A Sears Hillsboro Testimonial Home in Madison New Jersey

Several years ago I bought a Sears Modern Homes catalog from 1930. When it arrived I was surprised to find that it wasn’t what I thought it was! The catalog only showed homes from customers who were pleased with their home. We call these testimonial homes. I had a catalog full of testimonials and after thinking about it I decided the best thing to do was locate those homes…so I did. I have featured a few of them in my blogs and I have shown several of them on facebook. I have located the majority of them.

I posted this house a few years ago in Rosemary Thornton’s facebook group and I have posted on my facebook page and today I think I will share it with the world!

The Sears Hillsboro made it’s first appearance in the 1930 Modern Homes Catalog as well as the catalog of testimonial homes I have. That’s odd isn’t it? Follow the catalog images and captions as I unravel the mystery and let me know what you think in the comments.

The Hillsboro first appears in the 1930 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

The Hillsboro first appeared in the 1930 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

In a different 1930 Sears Modern Homes catalog this Hillsboro appears ... with a TESTIMONY!

In a different 1930 Sears Modern Homes catalog this Hillsboro appears … with a TESTIMONY!

The T.R. (Theodore)Wolfe testimony for a Sears Hillsboro in Madison, NJ.

The T.R. (Theodore)Wolfe testimony for a Sears Hillsboro in Madison, NJ.

This image from the 1930 catalog of testimonies would become the image used in future publications of sears Modern Homes catalogs. If you have a Houses By Mail book you will find it on page 160.

This image from the 1930 catalog of testimonies would become the image used in future publications of sears Modern Homes catalogs. If you have a Houses By Mail book you will find it on page 160.

With that information I was able to locate THE Hillsboro for T.R. Wolfe. Unfortunately it is hidden behind trees but at the time it was for rent, I believe,  and a few photos were listed. It may have been for sale. It’s been a few years ago and that’s several house ago for me. :)

This is the T.R. Wolfe Hillsboro as it appeared a few years ago. According to the assessor information this morning the house is still there.

This is the T.R. Wolfe Hillsboro as it appeared a few years ago. According to the assessor information this morning the house is still there.

The assessor lists this house as built in 1928 and I think that might actually be correct. It had to be built at least in 1929 in order for it to appear in 1930 publications. Now, my question is this…was it a custom home that became a Sears “regular”? Was it a “test” home” I have five 1928 Sears Modern Homes catalogs and it’s not in any of them, even the east coast publications. I’m hoping that the Morris County Historical Society will solve this mystery! Certainly there is a mortgage on this house.

Let’s go inside now! Thanks to the rental listing a few years ago we can see inside.

Here we see the living room and in the far right back corner is the porch which looks to be enclosed now. The dining room is at the back and the kitchen is to the left of the dining room.

Here we see the living room and in the far right back corner is the porch which looks to be enclosed now. The dining room is at the back and the kitchen is to the left of the dining room. It looks like they put a slate tile over the oak hardwood floors.

Let’s head to the kitchen…I’m hungry!

 Hmmm, looks like there's nothing to eat in here! Oh well. Anyway, to the far back the door on the right goes in to the living room and the door to the left goes in to what should be a garage but it looks to be used as another room now doesn't it? To the left of that door you see a long narrow cupboard. That at one time was an ironing board closet. The kitchen floor for the Hillsboro WAS clear maple.

 

Hmmm, looks like there’s nothing to eat in here! Oh well. Anyway, the far back the door on the right goes in to the living room and the door to the left goes in to what should be a garage but it looks to be used as another room now doesn’t it? To the left of that door you see a long narrow cupboard. That at one time was an ironing board closet. The kitchen floor for the Hillsboro WAS clear maple.

Let’s head up stairs to see if there’s a place to nap! I feel kinda like Goldilocks in this tour.

This is one of two bedrooms upstairs. the room to the back is a study. I bet many of those became bathrooms later...or a big closet for the lady of the house LOL.

This is one of two bedrooms upstairs. The room to the back is a study. I bet many of those became bathrooms later…or a big closet for the lady of the house LOL.

This room is the study that you see off of the bedroom above.

This room is the study that you see off of the bedroom above.

What’s that? Where’s the bathroom you ask?

The bathroom looks somewhat original. The floor should be clear maple under that tile. The medicine cabinet is a replacement as well. I do see a glimpse of the original hardware, La Tosca, on the door.

The bathroom looks somewhat original. The floor should be clear maple under that tile. The medicine cabinet is a replacement as well. I do see a glimpse of the original hardware, La Tosca, on the door.

The Sears Hillsboro was ‘officially’ offered, per my catalog collection from Sears, from 1930-1937.   Considering that length of time not many have been reported!

This nice full layout is from the Sears Merchandise catalog published in fall 1931. I think there are likely many more out there, somewhere!

This nice full layout is from the Sears Merchandise catalog published in fall 1931. I think there are likely many more out there, somewhere!

Do you have a Sears Hillsboro to share or report? If so email me at searshomes@yahoo.com

This Sears Modern Homes 'Hillsboro

This Sears Modern Homes ‘Hillsboro” was built in 1932 in St Louis Hills, Missouri. It’s a spot on match to the Sears Modern homes 1930 catalog image! It’s located not too far from where the sales office was located.

Sears Modern Homes 1930, the Hillsboro

Sears Modern Homes 1930, the Hillsboro

This Sears Modern Homes Hillsboro is in Steubenville, Ohio. One of our facebook group members posted it several months ago under the album of photos of the Madison NJ house I had uploaded. I think she has a good eye! Looks like a match to me! Photo is from the real estate website.

This Sears Modern Homes Hillsboro is in Steubenville, Ohio. One of our facebook group members posted it several months ago under the album of photos of the Madison NJ house I had uploaded. I think she has a good eye! Looks like a match to me! Photo is from the real estate website.

If you would like more information on how to identify a Sears kit home click here.

You can follow my finds on facebook if you click here.

And, you can join our closed Sears Homes group on facebook too if you want to learn how to recognize kit homes and pattern book homes!

