown, MN (20 minutes north of Moorhead)

A vintage photo of the original farmhouse a Radford #553!

A vintage photo of the original farmhouse a Radford #553!

This is GREAT!  Who says you can't move a 100 year old house 60 miles?

This is GREAT! Who says you can’t move a 100 year old house 60 miles?

And there she sits in all her glory.  A 100 year old Radford #553 made the 60 mile journey to her new location.

And there she sits in all her glory. A 100 year old Radford #553 made the 60 mile journey to her new location.

And on Main Street in Wadena, MN is ANOTHER Radford #553!

Another Radford #553 at 703 Jefferson Street in Wadena, MN

Another Radford #553 at 703 Jefferson Street in Wadena, MN

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!

Looks like it made the news as well!

Tulsa Oklahoma Houses by Mail, Sears Homes, Wardway, Aladdin and more

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Oklahoma Houses By Mail by Rachel Shoemaker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Fire Station #30, Firebird Sculpture

Fire Station #30, Firebird Sculpture.

Posted in Kit Homes of Oklahoma | 2 Comments

Sears

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.

A few of my favorite Sears catalogs

A few of my favorite Sears catalogs

I plan to update the other pages soon.

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Two of the Earliest Aladdin Homes

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!

Aladdin made it known in their 1911 catalog that they were the original knock down houses and first on the market!

Aladdin made it known in their 1911 catalog that they were the original knock down houses and first on the market!

 

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!

A very rare Aladdin Houses  Spring 1911

A very rare Aladdin Houses Spring 1911 Catalog

 

What comes with an Aladdin House?

An Aladdin House at a Glance-What You Get

An Aladdin House at a Glance-What You Get

 

About the Aladdin lumber.

Ever wonder about the lumber used in a kit home?

Ever wonder about the lumber used in a kit home?

 

About The North American Construction Company-Aladdin Houses

About North American Construction Company-Aladdin Houses

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.

Wilcox Model M-2 in New Haven, Conn Built in 1906

Wilcox Style M-2 in New Haven, Conn
Built in 1906

 

Here is that Style M-2 today, 107 years later! The photo is from the New Haven assessor files.

Charles  Wilcox Aladdin M-2 at 91 Parker Pl in New Haven Ct.

Charlie Wilcox Aladdin M-2 at 91 Parker Pl in New Haven Ct.

 

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!

ANOTHER Style M-2 at 95 Parker Pl in New Haven Conn.

ANOTHER Style M-2 at 95 Parker Pl in New Haven Conn.

 

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.

Notice the windows of the  house on the right in this image and how they are the same as Wilcox's M-2

Notice the windows of the house on the right in this image and how they are the same as Wilcox’s M-2

 

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.

Aladdin 1911 Style M-2

Aladdin 1911 Style M-2.    Looks like the Wilcox porch roof has been altered or maybe replaced through the years doesn’t it?  The top of the chimney matches the Power’s M-2 chimney.  This might be the Power’s house as the catalog image.  :/

 

The interior of Style-M.  I wonder if I could get a current photo of that?  Wouldn't that be cool?

The interior of Style-M. I wonder if I could get a current photo of that? Wouldn’t that be cool?

 

The floorplan for the M-2

The floorplan for the M-2

 

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!

Terms, plain and simple. Cash with a 5% discount if paid in full upon order. You couldn’t get yourself in debt with Aladdin!

 

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.

Posted in Kit Homes Around the Country, Kit Homes of Oklahoma | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Rare Gordon Van Tine Home in Atoka, Oklahoma

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.

Gordon Van Tine 1916 Model #554 was the home of company Vice President Harry Van Scott

Gordon Van Tine 1916 Model #554 was designed for  company vice president Harry Van Scott

 

Harry Van Scott’s impressive colonial still stands today in Davenport, Ia.

Harry Van Scott home at 1016 E Locust Davenport, Ia  Photo is from the county assessor files

Harry Van Scott home at 1016 E Locust Davenport, Ia
Photo is from the county assessor files

 

Harry Van Scott’s home shortly after it was built. This photo appeared on the back of the 1916 Gordon Van Tine catalog.

