The Tulsa Sears House Lady
One of the things I enjoy is playing the saxophone. I guess I should, after all I was a music major! I play with The Sounds Of Music Orchestra in Tulsa Oklahoma.
On Saturday April 6th we played for a dance at the Bartlesville Elks Lodge that was sponsored by the Bartlesville Public Library. Boy was it a lot of FUN! Joe Sears aka Aunt Pearl was the emcee. What a HOOT!
Bartlesville is about 45 miles north of Tulsa on highway 75. What a great place to visit. I had family in Bartlesville and Barnsdall years ago and I remember visiting Frank Phillips mansion and Woolaroc quite well. On Saturday I decided to go early and see the three Lustrons, Price Tower and of course look for kit homes. Those are things I knew nothing about forty years ago. The three Lustrons are well-known and listed on the Lustron locator website. Price Tower, well that is a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece. It speaks for itself! Kit homes? I couldn’t find any evidence anywhere that anyone has documented any there. I know there has to be because I have a sales receipt for an Aladdin Maples! Where there’s one there are usually more, especially in a large town or city.
If you are not familiar with Bartlesville, well… it was built by oil much like Tulsa was.
I had a great time in my short afternoon and found a couple of very nice homes! I’m fairly easy to entertain. Give me someplace to explore and my camera and you’ll never hear the word boring from me.
My blog today is just pictures. I have researched the homes and their owners but I’ll write about those another day.
I found the most gorgeous Aladdin Villa! Just absolutely stunning. I talked with the neighbor for a while. He had no idea it was a kit home. In fact, he had never heard of such a thing and he was probably 70 years old or so.
It was added on to recently according to the neighbor. I can see that because I am very familiar with this house plan. They added the second floor above what was the sun parlor. You can just barely see the fireplace poking through the roof. the contractors did a beautiful job. You can’t even see where they added on and I believe those are the original windows on the second floor, they must have reused them.
That is a huge house! And how they built it on that lot I’ll never know. I looked on the Sanborn Maps and the house next door was there as well. Less to mow?
I was hoping to get the sales receipt for it but no luck. I did receive the sales order for another Aladdin home in Bartlesville today. Hopefully I can find it when I return.
Another one of my favorite finds was a rare Sears Savoy. Actually a Savoy that was a 264P233 originally. Sears gave their houses numbers in the early years. My research shows that this house was built in 1914 or 1915 according to the Sanborn Maps. The house is on the Sanborn Maps dated June of 1915. So, it was built late in 1914 or early 1915. It is in wonderful condition and hasn’t been altered on the exterior. I immediately recognized it!
Are you convinced? I am! Let’s see the entire page of the 264P233 aka Savoy from my 1914 catalog.
One more house tonight and that’s it. Promise!
This Radford 1508 caught my attention. Wow! This was a surprise. I’ve not seen this Radford house before so I was thrilled to add this one to my collection. What a cool house.
Sorry about that loblolly, I tried to shoot around it the best I could from the street.
I would LOVE to see that Radford restored!
I have a few more but I will post them later and I have some I have to go back and get photographs of and I will see what else I can find! In the meantime, if you live in the Bartlesville area and would like to learn about mail order houses I recommend that you start with any or all of the books that Rosemary Thornton wrote and the Houses By Mail book too. I’m sure that they can probably be found at the local library in the meantime until yours come in the mail.
Be sure and read Rosemary’s awesome blog, she recently featured the Villa and the Savoy. It’s quite an honor to have those two houses featured by a well-known author on kit homes! http://www.searshomes.org
I hope you enjoyed the photos. If you have a kit home that you need help identifying then please send me a message. I have helped folks from all over the country identify their kit home.
Once and awhile I have the opportunity to see inside a Sears home. I prefer first hand experience but thanks to You Tube I had the opportunity to see the inside of a 1915 Sears Phoenix. As the homeowner guided *me* through his home I recognized several architectural features that I have seen in my building materials and mill work catalogs. I am going to post that link so you can see the inside of this gorgeous mail order house. But first I am going to post the catalog images of the architectural features you will see.
I hope you enjoy this special blog!
First stop, the exterior of the Sears Phoenix as seen in the 1914 catalog. See that price? I was a little surprised at the beauty of this house for that price!
We enter the house and the window to our right is a gorgeous stained glass floral window. You will see this at :55 sec.
We are now in the entry hall. Notice the oak newel posts on the oak stairway.
Our next view is the parlor. He calls it the living room but in the floor plans it is referred to as the parlor. Let’s take a look at the actual floor plan so we can see where we are and where we are going. Please read through the specs and see everything that is included for that price. Notice there are no light fixtures included. At the bottom there is a list of plumbing and heating outfits that were available for an additional charge.