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

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A Popular California Bungalow Pattern Used By Sears Modern Homes and Many Others

In February of 1905 Louise W.C. Ochsner, a widow, purchased  lot 51 Block A in Los Angeles California.  In 1906 she had a very interesting bungalow built on that lot.  Louise and her daughter and son-in law lived in the house but a couple years.    It was quite a bungalow and evidently the pattern was very popular.

In November of 1908 the Los Angeles Herald featured the bungalow on the front page of the ‘Special Real Estate’ section.  If you are a Sears homes enthusiast you will recognize this house.

The exterior view of the house immediately caught my attention, naturally. However, as I read the article I realized that the description of the interior was that of another house I was very familiar with!

The exterior view of the house immediately caught my attention, naturally. However, as I read the article I realized that the description of the interior was that of another house I was very familiar with!

This Spanish colonial bungalow was built in 1906 at 1265 Leighton Ave, Los Angeles California. Mrs Ochsner sold her beautiful bungalow in April 1909 and it was sold again in February of 1910. In 1910 the Los Angeles Herald once again featured the bungalow in their publication. This time they showed an exterior view from a right angle and an interior photo of the living room going in to the dining room.

 If you are a Sears homes enthusiast this is another view you should recognize.

If you are a Sears homes enthusiast this is another view you should recognize.

This view shows the living room and entry to the dining room. I suspect these images were taken for a catalog publication. I'm not 100% sure but I think this is possibly another one of Los Angeles Investment Company's designs. If not them maybe Ye Old Planry. I can tell you this, it's not a 'Sears' design!

This view shows the living room and entry to the dining room. I suspect these images were taken for a catalog publication. I’m not 100% sure, but … I think this is possibly another one of Los Angeles Investment Company’s designs. If not them maybe Ye Old Planry. I can tell you this, it’s not a ‘Sears’ design!

In Fall 1914 Sears would offer this house as a kit 264P233 and 264P232, the same floor plan but different exteriors. The 264P233 is the exact same photo! And, when I zoomed in I could make out the first three house numbers 126. The interior description and the floor plan of the Sears house matches the descriptions and photos of Louise Ochsners California bungalow. So, there's the original Sears model that was built before Sears offered houses and proves that they also borrowed/purchased this pattern as well.

In Fall 1914 Sears would offer this house as a kit 264P233 and 264P232, the same floor plan but different exteriors. The 264P233 is the exact same photo! And, when I zoomed in I could make out the first three house numbers 126. The interior description and the floor plan of the Sears house matches the descriptions and photos of Louise Ochsners California bungalow. So, there’s the original Sears model that was built before Sears offered houses and proves that they also borrowed/purchased this pattern as well.

 

Sears Modern Homes would offer this house until 1918/1919 changing the name to the Savoy. By at least 1917 other kit homes companies and pattern books were offering this same house sometimes altering the interior slightly or even completely! However, they all used the very same photo of the original bungalow built at 1265 Leighton Ave.

In 1917 Gordon Van Tine would offer their version of this bungalow in both ready cut and not ready cut. Notice they used the same photo? They changed the interior quite a bit.

In 1917 Gordon Van Tine would offer their version of this bungalow in both ready cut and not ready cut. Notice they used the same photo? If you enlarge the image you can make out the house address.  The interior was changed quite a bit.

The back of the Gordon Van Tine 1917 catalog features the California bungalow!

The back of the Gordon Van Tine 1917 catalog features the California bungalow!

This color image is from my 1920 Gordon Van Tine catalog. Gordon Van Tine discontinued this model in 1922.

This color image is from my 1920 Gordon Van Tine catalog. Gordon Van Tine discontinued this model in 1922.

Jud Yoho, designer of bungalows in Seattle Washington and owner of the The Craftsman Bungalow Company, offered the California bungalow in his 1917 pattern book publication as no 333 'All in White' which was, BTW, the original color of the LA bungalow.

Jud Yoho, designer of bungalows in Seattle Washington and owner of the The Craftsman Bungalow Company, offered the California bungalow in his 1917 pattern book publication as no 333 ‘All In White’ which was, BTW, the original color of the LA bungalow.  This isn’t the only California bungalow that Jud Yoho offered in his pattern books.  He offered the Los Angeles Investment Company design 560 which was the design Sears used for their ‘Hollywood’.

The 1917 Bungalow Craftsman catalog of Jud Yoho and Edward Merritt also shows the interior of the living room and dining room...the same photo from the 1910 newspaper. the floor plan is the same as the Sears bungalow. I believe that Sears and Yoho used the original floor plan.

The 1917 Bungalow Craftsman catalog of Jud Yoho and Edward Merritt also shows the interior of the living room and dining room…the same photo from the 1910 newspaper. The floor plan is the same as the Sears bungalow. I believe that Sears and Yoho used the original floor plan.

Los Angeles based kit home company Pacific Ready Cut Homes, 1918-1940, also utilized patterns of local designers/architects for their ready cut homes. This is from my 1919 catalog, no 392. They used the same photo but changed the floor plan a lot.

Los Angeles based kit home company Pacific Ready Cut Homes, 1918-1940, also utilized patterns of local designers/architects for their ready cut homes. This is from my 1919 catalog, no 392. They used the same photo but changed the floor plan a lot.

Even William Radford offered a version and used the same original photo! This image, design 10100S, is from one of his 1919 publications.

Even William Radford offered a version and used the same original photo! This image, design 10100S, is from one of his 1919 publications.

The Cardenas from Standard Homes Company, another pattern book publication often found at local lumber dealers, appeared in the early 1920's catalogs they published. This image is a little larger than the original but Standard Home plans often offered two sizes.

The Cardenas from Standard Homes Company, another pattern book publication often found at local lumber dealers, appeared in the early 1920’s catalogs they published. This house/floor plan is a little larger than the original but Standard Home plans often offered two sizes.

I bet you are wondering if the ‘original’ Spanish Colonial all white bungalow is still there! Yes, with several modifications.