Model number 563  shortly after it was built.

Model number 554 shortly after it was built.

 

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.

Memminger Family 1917

Memminger Family 1917

 

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.

The Memminger family and their #554 at 111 W Court Str in  Atoka, Okla around 1920

The Memminger family and their #554 at 111 W Court Str in Atoka, Okla around 1920

 

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 Memminger family and their 1920 Ford  Model T Centerdoor Sedan

The Memminger family and their 1920 Ford Model T Centerdoor Sedan

 

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.

A rare  Gordon Van Tine #554 in Atoka, Oklahoma.

A rare Gordon Van Tine #554 in Atoka, Oklahoma.

 

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.

Living room of Mr Scott's number 554

Living room of Mr Scott’s number 554

 

Wait for it………….

Woa....oh... WOW! Deja vu!

Woa….oh… WOW!
Deja vu!

 

Wait, there’s more of the interior!

The front door........

The front door……..

 

 The front door from the millwork catalog.

The front door from the millwork catalog, this door also came in oak.

 

Let’s head upstairs…………

Newel post and stairway.

Newel post and stairway.

 

And the newel post from the material catalog.

Newel post from the millwork catalog

Newel post from the millwork catalog

 

Quite a match so far! We’re doing good.

The number 554 came with a built in linen closet in the upstairs hall.

The number 554 came with a built in linen closet in the upstairs hall.

 

Beautiful! This can also be seen not only in the materials catalog but the homes catalog.

 How about that!  Here's the catalog image of the built in linen closet!

How about that! Here’s the catalog image of the built in linen closet!

 

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.

Original clawfoot tub

Original clawfoot tub

 

The Memmingers chose the Royal Plumbing Set.

Royal Plumbing Set

Royal Plumbing Set

 

Let’s take a look in the attic and see what we can find!

The posters in the attic help establish a time as well.

The posters in the attic help establish a time as well.

 

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.

Gordon Van Tine Number 554 in Atoka Ok stair markings

Gordon Van Tine Number 554 in Atoka Ok stair markings

 

Mr Lewis also found that his floor joists were marked!

Gordon Van Tine Number 554 in Atoka Ok floor joist markings

Gordon Van Tine Number 554 in Atoka Ok floor joist markings

 

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!

Front Door Harry Van Scott 1016 E Locust in Davenport Ia

Front Door Harry Van Scott 1016 E Locust in Davenport Ia

 

Front Door Harry Van Scott 1016 E Locust in Davenport in 1916

Front Door Harry Van Scott 1016 E Locust in Davenport in 1916

 

Front Door Memminger-Lewis house in Atoka, Oklahoma

Front Door Memminger-Lewis house in Atoka, Oklahoma in 2013

 

What an impressive colonial home and it’s in OKLAHOMA!

An impressive colonial!

An impressive colonial indeed!

 

Have you seen a Gordon Van Tine number 554? It was later renumbered to 563. Here is another image from my 1920 catalog.

The number 563, I like this image.....it shows the awnings just like you see in the vintage photo of the Memminger house!

The number 563, I like this image…..it shows the awnings just like you see in the vintage photo of the Memminger house.  Winner winner chicken dinner!

 

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!

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The Three Lewis San Pedros of Tulsa, Oklahoma

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.

1914 Lewis San Pedro

1914 Lewis San Pedro

 

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.

1109 E 18th Tulsa, Ok circa 1920

1109 E 18th Tulsa, Ok circa 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!

303 E 18th Str Tulsa, Ok

303 E 18th Str Tulsa, Ok

 

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.

Left: 1914 catalog image Right: house in Tulsa

Left: 1914 catalog image
Right: house in Tulsa

 

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.

Lewis 1914 Catalog image of the San Pedro

Lewis 1914 Catalog image of the San Pedro

 

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.

303 E 18th Str Tulsa, Ok

303 E 18th Str Tulsa, Ok

 

303 E 18th Str Tulsa, Ok

303 E 18th Str Tulsa, Ok

 

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.

1723 S Detroit Ave Tulsa, Ok

1723 S Detroit Ave Tulsa, Ok

 

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.

