The Gordon Van Tine 552, A Popular Home – Fine For a Narrow Lot

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Gordon Van Tine 1925 Testimony for John F. Burns Model 552

If you read my previous post you may have noticed this testimony in the bottom right corner of the catalog page. I located the house John F. Burns built in West Orange, N.J. with help of the US Census. And, The Gordon Van Tine model 552 was what I found when I got there.

 

Catalog image Gordon Van Tine No. 552 , 1925

This house because of its width is especially good for a narrow lot. And at the same time it is two full stories in height, has six big rooms, a bath, and plenty of closet space.

 

Catalog image Gordon Van Tine No. 552 , 1925

 

John H. Burns, Gordon Van Tine 552 West Orange, New Jersey

The Gordon Van Tine 552 in West Orange New Jersey was built by a firefighter, John Francis Burns.

 

Gordon Van Tine 552 in West Orange New Jersey

Finding the Burns home was no problem. Getting a decent view of it was difficult, though! Oh, and another view shows that the house has had another floor added to it.  You can see that it is on a narrow lot and if you can’t build out you have to build up!

 

I think John did a fine job. He sounded like he was a little unsure of himself at first.  Firefighters have a lot of determination and don’t quit.    They are some of the hardest working and most dependable people you will ever meet.

 

John Burns family Portrait, Gordon Van Tine 552 in West Orange NJ

This is the Burns family. John and his wife Lucy. Son John, II and daughter Delores. A fine looking family with six big rooms, a full bath, and plenty of closet space to live in and enjoy.

 

John Burns, II became a West Orange police officer.

 

Catalog image Gordon Van Tine No. 552 , 1925

The Gordon Van Tine 552 was offered 1917-1927.     Do you know of a Gordon Van Tine 552?  If so, please leave a comment or contact me  through facebook  or by email,  searshomes@yahoo.com

 

Catalog image Gordon Van Tine No. 552 , 1925

 

To see a set of Gordon Van Tine blueprints click here!

If you know of a Gordon Van Tine 552 contact me through facebook or by email at searshomes@yahoo.com

To learn more about kit homes and meet other enthusiasts as well as home owners join us in the Sears Homes Group on facebook!

For more information on the Gordon Van Tine Company of Davenport, Iowa visit the website of Dale Wolicki here.

My friend Rosemary Thornton has featured several Gordon Van Tine homes on her blog.

To see more Gordon Van Tine catalogs online  click here.

And, to see the many beautiful covers click here.

To see a Gordon Van Tine bungalow gifted for Christmas.  A fun research project for me … click here.

Come back for my next blog to see two early Gordon Van Tine craftsman bungalows.

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

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The Gordon Van Tine #555, A Fine Looking Home At A Big Saving

 

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In this home is another pleasing variation of the standard, ever-popular, square house. The popularity of a square house efficiently planned is deserved because of the wonderful opportunities it represents in home utility, not an inch of wasted floor space.

Gordon Van Tine 555, 1925

The plain hip roof of the porch of this substantial home conforms to the lines of the main roof and an all open cornice shows exposed rafters. Throughout this design, you’ll find a pleasing harmony of detail. Note the colonial windows and doors. Also, the solid boxed rail of the porch which makes it possible to enclose it with screens at a small cost, adding much to the comfort.

 

This Gordon Van Tine 555 image is from my 1925 catalog.

 

Gordon Van Tine 555 in Mount Clemens Michigan

On April 26, 1923, Herbert and Grace Whidden were married in Vassar Michigan. They made their home in this Gordon Van Tine number 555 in Mount Clemens where Herbert was a telephone company foreman.

 

Gordon Van Tine 555 in Mount Clemens Michigan

I might have missed this Gordon Van Tine 555 in a survey. The front porch has been enclosed and the hipped roof altered.

 

The siding hides the once exposed rafter tails and the original siding. I would be willing to bet the wooden siding and the shingles above the belt line are hidden under all of that! White paint for the body and brown shingle stain was included for this model unless otherwise instructed.