A Spanish Colonial bungalow in all white at 1265 Leighton Ave in Los Angeles California as it looks today. The pepper trees from all of the photos are since long gone. Those were so pretty!

A Spanish Colonial bungalow in all white at 1265 Leighton Ave in Los Angeles California as it looks today.  It has been through several modifications, obviously.    The pepper trees from all of the photos are since long gone. Those were so pretty!

A special thanks to Dale Wolicki for sharing this Gordon Van Tine number 706 built in 1920 in Hattiesburg Mississippi. Gordon Van Tine had a mill for a few years in Hattiesburg. Photo is property of Dale Wolicki and may not be used with written permission

A special thanks to Dale Wolicki for sharing this Gordon Van Tine number 706 built in 1920 in Hattiesburg Mississippi. Gordon Van Tine had a mill for a few years in Hattiesburg. Photo is property of Dale Wolicki and may not be used with written permission

 I found this California bungalow in Anderson SC a few years ago. I think it might be the Gordon Van Tine version. However, I can't be 100% sure without seeing the inside as you have likely figured out now! It's in a neighborhood with other kit homes as well as pattern homes.

I found this California bungalow in Anderson SC a few years ago. I think it might be the Gordon Van Tine version. However, I can’t be 100% sure without seeing the inside as you have likely figured out now! It’s in a neighborhood with other kit homes as well as pattern homes.

This California bungalow is in my neck of the woods, Bartlesville Oklahoma. I wonder what it is now? LOL

This California bungalow is in my neck of the woods, Bartlesville Oklahoma. Now, I wonder what it is? LOL

This California bungalow is in my neck of the woods, Bartlesville Oklahoma. Built in 1914 or 1915 I think. I'm confused LOL

This California bungalow is in my neck of the woods, Bartlesville Oklahoma. Built in 1914 or 1915 I think. I’m confused LOL

Are you as confused as I am now? And I’m pretty fluent in kit homes as well as pattern homes too! When we do a windshield survey we are often faced with this dilemma because there as so many pattern homes out there that have kit home likenesses. We can only speculate and suggest what a house might be. It is then up to someone else such as the homeowner or a local historian to dig a little deeper in these cases.

Do you need help identifying a kit home or a pattern home? Maybe you have seen this California bungalow? I know we have a few in Tulsa which I am sure were built from patterns but not these in this blog. You may email me at searshomes@yahoo.com

You can follow my finds on facebook if you click here.

And, you can join our closed Sears Homes group on facebook too if you want to learn how to recognize kit homes and pattern book homes!

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

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1917 Gordon van Tine

1917 Gordon van Tine

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Another Los Angeles Investment Company House With Ties To A Kit Home

Since I am on the subject of the Los Angeles Investment Company I want to share another home that is the work of Ernest McConnell supervising architect and his designers/architects one being Benjamin Allen Brown. The subject house was built in 1910 but featured on the front of their 1912 catalog.

Los Angeles Investment Company 1912 features their design no 560 on the cover.  THAT house was built in fall of 1910.  Does it look familiar?

Los Angeles Investment Company 1912 features their design no 560 on the cover. THAT house was built in fall of 1910. Does it look familiar?

This image shows the Sears 264P234 with the Los Angeles Investment Company design 560.  See the similarities?  Sears obviously retouched the photo, there's no doubt.

This image shows the Sears 264P234 with the Los Angeles Investment Company design 560. See the similarities? Sears obviously retouched the photo, there’s no doubt.

Sears first offered model 264P234 in 1914. The Los Angeles Investment Company built their design 560 in fall of 1910. In fact, they built two on the same block! The first one built was used as the catalog image.

In September 1910 a building permit was filed by Los Angeles Investment Company for 1575 W 50th Street.

In September 1910 a building permit was filed by Los Angeles Investment Company for 1575 W 50th Street.

This is the house at that address, 1575 W 50th Street.  You can see the house via bing street view and several years via google street.  I took the screenshot that shows the details the best.   Remember you can click on any of my images to see them in full size.

This is the house at that address, 1575 W 50th Street. You can see the house via bing street view and several years via google street. I took the screenshot that shows the details the best. Remember you can click on any of my images to see them in full size.

Some of you probably still aren’t convinced. In 1918 Sears began replacing model numbers with names. The 264P234 was given the name ‘Hollywood’. Coincidence? I doubt it. Here again, like the Sears ‘Osborn’, they acquired yet another pattern from another company to use for their kit homes.

In the 1918 Sears Modern Homes catalog they opted to show a photo of the house from the front.  Look very closely at all of the details such as the stones in the lower right corner.  And, BTW, Sears didn't have a door of that style.  One more detail, if you look very closely at the address on the Sears image you can make out the 157 and the last digit is blurred.

In the 1918 Sears Modern Homes catalog they opted to show a photo of the house from the front. Look very closely at all of the details such as the stones in the lower right corner. And, BTW, Sears didn’t have a door of that style. One more detail, if you look very closely at the address on the Sears image you can make out the 1575.

The address is 1575 W 50th Street so google away and while you’re there stop at 1542 W 50th Street and see the other one which was built in 1911.

When Sears ‘borrowed’ the pattern they changed the floor plan. Designers/architects often did that to avoid copyright infringement.

By the early 1920's this California bungalow became a very popular bungalow style and every company offered a version or two of it.  The Sears Hollywood is one of the most common misidentified Sears models.  In  Fall 1920-Spring 1921the Hollywood had the honor of gracing the front of the Modern Homes catalog.

By the early 1920’s this California bungalow became a very popular bungalow style and every company offered a version or two of it. The Sears Hollywood is one of the most common misidentified Sears models. In Fall 1920-Spring 1921 the Hollywood had the honor of gracing the front of the Modern Homes catalog.

And as native Tulsan Paul Harvey would say, ‘and now you know the rest of the story’.

Do you have a possible Sears Hollywood to share or report? If so email me at searshomes@yahoo.com

You can follow my finds on facebook if you click here.

And, you can join our closed Sears Homes group on facebook too if you want to learn how to recognize kit homes and pattern book homes!