Maple Ridge Houses By Mail

Maple Ridge Houses By Mail

 

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.

Don't believe everything you read on the internet!

Don’t believe everything you read on the internet!

 

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.

 

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John Patton’s Elmhurst, A 1930 Testimonial Home

A few  years ago I “scored” a 1930 Sears catalog.  When it arrived I was a little surprised to see it wasn’t what I thought it was.  There weren’t any catalog images and floor plans like all of my other kit home catalogs.  This catalog was nothing but pictures of houses and letters from their owners, testimonials.  My first thought was what in the world will I do with this?  Then one day it hit me!  Why not find them?  So I set out to find them all or as many as I could.  And I am happy to say I am almost finished.  Some are MIA and a I have a few more but I am so close.  In my last blog I featured a New York Sears Elmhurst from that catalog.

There were testimonials for two more Elmhurst homes. One of which I found but haven’t shared because the story was fascinating and I decided I would contact the home owner.

Sometime in 1929 John A. Patton and his wife Lillian ordered a Sears Elmhurst and hired a local contractor to build it.

1930 Sears Elmhurst Testimonial of John and Lillian Patton

1930 Sears Elmhurst Testimonial of John and Lillian Patton

John was an active member of the Indianapolis Indiana Community where he owned a funeral home.  I found Mr Patton’s life story so fascinating that once I had discovered that the house was likely still in the family I would try to contact them.

The Sears Elmhurst was introduced in the 1929 Brick Veneer Honor Bilt Homes catalog.

The Elmhurst was advertised as a brick face, half timber tudor home.

1929 Sears Elmhurst catalog image

1929 Sears Elmhurst catalog image

As you can see in Mr and Mrs Patton’s testimonial they used all brick!

Patton Testimonial Home

Patton Testimonial Home

I was correct! The Elmhurst was still in the family. It sat vacant for seven years until recently when Mr Patton’s great great grandson moved in. He was kind enough to share several photos of the house and explained that they have had to make some repairs due to deterioration but they are doing their best to restore it. All of the following photos are courtesy of the homeowner and may not be reproduced without his permission.

I present to you……the lovely Sears Elmhurst in Indianaplois, Indiana!  With the exception of new windows the exterior remains original.  Kit homes are often remuddled over time and disfiguring additions built on unfortunately.  This house and garage are just beautiful.

John A Patton's Elmhurst in Indianapolis, Indiana as it looks today.

John A Patton’s Elmhurst in Indianapolis, Indiana as it looks today.

And that fireplace pictured in the testimonial?

Entry and fireplace as seen in the 1930 testimony.

Entry and fireplace as seen in the 1930 testimony.

Here’s the fireplace today.  Just beautiful!

Mr. Patton's Elmhurst Fireplace as it looks today.

Mr. Patton’s Elmhurst Fireplace as it looks today.

The front door and stairway in the entry? Here it is!

The front door entry and stairs in the Elmhurst in Indiana

The front door entry and stairs in the Elmhurst in Indiana

The La Tosca hardware was the style of hardware that came with the Elmhurst kit.

La Tosca Hardware was the style of hardware that came with the Elmhurst kit home.

La Tosca Hardware was the style of hardware that came with the Elmhurst kit home.

Here is the hardware from Mr and Mrs Patton’s Elmhurst. Just beautiful!

Patton Elmhurst La Tosca Hardware

Patton Elmhurst La Tosca Hardware

The “Tudor” door came with the Elmhurst kit.

The Tudor Door came with the Elmhurst kit home.

The Tudor Door came with the Elmhurst kit home.

And thanks to the homeowner for sharing a beautiful example of the Tudor door!

Patton's Elmhurst Front Door....The Tudor

Patton’s Elmhurst Front Door….The Tudor

And for last, one of the most exciting discoveries with this house! Remember that image of the door from the 1930 catalog I bought? It also appears on the 1932 Sears homes catalogs.  This entry looking out?

1930 and 1932 Cover image

1930 and 1932 Cover image

How awesome is this? The catalog cover image was a photo taken from the Patton’s Elmhurst! The tudor door, strap hinges and even the door knocker are still there and in excellent condition. What a treasure for that to all be intact!  The shadow is almost in the same position…eerie huh?