 

Gordon Van Tine 555, 1925

Have another look at the Gordon Van Tine 555.   This model was offered for ten years, 1919-1927 and in 1928-1929 as the Prairie. (My next blog will feature the home of John F Burns from the testimony circled.)

 

To see a set of Gordon Van Tine blueprints click here!

If you know of a Gordon Van Tine 555 contact me through facebook or by email at searshomes@yahoo.com

To learn more about kit homes and meet other enthusiasts as well as home owners join us in the Sears Homes Group on facebook!

For more information on the Gordon Van Tine Company of Davenport, Iowa visit the website of Dale Wolicki here.

My friend Rosemary Thornton has featured several Gordon Van Tine homes on her blog.

To see more Gordon Van Tine catalogs online  click here.

And, to see the many beautiful covers click here.

Come back for my next blog to see the house that John F. Burns built in West Orange, New Jersey!

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The Gordon Van Tine 547, An Economical and Ever Popular Type

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The Gordon Van Tine number 547 is an attractive but simple home with no unnecessary ornamentation, just the cozy home for which you have been looking. Its’ comfortable appearance and convenient arrangement have gained favor with many.

Let’s look at two from the Gordon Van Tine Homes Inventory and see what you think!

Gordon Van Tine 1925, number 547

The Gordon Van Tine number 547 was first offered in 1915 as a Standard Home, not ready cut home, as number 197. It was offered in the first “ready-cut” catalog in 1916 as number 501. It was renumbered a few years later to 547 and in 1929 as the Dixon and the early 1930’s as the Dixon and the Addison by its’ last offering in 1935. (That’s just one example of why I abandoned my long ago project of an index of GVT models and names!)   The catalog image shown is from my 1925 catalog.

 

 

Gordon Van Tine 547 in Willsboro New York

This Gordon Van Tine 547 was built in Willsboro, New York. The twin windows above the porch light the front bedroom and twin windows light the back bedroom. Both rooms have ample closet space, for 1926 I suppose.🙂 And, the side dormer makes room for a full bathroom lighted by one window. A nice 20’x8′ covered porch and it hasn’t been enclosed! The downstairs windows shown are the dining room, pantry, and kitchen. The first thing that caught my attention, however, was the current paint color choice. The specifications for the paint is light gray for the body and white for the trim. Unless otherwise instructed.

 

 

 

1926 Gordon Van Tine 547 in Willsboro New York

The right side shows the living room windows and the back window is a bedroom. And the back of this house has an addition, a sun porch off of the back bedroom. This addition has been there for many years, we’ll see vintage photos later.

 

Della and Dorothy Calkins in 1952 in  Willsboro New York, Gordon Van Tine 547

This 1952 shows original owner Della Calkins and her daughter Dorothy in front of their Gordon Van Tine 547 in Willsboro New York.

 

1926 Gordon Van Tine 547 in Willboro New York with car

This photo circa 1940’s or so shows the back addition. That date comes from a general poll of my car aficionado friends on facebook. In fact, my TKE big brother from college is in the automobile industry in Cincinnati, Ohio and told me this  “It’s a dodge. Could be either pre-war or post-war. There were no changes for the post-war 46-48’s from the pre-war 41-42’s as it took the auto industry two years to get back into production.” The other theory is, 1952 since the previous photo shown is dated 1952.

 

Della Calkins Gordon Van Tine 457 and Hollyhocks

This photo dated August 1968 is Della Calkins and her prized Hollyhocks. Della was quite the gardener and later after her husband’s death in 1933, she earned a living as a seamstress.

 

Gordon Van Tine 547 Door, Willsboro New York

The front door of the Gordon Van Tine 547 is the same door found on the Gordon Van Tine 554/563 in Atoka Oklahoma.

 

The front door

The front door in Atoka Oklahoma’s Gordon Van Tine 553/563.

 

 

The front door from the millwork catalog.

The front door from the Gordon Van Tine millwork catalog.

 

 

Gordon Van Tine Case

Included with the Gordon Van Tine 547 was kitchen case “B” and it was located in the pantry.