Did you figure out where you are? NOW let’s take a look inside the parlor! At 1:34 you will see this stained glass window. They called it the Roman. Our tour guide shows us an etched sash window. I have never seen a window like that in any of my catalogs. Sorry I can’t show you that one. It’s not mentioned in the original specs so it might have been added later to replace a broken window.
From the parlor we walk through the bookcase colonnade into the living room. This buyer left out the fireplace and opted for a bay window. That would have cost a little extra.
As we step through the French pocket doors behold a stunning craftsman dining room! This dining room includes an oak plate rail as well as oak mill work just as the stairway and newel posts were.
At the end of the dining room is an oak built-in buffet which was included in that price! You can’t buy an oak buffet alone like that today for $1200 bucks.
Here is the colonial buffet as shown in the building materials catalog.
Above the oak buffet you will see another beautiful stain glass window at 3:22 in the video.
Next we see the kitchen and he explains that it was pretty much a complete remodel but they kept it as close to the original as they could.
As we go upstairs keep an eye out at the top for the door hardware on various doors. I was able to pair the catalog image with an actual doorknob that was in another Sears house that I identified for someone in another part of the country.
Our first view upstairs is the front bedroom. In the front bedroom there are three very beautiful stained glass windows. The center window is the Roman once again like the parlor window. It can be seen at 5:55 in the video.
However, at 5:42 there are two five foot length stained glass windows that flank the Roman. Gorgeous!
With the help of editing software I created the set of windows you see. Wow, Wow and WOW!!!
He should have saved that room for last. We visit the smaller middle bedroom next where we see three colonial diamond muntin windows. Those are seen at 6:08.
We then see the bathroom which was remodeled but he used subway tile which was period appropriate. I couldn’t find that unique hinge in any catalog. Bummer.
My last image is the entire page as the Sears Phoenix appeared in the 1914 catalog.
Now that you have had a preview of the inside of the Sears Phoenix let’s watch the You Tube video.
Please leave him a compliment on his house and let him know you read my blog! If you enjoyed my blog please leave me a comment
If you have a mail order house and need help identifying it please send me a message. I love identifying interior images as well. That’s obvious isn’t it? If you live in northeastern Oklahoma and would like me to visit your home and see your interior first hand please message me. All I ask is that you permit me to take photos and feature your house in my blog.
Another fellow researcher has a blog about mail order houses in her neck of the woods, Chicago, Ill. She recently featured a Sears Phoenix which is where I found the You Tube link. Thanks Lara! Please visit her blog and read that post. http://www.sears-homes.com/2013/02/a-phoenix-rises-in-norwood-park.html
I hope you enjoyed this blog!
Tulsa is home to an Aladdin Sunshine, alas a not so sunny Sunshine. This house has seen better times and after researching the history I can understand why it is in the condition it is in. There were seven different occupants/families between 1921 and 1935. I stopped there. I think it is rental property now. It was never occupied by one family for more than five years at time during the years I checked. Thirteen to fourteen years and so many occupants, it probably didn’t have the best care during some of those years.
As you can see below the Aladdin Sunshine was a very pretty little bungalow and spacious for its size and it even had a breakfast nook!
The Aladdin Sunshine in Tulsa was first occupied in 1921 by John Goss Jr. and his new bride Louise. John was treasurer for Texas Petroleum and Land Co. At least I believe they were newlyweds because the 1920 census shows him single living with mom and pop at their house. He worked for his dad, John Sr and I think it was owned by John Sr.
I can just imagine Louise serving breakfast in their cozy little breakfast nook before her husband headed out to the office. Can you picture John drinking his morning coffee and reading the Tulsa World? Back then the Tulsa World had a morning and an evening newspaper.
The Goss’s lived in the Sunshine until 1923. By 1924 George and Anabelle Crawford had moved in to the house for a year. George was a salesman at Dickason-Goodman Lumber. I bet he was impressed with the quality of lumber the Aladdin company used! After all, Aladdin was known for their dollar a knot guarantee.
In 1925 Leo and Leah Wakefield and their family moved in. Leo was an auditor for Skelly Oil Company. They would occupy the Sunshine until 1930 holding the record for five years. Perhaps it was the homey living room that attracted the Wakefields ?
In 1930 Oil Well Supply Co chief clerk Arthur K Herbert and his wife Corwin moved in and lived here for close to two years. By 1932 Charles and Luella Thomas moved in. Charles was a clerk for Saint Louis – San Francisco Railway.
And, once again within a year the Sunshine had yet another family! In 1933 the Merle and Birdie Crumb family moved in. Merle was employed at the First National Bank and Trust as a special officer, security? By 1934, I know, yet AGAIN a new family had moved in! George and Simmie Gladson were living in the Sunshine. George was an air brake repairman and car inspector for Saint Louis – San Francisco Railway. They were living there in 1935. I stopped right there. I had this song memorized. I couldn’t bear to see how many more owners or occupants had lived here.