Patton  Elmhurst  Entry View

Patton Elmhurst Entry View

I hope you enjoyed the tour of a historical and authenticated Sears kit home. I have been told that they even have the original blueprints. I hope they share a few images of those with me soon. Check back for possible updates to this blog as I receive more information.

In the meantime, do you know where a Sears Elmhurst is? I know of one more testimonial Elmhurst but I don’t have enough information yet to locate it. Do you know of a Sears house or any other mail order kit home?

If you need help identifying a mail order home I can help you with that as well. Send me a message or find me on facebook.

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The Elmhurst, One of Sears FIRST Brick Veneer Homes

There is a facebook group for Sears homes enthusiasts, if you can imagine that! I’ve been an active member of that group since it was started about four and a half years ago. There are a handful of die-hard researchers. One of the recent exciting discoveries was a rare Sears house.  That rare house is the Sears Elmhurst.  What makes this house unique and an awesome find is the fact that it was only offered for a few years, 1929-1932, so that means there are not many out there.  It makes the hunt more fun I think.  I can count on one hand how many have been discovered so far.  There is one in Illinois and one in North Carolina.  Then recently Rosemary Thornton was able to see the inside of an Elmhurst built in 1932 in Saint Louis Mo.

In 1929 Sears Modern Homes introduced a new line of homes.

1929 Introduction of Brick Veneer Homes

1929 Introduction of Brick Veneer Homes

Those homes were brick face home of current models they offered. This is the special catalog that was published in 1929.

1929 Brick Veneer "Honor Bilt" Homes

1929 Brick Veneer “Honor Bilt” Homes

I have a Sears catalog that features testimonials of special houses ordered from Sears. It was published in 1930. I have been working my way through it and finding the homes featured inside and I have found most of them.

1930 Testimonials

1930 Testimonials

In that testimonial catalog is  a testimonial for a Sears Elmhurst! Remember this catalog of testimonials was published in 1930 and the house was first offered in 1929. If you consider mail order time, shipping time and then building time I think you can be pretty sure this house was ordered from the special catalog that introduced the brick veneer homes in 1929.

1930 Zvanovec Testimony

1930 Zvanovec Testimony

In 1929 and early enough to be completed by 1930 an Elmhurst was constructed in  Douglaston, Long Island, NY. I set out to find that house, of course!

This one wasn’t easy either!

1930 Sears Elmhurst in Long Island NY

1930 Sears Elmhurst in Long Island NY

The Zvanovec testimony house for comparison.

Zvanovec photo of their Elmhurst

Zvanovec photo of their Elmhurst

How awesome is that? I squealed with delight!

1930 Sears Elmhurst in Long Island NY

1930 Sears Elmhurst in Long Island NY

Yes, there are three windows under that ivy just like the plans show!  I am a Tulsa County Master Gardener and boy I would love to re-landscape that house! Ivy can get away from you if you don’t stay on top of it.

1929 Sears Elmhurst catalog image

1929 Sears Elmhurst catalog image

That’s quite a house! Let’s look at the floor plan.

1929 Sears Elmhurst FloorPlan

1929 Sears Elmhurst FloorPlan

Another angle of  the Long Island Sears Elmhurst that Mr and Mrs CE Zvanovec  built.

1930 Elmhurst in Long Island NY

1930 Elmhurst in Long Island NY

Sears 1929 and 1930 Modern Homes Image

Sears 1929 and 1930 Modern Homes Image

This catalog image lists the specifications. I would show you the inside if I could.

Sears 1929 and 1930 Modern Homes Image

Sears 1929 and 1930 Modern Homes Image

Remember that entryway from the testimonial catalog? Surprise….that is the entryway  to the Elmhurst!

1930 Elmhurst front door

1930 Elmhurst front door

What a beautiful house the Elmhurst was and only four known and verified at this time! Do you know of a Sear Elmhurst? Remember it was only offered between 1929 and 1932 so the likely build dates will be 1930 and 1933. If you do send me a message an I’ll check it out.

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