 

Gordon Van Tine 547 Willsboro New York Linen Closet

This appears to be a bedroom, not sure which. But, notice the linen closet. It wasn’t specified for this house but could be purchased in addition. They are usually in the hall by the bathroom.

 

Catalog image of the built in linen closet.

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

 

 

Built in linen closet

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

 

Gordon Van Tine 547 Stencil Door in Willsboro New York

This door frame gives us clues as to who ordered this Gordon Van Tine 547 in Willsboro New York!

 

Gordon Van Tine 547 Stencil Calkins Willsboro New York

Gordon Van Tine lumber was stenciled for shipment, as shown. Each bundle or crate was stenciled with the from Gordon Van Tine Davenport Iowa, location of the mill; and the destination, the purchaser name and location of train depot. This Gordon Van Tine 547 was purchased by Grover Guy Calkins in 1926. Grover was a carpenter and a farmer. Carpenters buy good product, that right there says something about the lumber and material coming from the Gordon Van Tine Co which was coincidentally started as a lumber mill. Grover passed away in 1933 leaving behind hi wife Della, their 25 year old son who helped farm and their teenage daughter.

 

Willis and Isabelle Burgess Gordon Van Tine 547 in Monica Illinois

Willis and Isabelle Burgess built a Gordon Van Tine 547 in Monica Illinois. Both of the Burgesses were gone by 1928. This testimony appeared in the 1925 catalog.

 

Gordon Van Tine 547 in Monica, Illinois

On the left is a google screen shot from a few years ago of the Burgess Gordon Van Tine 547 in Monica, Illinois. On the right is a bing screenshot which is more recent. What? I don’t usually post addresses but, the house is or WAS at 15118 W State Route 90, Monica – Princeville, Illinois. If you know what happened please leave me a comment or email me!

 

Gordon Van Tine 547 in Monica Illinois

The image on the left is a few years ago and the image on the right is fairly recent. Hey, I can remove numbers from a photo of a house but I can not edit out an entire house like this! Where did it go?

 

Gordon Van TIne 547 in Monica Illinois

I had to take a look from above just to make sure. Yep, it’s gone and gone like it never existed! Did it burn? Was it relocated? The farm looks to still be in operation.

 

Now that you have seen TWO authenticated Gordon Van Tine number 547’s maybe you know where one is?

Or, if you know what happened to the one in Monica Illinois … drop me an email at searshomes@yahoo.com or contact me on facebook here or here.

To read my previous blog about the recent Gordon Van Tine 140 I recently identified for someone click here!

You tube link love from above, credit to college classmate Cathy Horn Fleck’s new album.

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The Gordon Van Tine #140, A Big House For Little Money

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According to the 1913 Gordon Van Tine catalog description, house plan number 140 was a big house for little money.  Let’s have a look at a couple of the number 140’s along with the actual blueprints and see!

Gordon Van Tine

The Gordon Van Tine No 140 was first offered in 1911. This catalog image is from my Gordon Van Tine catalog from 1913.

 

And this is how it began, a couple of weeks ago someone posted on a facebook page that they were told their house was from Wardway. I told him to send me photos and I would identify it for him as well as send him a catalog image of his home. He sent photos right away to my facebook page. He sent ten photos and I could see that he had blueprints for a Gordon Van Tine house. However, I couldn’t make out the number because all I had were small thumbnail images in my message box. I recognized the house photos as a number 140 because I had recently located a 140 and it was fresh in my memory. I asked him if the number was 140 on the blueprints and he said yes…140. Well, that confirmed that! I sent him a link to the #140. His reaction was a big smiley face and “that’s it!” His “Wardway” home was actually a Gordon Van Tine 140. Mystery solved!  So, we continued to chat where I learned that it was built in 1913. He emailed the images so I could see them in full size.

Gordon Van Tine number 140, New York

A 1913 Gordon Van Tine number 140 in Dansville New York! Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this photo which may not be used without his permission.