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

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FREE BUNGALOW! And The Winner Is…

This blog is part II to my previous blog.  To read that blog again click here.

Last night I left you hanging. Who was the winner of this FREE BUNGALOW in the Los Angeles Herald Voting Contest?

On the front page of the Los Angeles Herald on July 2nd the winners were announced.  Jennie Van Allen the  nominee for the American Woman's League was announced as the winner!  How exciting for the American Woman's League, they now had a temporary chapter house.

On the front page of the Los Angeles Herald on July 2nd the winners were announced. Jennie Van Allen, the nominee for the American Woman’s League, was announced as the winner! How exciting for the American Woman’s League, they now had a temporary chapter house. Remember you can click on any image to enlarge.

July 2nd meeting synopsis announces that Miss Jennie Van Allen has transferred all prizes over to the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Woman's League.  Not only did they win the bungalow but they won a piano, a lot in Brawley and a diamond ring!

A July 10th meeting synopsis announces that Miss Jennie Van Allen has transferred all prizes over to the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Woman’s League. Not only did they win the bungalow but they won a piano, a lot in Brawley and a diamond ring!

Every 'chapter house' needs a piano!   As a music major and a Gamma Phi Beta alum I can see the need for a piano  :)

Every ‘chapter house’ needs a piano! As a music major and a Gamma Phi Beta alum I can see the need for a piano :)

In August the women of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Woman's League held a reception and christened their new chapter house! How exciting that must have been. The Los Angeles chapter was the largest in the country at the time with 540 members. A fairly new chapter but very dedicated and committed group of women. Is it any wonder they won the bungalow?

In August the women of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Woman’s League held a reception and christened their new chapter house! How exciting that must have been. The Los Angeles chapter was the largest in the country at the time with 540 members. A fairly new chapter but a very dedicated and committed group of women. Is it any wonder they won the bungalow?

1832 49th Los Angeles California, the former American Women's League Chapter House.  I wonder if the current homeowners know the history of this house?

1832 W. 49th Str Los Angeles California, the former American Women’s League Chapter House. I wonder if the current homeowners know the history of this house?

The PRIZE bungalow was built by Los Angeles Investment Company in 1910. The supervising architect for LA Investment Company was Ernest McConnell. I’ve been researching this company off and on for the past few years. I’ve spent countless hours on virtual tours locating their homes. I hope that one day I can visit LA. Who wants to go?

Their bungalow designs have been used  by quite a few kit home companies. They did not sell kit homes but they built thousands of homes in Los Angeles in the 1910’s.

The 1910 catalog image of the 302F was the house that was built for the Los herald Voting Contest!

The 1910 catalog image of the 302F was the house that was built for the Los Angeles Herald Voting Contest!

 

Los Angeles Investment 1910 302F Interior

Los Angeles Investment 1910 302F Interior

Los Angeles Investment 1910 302F Interior View, looks like they have moved in!

Los Angeles Investment 1912 302F Interior View, looks like they have moved in!

One mystery revealed! Now, mystery number two…what kit home company would use this pattern four years later to sell kit homes?

The Lewis Company published a catalog of precut homes in 1913.  In 1914 they would offer a model called the SAN PEDRO.  Does it look familiar?  San Pedro...get it?

The Lewis Company of bay City Michigan published a catalog of precut homes in 1913. In 1914 they would offer a model called the SAN PEDRO. Does it look familiar? San Pedro…get it?

Would you like to see a Lewis San Pedro? To see a San Pedro click here!

I would like to thank Dale Wolicki for sharing the 1914 Lewis San Pedro.

You can follow my finds on facebook if you click here.

And, you can join our closed Sears Homes group on facebook too if you want to learn how to recognize kit homes and pattern book homes!

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

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FREE Bungalow! Extra Extra! Read ALL ABOUT IT!

Just when I didn’t think this little hobby or project could get any larger.  A few years ago I acquired a catalog from Los Angeles Investment Company from a man here in Tulsa.  I really made a good haul in that meeting and came home with a trunk full of paper treasures!  I started investigating this company to find out more than what I already knew.  After all I now have one of their rare catalogs and that’s an excuse to dig deeper. That and there were a few houses I recognized as kit homes offered a few years later and one being the front cover which looks just like the Sears “Hollywood”. I began by finding where the houses were built and who the designers and architects might be.  That sent me on a virtual journey to Los Angeles California.  I scoured the newspapers for any information I might find in the real estate sections.  One night I got lucky!  I came upon a house I knew very well, a house that was very familiar to me.  A house that I had seen not only in the LA Investment Company catalog but also in a kit home catalog.  A mystery that I had hoped to one day solve. I have a lot of those ;)

In spring of 1910 the Los Angeles Herald announced that they were going to have a ‘voting contest’. They were going to give away $25,000 in prizes.  In 1910 that was a lot of money! Today’s value would be around $600,000 I estimate. Sign me up!

In that $25,000 of numerous prizes was a newly built bungalow by the LA Investment Company valued at $5,300. Heck of a deal. Here’s that FREE BUNGALOW as it appeared in the Los Angeles Herald as the front page of the contest section on March 21, 1910.

The front page of the contest section of the Los Angeles Herald March 22, 1910.  Click to enlarge image.

The front page of the contest section of the Los Angeles Herald March 22, 1910. Click to enlarge image.

However, it was THIS page in the Los Angeles Herald that caught my attention while searching for bungalows built by the LA Investment Company!  I knew that house for another reason to be revealed at the end. This page sent me on another adventure.

However, it was THIS page in the Los Angeles Herald on March 17th that caught my attention while searching for bungalows built by the LA Investment Company! I knew that house for another reason to be revealed at the end of this blog.  This page sent me on another adventure, where the house was located was obvious since the address is right there.

This page will give you all of the specifications if you are interested in that.

This page will give you all of the specifications if you are interested in that.

I was very curious about who won the bungalow so I read through the next few months newspapers to see how it all transpired.

March 22, 1910 Nominations Are in Order.  That's a good place to begin!  Who were the contestants?