Above is our Aladdin Sunshine. It has so much potential. I am in hopes that one day I will drive by and see it all cleaned up repaired and painted. Below is what this bungalow COULD look like if restored. It has good bones and is made from the best lumber. It still has its original windows. Peel that 1940′s siding off and give it a fresh coat of paint and shed a little sunshine in the neighborhood! It just needs some TLC.
Do you have an Aladdin Sunshine? I would love to see more. If you need help with identifying any mail order kit house please send me message. If you are from Oklahoma and have a kit home then PLEASE send me a message. I would especially like to see your house!
The Winthrop was another one of Aladdin’s popular bungalows. And since Aladdin professes that a bungalow should always be set close to the ground it is no surprise to find one on Oklahoma farm land! Those of us from here know how flat our land is, for the most part.
Sometime between 1900 and 1906 Frank Atherton and his family moved from Illinois to Oklahoma. Frank was an Illinois farmer. His wife Alice and their family including daughter in-laws and one grandson probably loaded up all of their belongings in a covered wagon and headed for Indian Territory. It’s quite possible Frank came to Oklahoma beforehand and acquired his land during the land run when the Cherokee Strip was opened. Frank and his wife Alice, oldest son Fred and his wife Phoebe and their son Ralph, son Will and his wife Inez as well as Frank and Phoebe’s three youngest children Eddis, Artie (their only daughter) and Joe are all on the 1900 census in Illinois and by 1910 are residents in Waukomis, Oklahoma. This 1906 map shows the land of Frank Atherton. I think the family probably all came together and settled here to farm.
Frank soon became a prominent figure in the Waukomis community. He was a prominent stockman and farmer as well as Vice President of the Farmers State Bank and he served several years as the president of the town board of trustees.
Frank obviously knew the value of a good hard-earned dollar when he turned to Aladdin in May 1919 to order his bungalow, the Winthrop.
Mr Atherton had a few special instructions for his Winthrop. He asked for a mullion check rail window in place of the fireplace. He asked for a buffet and a colonnade. Those cost extra of course.
The Athertons also requested that their Winthrop be reversed. This was common and there was no charge to reverse your house. Here is the Atherton’s Winthrop as shown on the assessor website.
I really REALLY need photos of this house! For now all I can provide are google screen shots.
I decided I had better double-check so I looked from above the house to see the roof and check all of the windows for room placement in the house.
I then used my editing skills and reversed the back half of the house and compared it to the catalog image to show you how the Athertons built their Aladdin Winthrop.
There was only one more thing to compare and that was the measurements and footprint. Here is the foot print from the assessor.
That’s the house, it is at 302 S Main St Waukomis, Ok . I sure could used good photos of all angles if anyone is in Waukomis
What became of Frank and his family? Well, Alice passed away in 1926 and Frank remarried about a year later. He and his new wife were wintering in Pasadena California when the ailing Frank passed away on January 28, 1928. Three of his sons, Will, Eddis and Joe, were present at his death. Mr Atherton was brought back to Waukomis and his funeral was held at the Waukomis Christian Church which could be seen from his house. The church is still there as well. He was buried in Waukomis Cemetery where his wife Alice was buried two years prior. Frank and Alice’s children remained in Waukomis and farmed the land, at least for a while. There are several Atherton’s buried in the Waukomis Cemetery and some may have moved to nearby Enid.
I love the cemetery sign! How fitting. It makes me wonder how many early Waukomis settlers are buried here and I imagine that is exactly how they arrived to Waukomis Township, Indian Territory in the late 1800′s early 1900′s.
I can’t help but wonder if there are any descendants out there of Frank Atherton and if they know the story of his Aladdin Winthrop. Maybe one will read this and contact me!
Do you live in an Aladdin Winthrop? Here is the catalog image again, untouched this time.
What housewife would not be pleased with the plan of the Raymond? This small but roomy bungalow boasts of a step saving arrangement that is sure to make doing one’s own work a real pleasure. This small and roomy bungalow was modern and attractive and for less that $1500.00 in 1920 it could be yours!
In March of 1920 William Bateman of Thayer, Mo ordered an Aladdin Raymond to be shipped to Covington, Okla. Here is that very sales order. Thanks to Cindy Catanzaro for sending me this one too! Without this sales order I am sure this house would go unknown.
Mr Bateman ordered a couple of extra things for his Raymond. He ordered Arch 2A-60 to put between the living room and the dining room, a simple colonnade. The cost was a whopping $26.00.
Something else that Mr Bateman requested was the Stanhope Style front porch, 18 x 6 and that was an additional $94.54. So imagine the porch from the house below on the house above.