 

Gordon Van Tine 140 Front Elevation Blue Prints

Blueprints for the front elevation. When Jeff emailed me the photos I asked if I could share them with  Dale Wolicki. Dale emailed me right back and said that it was rare to see blueprints from the plan book era! Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this image which may not be used without his permission.

 

Gordon Van Tine 140, Right Elevation

Let’s circle around the house and compare the photos with the blueprints! That bump out is the dining room. That is not in the plans but would be an easy addition while under construction. There’s probably a small window seat there. A place for your herbs! Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this photo which may not be used without his permission.

 

Gordon Van Tine 140, Right Elevation Blueprints

Gordon Van Tine 140, right side elevation. No bump out. Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this image which may not be used without his permission.

 

Gordon Van Tine 140 in Dansville New York

The back view of the Gordon Van Tine 140 in Dansville New York with an after market addition. Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this photo which may not be used without his permission.

 

Gordon Van Tine 140, Rear Elevation Blueprints

The rear elevation of the blueprints shows what we can see because of the addition. Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this image which may not be used without his permission.

 

Gordon Van Tine 140 left side, Dansville New York

The left side of the Miller’s Gordon Van Tine 140 in Dansville New York. The side door is the cellar/basement door. Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this photo which may not be used without his permission.

 

Gordon Van Tine 140, Left Side Elevation Blue Prints

The left elevation of the blueprints for the Gordon Van Tine 140. See the stairs leading to the basement and the stairs to the second story as well as the turn in the stairs going to the second floor? Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this image which may not be used without his permission.

 

Now that we have walked around the exterior of the Miller’s Gordon Van Tine 140 let’s have a look inside!

Gordon Van Tine 140 Living Room and Hall

Here is a view looking from the living room/dining room entry to the entry hall and stairs.  The stair newell may be seen here.  Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this photo which may not be used without his permission.

 

Gordon Van Tine 140 Living Room and Hall View, 1916 catalog

How cool is THIS? The same exact view by chance! This is from my 1916 Ready-Cut Gordon Van Tine catalog, pg 60.

 

Gordon Van Tine 140 in new York Living Room view

This view from the hall and entry shows the living room and the dining room. The blueprints will show this as well as the catalog floor plan. Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this photo which may not be used without his permission.

 

Gordon Van Tine 140 First Story Blueprints

The first story blueprints show many things we have seen on our walk around. No dining room bump out, but like I said, an easy modification when under construction. The basement/cellar door from the exterior and the stairs passing over that. Make a mental note of the three white rectangles and the “X” in the hall. Then we saw the living room and dining room photos and you can see that in the blueprints as well. Blueprints are fun to read. I only wish I could see these clearly. Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this image which may not be used without his permission.

 

Gordon Van Tine Door Hardware, 140 in New York

This is the door hardware found in the Miller’s Gordon Van Tine 140. Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this photo which may not be used without his permission.

 

Gordon Van Tine Hardware 1912, The Crescent Design

This page of hardware shows the same hardware in the Miller’s Gordon Van Tine 140. The Crescent Design. This image is from my 1912 Gordon Van Tine Building Material Catalog. This was a popular hardware design and several houses have it. Not just kit homes, lots of houses from the early 1900’s! I’m not sure who Gordon Van Tine’s source for hardware was.

 

Gordon Van Tine 140 Second Story Blue Prints

I don’t have any photos of the second floor to show but have a look at the blueprints for the second story. I will point out the roominess, no wasted space in this home. Keep in mind this is 1913. The dormer is placed over the bathroom. This gives head-room and light to the bathroom. No need for a dormer on the left side which saves on construction cost. Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this image which may not be used without his permission.

 

Gordon Van Tine 140 Cellar Blue Prints

Let’s take a virtual tour to the basement/cellar via the blueprints. It appears that they possibly purchased a furnace with the house. I’ve not seen any evidence and Jeff didn’t mention it. It was an option, though. Per the 1913 catalog page for the Gordon Van Tine number 140, for an additional $84.00 in addition to the $709 material cost, one could purchase a Fire King Furnace. Remember the white rectangles I pointed out in the first floor blue prints? And that “X” in the hall? Those are the recommended placement spots for the heat vents. Maybe Jeff will look in to that and get back with me. The exhaust is vented through the chimney, that is shown in the blueprints as well. There’s access to the basement from the kitchen in addition to the outside. That would make it easier to get to the furnace and more comfortable in those New York winters! Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this image  which may not be used without his permission.