March 22, 1910 Nominations Are in Order. That’s a good place to begin! Who were the contestants?

The voting contest progress and the nominations came in and the prizes were beginning to be awarded beginning with those of lesser value.  It became obvious that a group of women known as the American Woman's League of LA had their eye on the prize!  One of the nominees was Jean Van Allen and that is who I would begin to follow.

The voting contest progressed and the nominations came in and the prizes were beginning to be awarded beginning with those of lesser value. It became obvious that a group of women known as the American Woman’s League of LA had their eye on the prize! One of their nominees was Jean Van Allen and that is who I would begin to follow.  The Los Angeles Herald was very supportive of this society for women and their events were regularly published.  They were in need of a temporary chapter house until one could be built for them.

May 1 the question was raised to  attend the great jubilee convention or stay behind and have benefits to raise votes.  Looks to me like they stayed behind!

May 1st the question was raised to attend the great jubilee convention or stay behind and have benefits to raise votes. Looks to me like they stayed behind!

Oh dear, it's June 7th and there's a new leader!  Miss Jennie Van Allen, the nominee for the American Woman's Club, is no longer in the lead!  The voting contest ends June 30th!

Oh dear, it’s June 7th and there’s a new leader! Miss Jennie Van Allen, the nominee for the American Woman’s Club, is no longer in the lead! The voting contest ends June 30th!

June 29th, the contest ends tomorrow.  Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock....

June 29th, the contest ends tomorrow. Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock….

The voting contest ended on June 30th at 5pm.  Who won the $5300 bungalow?  Better yet, who would later offer this bungalow pattern and what are its ties to kit homes?

The voting contest ended on June 30th at 5pm. Who won the $5300 bungalow? Better yet, who would later offer this bungalow pattern and what are its ties to kit homes?

Here's a screenshot of the house that was built by Los Angeles Investment Company in late 1909 early 1910 that was given away in a voting contest by the Los Angeles Herald.  I wonder if the current owners know the story of their house?  Do they know it was a prize bungalow? Literally!

Here’s a screenshot of the house that was built by Los Angeles Investment Company in late 1909 early 1910 that was given away in a voting contest by the Los Angeles Herald. I wonder if the current owners know the story of their house? Do they know it was a prize bungalow? Literally!

Do you know?  if you do leave a comment!  Be sure and come back for my next blog to see who the winner was and what became of the house after that as well as what kit home company would later offer this pattern as one of their homes!

Do you know? If you do leave a comment! Be sure and come back for my next blog to see who the winner was and what became of the house after that as well as what kit home company would later offer this pattern as one of their homes!

You can follow my finds on facebook if you click here.

And, you can join our closed Sears Homes group on facebook too if you want to learn how to recognize kit homes and pattern book homes!

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

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The Worthingon, Aladdin’s One Year Model

Have you seen this house?

Of all of the Aladdin Ready Cut homes I have only seen the Aladdin Worthington offered in one catalog. Until a few years ago I had never seen an example of an Aladdin Worthington either!

The Aladdin Company was located in Bay City Michigan and most of the Aladdin models were built in Bay City but not the Worthington.

The Worthington was only offered in the no 32 catalog which Aladdin published in 1920. It was a fine house. I wonder why a model was never built in Bay City Michigan?

The Worthington was only offered in the no 32 catalog which Aladdin published in 1920. It was a fine house. I wonder why a model was never built in Bay City Michigan?

Here is the only known Aladdin Worthington and it is in Hockessin, De. Yes, the homeowners know, or should know, I identified it for their neighbors a few years ago.

Here is the only known Aladdin Worthington and it is in Hockessin, De. Yes, the homeowners know, or should know, I identified it for their neighbors a few years ago.

Here's the Aladdin 1920 Worthington floor plan. It is very similar to the Aladdin Brentwood. The same room arrangement with different measurements. The Brentwood was a very popular house so I don't think the floorplan was the problem. One year, 1920, and then it was gone. Gone as fast as it appeared! Poof!

Here’s the Aladdin 1920 Worthington floor plan. It is very similar to the Aladdin Brentwood. The same room arrangement with different measurements. The Brentwood was a very popular house so I don’t think the floorplan was the problem. One year, 1920, and then it was gone. Gone as fast as it appeared! Poof!

I understand that this house, as well as another Aladdin model, was ordered for National Vulcanized Fiber in Yorklyn.

Do you know of an Aladdin Worthington? If so drop me an email at searshomes@yahoo.com or leave me a comment below.

To learn about another one of Aladdin’s rare models, the Aladdin Westwood, click here.

You can follow my finds on facebook if you click here.

And, you can join our closed Sears Homes group on facebook too if you want to learn how to recognize kit homes and pattern book homes!

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

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Sears Modern Homes Number 210, a Colonial Bungalow

In the last two blogs I featured the Sears Modern Homes number 124 which was offered in late 1908-early 1909 until 1917. And, I featured the rare Sears Modern Homes number 178, the quirky cousin which was offered 1910-1915.
In tonight’s blog we will meet the sibling to the quirky bungalow number 178! Tonight’s feature is a more conservative bungalow than the Sears Modern Homes number 178.

Friendly reminder, you can click on the images to see them in full screen.

In the spring Sears Modern Homes catalog the number 210 makes its first appearance alongside its sibling the number 178.  The number 210 is a more conservative colonial  home with classic square columns. The bungalow dormer is replaced with a protruding front gable giving it a cross gable roof.  The bathroom opens to a large balcony.  Kind of odd I thought.  And, two pergola roofs over the large open terrace below.  The floor plans, however, are identical.

In the spring Sears Modern Homes catalog the number 210 makes its first appearance alongside its sibling the number 178. The number 210 is a more conservative colonial home with classic square columns. The bungalow dormer is replaced with a protruding front gable giving it a cross gable roof. The bathroom opens to a large balcony. Kind of odd I thought. And, two pergola roofs over the large open terrace below. The floor plans, however, are identical.