 

 

Gordon Van Tine Fire King Furnace, 1912

This is one of two furnaces offered in 1912 by the Gordon-Van Tine Company. They offered this Fire King and a smaller furnace, the Fire Queen. No, really! LOL. As far as I can tell from my building materials catalogs, 1912 was the first year Gordon Van Tine offered furnaces. And, they pushed them on every house plan in their 1913 catalog! They may have included the placement in the blueprints for that reason…assuming or hoping, the buyer would purchase one. I have even seen a testimonial for a Gordon Van Tine number 515 in West Allis, Wisconsin  in which they evidently purchased a furnace! Perhaps there’s one lurking out there in someone’s basement and they will let us know. Wouldn’t that be fun? Hey, it wouldn’t surprise me … ever moved one? Those puppies are HEAVY. There’s a member of the Sears Homes Group who has a Sears Indestructo Furnace from the 1930’s that STILL works. He just fired it up the other day he said. Why not? Right?

 

Gordon Van Tine 140 Blue Prints

If you see something like this in your blue prints you probably have a Gordon Van Tine home! Not Wardway.🙂 That’s okay, it happens. Gordon Van Tine supplied Montgomery Wards kit homes for several years so that’s possibly where that mistake came from, as I explained to Jeff in our chat. But, now the mystery is solved! The “0” just can’t be seen but it is most definitely a Gordon Van Tine 140. Special thanks to Jeff Miller for sharing this image which may not be used without his permission.

 

Gordon Van Tine 1913 Number 140 House Only

Let’s take a look at a Gordon Van Tine number 140 in Massachusetts that I found a few months ago using a testimony in my 1913 catalog. It’s circled in the first image.

 

Gordon Van Tine 140 in Lee Massachusetts

I was lucky to be able to capture this image via google street view. I kind of made google driving and bing aerial (I found Sears Magnolia #8 this way, not kidding)  to look for kit homes “famous”.  HOWEVER, nothing beats a real photo, especially one taken with an actual camera. Beggars can’t be choosers, though. If you live near Lee Massachusetts and can take some photos of this house and send them to me I will not only credit your work but I will pay you twice what I get for each blog I publish! (I kid about the pay, I don’t make anything when I write a blog. I just do it to help others identify their homes)

 

Gordon Van Tine 140 in Lee Massachusetts

This Gordon Van Tine number 140 still has its original siding! It was built in 1912! This one has had the porch partially enclosed. I love their porch with the wicker rockers. Pretty house.

 

Gordon Van Tine

As you can see, no dining room bump out like the Miller’s Gordon Van Tine 140 in New York. And, notice the exterior…same as the catalog image! “You will notice that the house is covered with narrow lap siding up to the top of the first story windows. Here there is a belt course around the entire house, above which it is shingled.” 104 years later. How about that? I’d be willing to bet a blog’s pay that under the vinyl siding of the Gordon Van Tine 140 in New York that you will find this same siding!

 

Gordon Van Tine Plans, Specs and Costs from 1913

Díkwíí bą́ą́h ílį́ ? You ask. That’s Navajo for how much does it cost…I taught on the Navajo Reservation for 10 years BTW. This 1913 catalog image shows us what the buyer received and the cost. Blueprints, all elevations as well as each floor including the basement. Complete specifications as well as a materials list. The cost of plans and the policy. $1.00 for the number 140. And, a millwork certificate for reimbursement of $25 on your millwork and materials order. Include the materials for $709 and the cost of $84 for the Fire King Furnace plus the things not included such as cement, plaster, bricks, and labor for carpenters they estimate you can build this home for $1551. In today’s dollars, that would be $37,870.88. You might want plumbing and  electrical fixtures so figure that cost in too. And, you need some land.

 

Now that you have seen TWO authenticated Gordon Van Tine number 140’s maybe you know where one is? If so, drop me an email at searshomes@yahoo.com or contact me on facebook here or here.

Was this a big house for little money?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

***** UPDATE!!!
Blog and ye shall receive!   I was messaged this morning via facebook about a Gordon Van Tine 547 in Brandon Iowa and when I went to investigate I immediately found this Gordon Van Tine 140.  Serendipity strikes again🙂

Gordon Van Tine 140 in Brandon Iowa

I found this likely Gordon Van Tine 140 in Brandon Iowa when I was investigating a Gordon Van Tine 547. I also found a few other homes.

Gordon Van Tine 140 in Brandon Iowa

I found this likely Gordon Van Tine 140 in Brandon Iowa when I was investigating a Gordon Van Tine 547. I also found a few other homes.

The credit for me blogging again goes to Dale Wolicki.  I’ll try to hang with it despite the negative people.    :)   Rosemary Thornton was my original inspiration.

There will always be haters.  Haters just gonna hate!

When they go low we go high-er.

 

 

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Ultra English Modern Type, The 1931 Wardway Whitmore

 

The  Wardway Whitmore was one of 22 new models out of 62 models offered in the 1931 Wardway  catalog.  The 1931 Beautiful Wardway Homes catalog is a rare catalog. It was the last homes catalog published by Montgomery Ward prior to closing by spring 1932.  Those newer 22 models are going to be rare as well, but, they’re out there!  I know of a few.  Maybe you know of one too!

If you click on the images you can zoom in, click twice for full resolution.

 This "ultra modern English type" home was one of 22 new models offered by Montgomery Ward in 1931.

This “ultra modern English type” home was one of 22 new models offered by Montgomery Ward in 1930/31.

 

I have a stash of newspaper articles that I put aside when perusing old newspapers the past few years. Recently I went through some of them and in that stash, which I like to call "the vault", I found this Wardway Whitmore in the April 26, 1931 Detroit Press.

I have a stash of newspaper articles that I put aside when perusing old newspapers over the past few years. Recently I went through some of them and in that stash, which I like to call “the vault”, I found this Wardway Whitmore in the April 26, 1931 Detroit Press.

 

The Wardway Whitmore as it appears today in St Claire Shores, Michigan. Photo credit goes to Dale Wolicki and Ken Wheeler and may not be used without their written permission.

The Wardway Whitmore as it appears today in St Claire Shores, Michigan.
Photo credit goes to Dale Wolicki and Ken Wheeler.  Photo may not be used without their written permission.

 

The Wardway Whitmore feature peaked gothic gables, broken patches of roof and picturesque half timbered stucco.

The Wardway Whitmore features peaked gothic gables, broken patches of roof and picturesque half timbered stucco.

 

The Whitmore has it's own unique door not used on any other Wardway Homes model.

The Whitmore has its own unique door not used on any other Wardway Homes model.  Photo credit, Dale Wolicki and Ken Wheeler.

 

Look at the floor plans! See how comfort and convenience are retained.

Look at the floor plans!
See how comfort and convenience are retained.

 

In 1927 Wardway offered financing for their homes. Finding Wardway homes via mortgage records was discovered by architect Dale Wolicki of Bay City Michigan 20+ years ago. In fact, in 2001 while researching mortgage records in Mcomb County Michigan Dale discovered this Whitmore in St Clair Shores! This Whitmore mortgage was signed by Thomas P Riordan, trustee, an employee of Wardway Homes. The mortgage was dated Feb 24, 1931 for $9,200.

In 1927 Wardway offered financing for their homes. Finding Wardway homes via mortgage records was discovered by architect Dale Wolicki of Bay City Michigan 20+ years ago. In fact, in 2001 while researching mortgage records in Macomb County Michigan Dale discovered this Whitmore in St Clair Shores! HOWEVER, he didn’t know it was a Whitmore.  At the time he didn’t have the catalog to identify this home so he assumed it was a custom design!  He was pleasantly surprised at my discovery when I shared it with him.  This Wardway Whitmore mortgage was signed by Thomas P Riordan, trustee, an employee of Wardway Homes. The mortgage was dated Feb 24, 1931 for $9,200.