Here is a better view of just the house.  This is from the 1918 Sears Modern Homes catalog.   In 1918 Sears began giving the house models names instead of numbers and as you can see....it's a boy!  :)   The Sears Milton aka number 210 was only offered as a not ready cut home.  What does that mean you ask?  Good question!  Not all of Sears homes were actually pre-cut which means you got all of the framing lumber but you would have to measure and cut them yourself.  Everything was included, nails millwork, windows, hardware etc but you had to cut the 2x4s and 2x6s basically.

Here is a better view of just the house. This is from the 1918 Sears Modern Homes catalog. In 1918 Sears began giving the house models names instead of numbers and as you can see….it’s a boy! :) The Sears Milton aka number 210 was only offered as a not ready cut home. What does that mean you ask? Good question! Not all of Sears homes were actually pre-cut which means you got all of the framing lumber but you would have to measure and cut them yourself. Everything was included, nails millwork, windows, hardware etc but you had to cut the 2x4s and 2x6s basically.

I need a drum roll please! I am so happy to say I found a lovely example of the Sears Modern Homes number 210 aka Milton RIGHT HERE IN MY OWN BACKYARD! Yes siree! Have you ever heard of a small time football quarterback by the name of Troy Aikman? Well, this home is located in Troy’s hometown…Henryetta, Oklahoma. Henryetta is about 30-45 minutes south of Tulsa.

The Sears Milton (210) in Henryetta Oklahoma home of  NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman. The Henryetta house was built reversed which was an option Sears offered at time of order.

The Sears Milton (210) in Henryetta Oklahoma home of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman.
The Henryetta house was built reversed which was an option Sears offered at time of order.

Here's the reversed view of the Sears Milton.  isn't that something?  In OKLAHOMA!

Here’s the reversed view of the Sears Milton. Isn’t that something? In OKLAHOMA!

And the front of the Sears Milton in Henryetta, Okla . I was giddy with excitement at this discovery!  When I found it they were in the middle of painting it and the pictures weren't so 'pretty'.  Scraped wood and stuff scattered.  I gave it a month or two and went back for better photos.

And the front of the Sears Milton in Henryetta, Okla .
I was giddy with excitement at this discovery! When I found it they were in the middle of painting it and the pictures weren’t so ‘pretty’. Scraped wood and stuff scattered. I gave it a month or two and went back for better photos.

The double bay side of the Sears Milton Henryetta, Okla . Isn't that a grand home?  I'm so thrilled to have one here.  And they said there weren't any sears homes built west of the Mississippi other than the one in Chelsea!  Pfft.

The double bay side of the Sears Milton Henryetta, Okla .
Isn’t that a grand home? I’m so thrilled to have one here.  And they said there weren’t any Sears homes built west of the Mississippi other than the one in Chelsea! Pfft.

Sears Modern Homes 1918, the Milton.

Sears Modern Homes 1918, the Milton.

If you would like to see more Sears Modern Homes number 210 aka the Milton then click here on my friend Rosemary Thornton’s blog. You can click through to see several there, just follow all of her links.

You can follow my finds on facebook if you click here.

And, you can join our closed Sears Homes group on facebook too if you want to learn about how to recognize kit homes and pattern book homes!

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

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Meet Sears Number 178, the Quirky Cousin of Sears Number 124

As if the Sears 124 wasn’t “interesting” enough the quirky cousin comes along in fall of 1910!  When you see a Sears 178 you will never forget it, trust me.

 The Sears Modern Homes catalog in 1911 formally introduces the #178.  They also mention that one was built in New York City.  That is the ONLY mention of a #178 I have ever seen in a catalog.  The Sears 178 was short lived.  It was offered in late 1910 and was gone by late 1915.  Five years, my guess is it wasn't one of their biggest sellers and judging that there are no known testimonies or 'built in this city'  it must not have been very popular.  Like a quirky odd cousin.

The Sears Modern Homes catalog in 1911 formally introduces the #178. They also mention that one was built in New York City. That is the ONLY mention of a #178 I have ever seen in a catalog. The Sears 178 was short lived. It was offered in late 1910 and was gone by late 1915. Five years, my guess is it wasn’t one of their biggest sellers and judging that there are no known testimonies or ‘built in this city’ (other than NYC)  it must not have been very popular. Like a quirky odd cousin.

The Sears 124 and the 178 floor plans are very similar. The room arrangements are identical. The stairway configuration is the biggest difference. The 124 has good morning stairs that service the kitchen and the 178 has a pantry instead of the good morning stairs to the kitchen. The upstairs central hallway has different measurements because the bathroom is arranged differently. And the bay runs both stories.  Other than that the interiors are the same. Now, the exterior is completely different!

Sears Modern Homes fall 1913, #178.  You can see that the stairway has changed and in the place of the good morning stairs they placed a pantry.  And, the bathroom has a different lay-out.

Sears Modern Homes fall 1913, #178. You can see that the stairway has changed and in the place of the good morning stairs they placed a pantry. And, the bathroom has a different lay-out.

I’ve only seen one Sears 178 in the seven years I have been doing this. I found one a few years ago in Nebraska. The catalog image does not do this house justice. The real deal is quirky, in a good way, but attractive.  Like getting to know that quirky cousin who turns out to be interesting and plain fun! I like this house. Really like it.

 Isn't this Sears #178 beautiful?  I absolutely LOVE it!  It's one of the most interesting models that Sears offered, I think.

Isn’t this Sears #178 beautiful? I absolutely LOVE it! It’s one of the most interesting models that Sears offered, I think.

Here is the back view of the Sears 178

Here is the back view of the Sears 178

I like the garage with the matching dormer.  Nice touch.

I like the garage with the matching dormer and rafter tails. Nice touch.

What are your thoughts on this quirky bungalow? Do you like it? Do you hate it? While it may have a face only a mother can love I find it interesting and love the personality! I would certainly choose it.

Do you have a Sears 178 or a 124 to share? If so please leave me a comment or send me an email searshomes@yahoo.com

Do you like quirky or funky bungalows? Check out THIS sweet thing in Webster Groves Missouri!