 

 

 

Thanks to Dale finding the mortgage in 2001 we know who the original homeowner was. The first owner per the Wardway mortgage was Leslie and Muriel McEvoy. Leslie was an insurance salesman and they previously lived in Detroit.

Thanks to Dale finding the mortgage in 2001 we know who the original homeowner was.
The first owner per the Wardway mortgage was Leslie and Muriel McEvoy. Leslie was an insurance salesman and they previously lived in Detroit. Photo credit goes to Dale Wolicki and Ken Wheeler. Photo may not be used without their written permission

 

You may have noticed that the Whitmore has a lavatory downstairs. That's just behind the catslide and where the small window is that we see. And how about that brick pattern? Very unique! Photo credit goes to Dale Wolicki and Ken Wheeler and may not be used without their written permission.

You may have noticed that the Whitmore has a lavatory downstairs. That’s just behind the catslide and where the small window is that we see. And how about that brick pattern? Very unique!
Photo credit goes to Dale Wolicki and Ken Wheeler and may not be used without their written permission.

 

The next several images will be catalog images of what was included with the Wardway Whitmore kit  in 1931.

As the catalog states masonry wasn't furnished. This looks to be full brick and dale tells me that the buyer was likely given a list of local contractors to bid the job. I'd be curious to see if any other homes in the area were built with this unique brick. Maybe more Wardway homes? Photo credit goes to Dale Wolicki and Ken Wheeler and may not be used without their written permission.

Here’s a great close up shot of that unique brick!    As the catalog states masonry wasn’t furnished. This looks to be full brick and Dale tells me that the buyer was likely given a list of local contractors to bid the job. I’d be curious to see if any other homes in the area were built with this unique brick. Maybe more Wardway homes?
Photo credit goes to Dale Wolicki and Ken Wheeler and may not be used without their written permission.

 

Included with the Whitmore kit was this beautiful solid bronze hardware.

Included with the Whitmore kit was this beautiful solid bronze hardware.

 

“Wardway home interiors bring you modern ideals of beauty and convenience”.

A convenient built in phone cabinet as well as a built in linen cabinet was also included.

A convenient built in phone cabinet as well as a built in linen cabinet was also included.

 

Small details that mean modern comfort included artistic venetian mirrored medicine cabinets and a handy milk package receiver. And, from what I can see I believe the St Clair Shores Whitmore still has the receiver!

Small details that mean modern comfort included artistic venetian mirrored medicine cabinets and a handy milk package receiver. And, from what I can see I believe the St Clair Shores Whitmore still has the receiver!

 

The Whitmore came with the latest in kitchen features too! I have circled those included with this kit.

The Whitmore came with the latest in kitchen features too! I have circled those included with this kit.

 

Wardway homes featured woodwork produced by master craftsmen, beautiful in design and superior in workmanship. Remember to click on this image to enlarge so you can read the smaller print.

Wardway homes featured woodwork produced by master craftsmen, beautiful in design and superior in workmanship.
Remember to click on this image to enlarge so you can read the smaller print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wardway Whitmore as it appears today in St Claire Shores, Michigan. Photo credit goes to Dale Wolicki and Ken Wheeler and may not be used without their written permission.

I mentioned that Dale Wolicki found this Wardway home in 2001 with a mortgage and assumed it was a custom design.  Back then you had to go to the county courthouse and go through all of the mortgages and when you found a trustee name associated with the company you then took that information to the tax office to find a legal description and plat maps THEN you hopped in your real car and physically drove to the location to see what model was built!  And, if you had access to catalogs you could identify the model.  In 2001 Dale didn’t have a 1931 catalog and assumed this might be a custom design.  Imagine doing that for the entire state of Michigan anywhere you traveled!  You learn a lot!  Thanks to Dale Wolicki for sharing all of that knowledge in his book co-authored with Rosemary Thornton entitled A History and Field Guide To Wardway Homes.  Get YOUR copy today, it features all models offered by Montgomery Wards.  
A very special thanks to Dale Wolicki and Ken Wheeler for not only going after real photos for me to share but also meeting with the homeowner!