Do you want to learn more about Sears homes? CLICK HERE!

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

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A Sears 124 in Clayton Georgia

About five years ago I started searching for testimonial homes as a way to help me learn all of the models offered by the kit home companies. Two weeks ago I got a new laptop and as I was going through jpeg images I realized that I had so many houses from testimonials that I had located and then there are the little pieces of paper and a spiral with addresses. They are houses all over the country. I hope to share a couple the next few days. Tonight I want to tell you about the Sears 124.

The 124 is not an original Sears design, shocking I know LOL. Let’s start there. The beginning. Let’s first see where the 124 ‘originated’ and then have a look at the real deal!

The design, pattern, for the 124 dates back to at least 1904.

The centerfold in The Ladies Home Journal January 1904.  The Ladies Home Journal frequently featured homes built from patterns.  I have circled a California bungalow that was built as a Young People's Tennis Club.

The centerfold in The Ladies Home Journal January 1904. The Ladies Home Journal frequently featured homes built from patterns. I have circled a California bungalow that was built as a Young People’s Tennis Club. You can click on the image to enlarge it.

 

 

The Ladies Home Journal January 1904

 

The Ladies Home Journal January 1904

 

 

January 1904! So, it was likely built in 1903. Folks, that predates Sears homes by four+ years! However, Keith’s Magazine on Home Building offered several patterns in their publication and this pattern as design no 1070.

Keith's Magazine on Home Building offered several patterns in their publication and  this pattern as design no 1070 is one.  Look familiar?

 

Keith’s Magazine on Home Building offered several patterns in their publication and this pattern as design no 1070 is one. Look familiar?

 

 

Another 'version' of the same bungalow.  I've seen a few versions of the bunglow in publications.

 

Another ‘version’ of the same bungalow. I’ve seen a few versions of the bungalow in publications.

 

 

Keith's 1070B

 

Keith’s 1070B

 

 

That brings us to 1908. The Sears no 124 was offered in late 1908. It wasn’t in their first 1908 catalog.  I have the 1908 4th edition and it wasn’t offered yet. My next 1908 is the 7th edition and it appears by then. You can see the Sears 1908 4th edition here.

The Sears Fall 1916 Modern homes catalog mention a 124 built in Clayton Gerogia </h3/

 

The Sears Fall 1913 Modern homes catalog mentions a 124 built in Clayton Georgia

 

 

Courtesy of the Georgia Archives.  Clayton, early 1920s. Laurels Falls Hotel with people gathered on the porch. It was started by Rev. C. W. Smith after he came to Clayton in 1915.

 

Courtesy of the Georgia Archives: Clayton, early 1920s. Laurels Falls Hotel with people gathered on the porch. It was started by Rev. C. W. Smith after he came to Clayton in 1915.

 

 

The Sears 124 from the 1912 Sears merchandise catalog paint section

 

The Sears 124 from the 1912 Sears merchandise catalog paint section

 

 

My research shows that Calvin Warren Smith built the Sears 124 in Clayton Georgia in 1912 as a summer home. In 1915 after his business collapsed he and his wife and eight surviving children moved to their summer home in Clayton Georgia. Here they would operate the Laurel Falls Hotel out of the Sears 124. In 1920 Calvin started a summer camp for girls.

 I found this 1922 Harper's Bazaar Advert for Laurel Falls Camp.  I also found in a magazine that tuition for the summer camp was $200.  That was a lot of money for a couple of months in the early 20's!

 

I found this 1922 Harper’s Bazaar Advert for Laurel Falls Camp. I also found in a magazine that tuition for the summer camp was $200. That was a lot of money for a couple of months in the early 20’s!

 

 

In the early 1920’s the Smith’s health started failing and the third youngest of the children returned to help with the camp. Lillian Eugenia Smith was a talented musician and would become a notable author. CW Smith passed away in 1930. Lillian was camp director from 1925 until 1948. Under Lillian’s direction Laurel Falls Camp became known as a highly popular, innovative educational institution. The camp was known for its instruction in the arts, music, dramatics, as well as modern psychology.

 

This is Woodland Lodge in the 1930's.   I'm waiting to hear back for more information from a descendant.

 

This is Woodland Lodge in the 1930’s. I’m waiting to hear back for more information from a descendant that I contacted on ancestry.

 

 

Fast forward to now. Is the Sears 124 still there? What became of it?

It’s still there but it has had many additions to it. I was able to turn up a few photos to show that.

The Sears 124 operated recently as The English Manor Bed & Breakfast.  This photo from the internet during that time shows what detail is left to the exterior.

 

The Sears 124 operated recently as The English Manor Bed & Breakfast. This photo from the internet during that time shows what detail is left to the exterior.

 

 

Currently the Sears 124 is operating as a bed and breakfast known as the Hideaway at Laurel Falls.   They have a website as well as  facebook page.  You can see this photo there as well as a few others.

 

Currently the Sears 124 is operating as a bed and breakfast known as the Hideaway at Laurel Falls. They have a website as well as facebook page. You can see this photo there as well as a few others.    I LOVE that flagstone patio and the fire pit!

 

 

While looking through their facebook page I spied a Sears Villa Sideboard!  I've seen this buffet before :)

 

While looking through their facebook page I spied a Sears Villa Sideboard! I’ve seen this buffet before :)

 

 

 This image is from my Sears Building Materials 1912 catalog.  It was the buffet included with this model.  If you read the specifications in the catalog page at the top you will see the 264P182 included a buffet and you can see it in the floor sketch.

 

This image is from my Sears Building Materials 1912 catalog.

 

 

You can see that same sideboard in another Sears house in this blog!

Click here to see more Sears 124’s on Rosemary’s awesome blog!

To see another Sears 124 I found click here.

Do you want to learn more about Sears homes? CLICK HERE!

See the facebook page for Hideaway at Laurel Falls here.

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

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The Sears Osborn and Oriental Peaks

Last week the subject of oriental peaks came up in the Sears Homes GroupRosemary asked for photos of the Sears Osborn since it is a good example of a house with oriental peaks.  I posted a couple of Osborns that I have found here in Oklahoma and one I found on flickr several years ago came to mind.  So, I shared the flickr Osborn.

Craftsman House in Seattle

Then it hit me, this can NOT possibly be a Sears Osborn!   That’s not Sears “construction”.    I read the comments, including mine from four years ago.

I looked at another flickr image of this same house and read the comments and this photographer shared the history of this house. If you click on these flickr images you can read the comments too! This is a beautiful photograph isn’t it?  The master gardener me loves the landscaping. Craftsman house, Wallingford

How about those oriental peaks? Those are quite popular out there. Rosemary shared this sketch with the group for discussion.

Image from A Field Guide To American Houses.  Virginia and Lee McAlester.  Thanks Rosemary for the lesson!

Image from A Field Guide To American Houses. Virginia and Lee McAlester. Thanks Rosemary for the lesson!

This house was built in 1911. Not only is this house not of Sears “construction” it predates the 264P244, aka Osborn, by FOUR years! The Sears 264P144 was first offered in late summer early fall of 1915.

The 264P244 would be renamed the Osborn in 1918.

The last year the Sears Osborn was offered was 1929.

The Sears 264P144 was first offered in summer/fall of 1915.   This is that catalog page.

The Sears 264P244 was first offered in summer/fall of 1915. This is that catalog page.

.

I could tell the Sears “Osborn” on flickr, which is in Wallingford.  Seattle, Wa, had been greatly modified but still, the exterior, that is not Sears! No way. Then the 1911 build date. I set out to see if that was correct and, it is.

Gosh, if I could only get inside! So next came the tough part…figuring out the address. I did, of course…finding addresses is what I do :)

Once I figured out the address I discovered the house was recently on the market. SCORE! I can see inside now. Check it out here. I knew immediately that it was not from Sears. Even through all of the upgrades I knew. See that door, look close. For example, that’s not Sears Millwork. However, that door might be a clue as to where the house came from! This house was built from a plan or pattern.  But who? I collect catalogs. I recognize the door as a recommendation in Henry Wilson’s bungalow pattern books.

A page of doors from Henry Wilson catalogs.  Recognize the one I circled?   Sears didn't offer that style of door.

A page of doors from Henry Wilson catalogs. Recognize the one I circled? Sears didn’t offer that style of door.

You don’t identify a house from a front door, inside joke here, but the millwork can give us clues. I checked Henry Wilson and no luck for a match. My thoughts were possibly Jud Yoho. Off I went….ask me about Jud Yoho now. LOL That’s another blog or a facebook album.

Then I had a break in the case! I checked the assessor website and look what I found!

I found this pre-remodel photo on the King County assessor website.  NOW I know why they think it is a Sears Osborn!   Do you see it?   Look close, VERY close.

I found this pre-remodel photo on the King County assessor website. NOW I know why they think it is a Sears Osborn! Do you see it? Look close, VERY close.

Maybe this image will help. Remember those Highlight Magazines for Children? Think of this as one of those activities where you find the likenesses.

It's the SAME house!   I have found the house that was used in the Sears catalog FOUR YEARS after it was built!

It’s the SAME house! I have found the house that was used in the Sears catalog FOUR YEARS after it was built!

Who gets the credit for designing this bungalow? Henry Wilson? Jud Yoho, who BTW lived in this neighborhood and is responsible for several of the houses including the one directly behind this house which happens to be the same model he and his wife Elsie lived in in 1911. Maybe Edward Merritt of Merritt Hall and Merritt Architects? Edward Merritt would later partner with Jud Yoho. Victor Vorhees? Another Seattle architect?   OR….. Maybe Edward T Osborn who was a Seattle architect 1910-1930?  I think that Osborn is a good suspect as this point!   Sears? JK I think I have ruled that one out now.

What are your thoughts?

How about some real Sears Osborns for comparison? Rosemary’s blog shows a real Sears Osborn and an interesting story too!

Is this a Sears Osborn that I found in Miami, Oklahoma?  I need to see the inside!

Is this a Sears Osborn that I found in Miami, Oklahoma? I need to see the inside!

Is this an Osborn in Tonkawa, Oklahoma?  It has a matching garage too, meaning the garage has those oriental peaks as well.

Is this an Osborn in Tonkawa, Oklahoma? It has a matching garage too, meaning the garage has those oriental peaks as well. That siding, :(  sorry.

Then there is this Sears custom home that was obviously influenced by the Osborn.

I found this custom Sears home in Bedford, Pa using a testimonial.

I found this custom Sears home in Bedford, Pa using a testimonial.

One more and I’ll stop. Promise.

Sears Osborn in Dearborn Michigan.  I bought this AP photo several years ago.  Come to find out it's a testimonial house.

Sears Osborn in Dearborn Michigan. I bought this AP photo several years ago. Come to find out it’s a testimonial house.

First I found the house using the name of the person in the AP photo.  A  few months later I stumbled on the testimonial.  Just my luck.

First I found the house using the name of the person in the AP photo. A few months later I stumbled on the testimonial. Just my luck.

You won’t believe what that Dearborn Sears Osborn looks like now!

I found that the Dearborn house had been on the market a few years ago and pieced together this image for comparison.  Notice the exterior has been remodeled?

I found that the Dearborn house had been on the market a few years ago and pieced together this image for comparison. Notice the exterior has been remodeled? The interior remains original, unless that has been stripped now too.

Sears Osborn 1919 From The Golden West.  The same landscaping rocks at the corner too and the hydrant was replaced with a shrub.  What an impressive bungalow whether a pattern or a kit!

Sears Osborn 1919 From The Golden West. The same landscaping rocks at the corner too and the hydrant was replaced with a shrub. What an impressive bungalow whether a pattern or a kit!

Wasn’t that fun? :)

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

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

Recommended websites and blogs: Sears Homes Blog by Rosemary Thornton, Gordon Van Tine Website by Dale Wolicki and Wardway Homes

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