 

Wardway Whitmore Front, 1931,  3106 Cherverly Ave. Cheverly Md. Combo

This is a Wardway Whitmore I found in Cheverly, MD. According to the assessor records this Wardway Whitmore was built in 1931.

 

Do you have a Wardway Whitmore to report? If so please contact me at searshomes@yahoo.com.

To see the Wardway Homes 1931 catalog click here.

You can visit Dale’s website here.

You can see other wonderful homes and blog posts of both Rosemary Thornton and me 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!

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Sears 303, Yay or Nay?

A few days ago I posted a blog about a potential Sears 303 in Idabel Oklahoma.

I also promised to update with photos very soon. Well, very soon happens tonight!

I made the 3+ hour drive one way from Tulsa to Idabel two days later. And I have edited my photos, talked to a few folks, collected my thoughts, rested from the long day and several hours on the road.  I’m ready to share!   If it is a Sears 303 yay!  If it isn’t it’s a great house and just enjoy the photos (I took several)  and bit of Oklahoma history…it was a long road trip by myself. For one house.

A very special thanks to Rosemary Thornton for use of the only known Sears 303 catalog image I am aware of.

SMH_303_Catalog Page

This is the Sears 303 from the modern homes catalog in late 1910 I believe, maybe early 1911. It only appeared in one catalog. One question remains, how many issues of that one catalog were published?

 

Fall 1910-Spring 1912

This is the catalog cover used for Sears Modern Homes Fall 1910 Spring and Fall 1911 and Spring 1912.   The Sears 303 appeared in the catalog with this cover.  Did it appear in all of these publications?  It’s hard to say.  This catalog seems to be very rare!  I have managed to collect all of the modern homes catalogs published between 1908 and 1940 and this is the ONLY one I don’t have.

 

Sears 303 w sign

The Barnes-Stevenson House is located at 302 SE Adams, Idabel Ok. Thomas Jefferson Barnes came to Indian Territory in 1898 to practice law. He was the first county judge of McCurtain County. Harold Stevenson, an Idabel native, purchased the home in 1973 from the Barnes family. Stevenson, a friend of Andy Warhol, is a well known artist.

 

2 Sears 303 Sears 303 Idabel Oklahoma catalog view

I always shoot for the closest I can get to the catalog angle. The sun and a large tree were somewhat of a problem and this is the best that I could do. The TJ Barnes home was built in 1911. The local history says that the home was the design of renowned Oklahoma architect Jewell Hicks. Hicks was one of the architects for the State Capital as well as the governor’s mansion and several state or government buildings. The carpenter is said to have been RD Cheatham. I found that Cheatham was indeed a master carpenter.

 

SMH_303_House_Only

Here is the Sears 303, in brick. Is that a match or what? I found a tiny image on flickr of the house dated 1912. This catalog image is brick and the catalog description calls for brick.  It would have made sense to square the sides if constructed with lumber.  The turret roof was tall. The turret roof was likely replaced when the house was reroofed in the 1970’s I believe. The railing on the polygonal tower is there as well although now gone. Click here to compare the 1912 image from flickr. Updated 1912 photo at the end of the blog.

 


 

SMH_303_First Floor

This is the floor plan for the first floor of the Sears 303. From what I could see peering through windows (no, I’m not a peeping tom….it’s home to the local historical society now) and the photos I found on facebook it’s a good match!

 

SMH_303_Second Floor

And, this is the second floor plan for the Sears 303. I would have loved to have had a look but evidently it takes an act of congress to see the inside or catch someone there in a good mood.😉 I tried. I really did. They weren’t interested in the information I had to share. The historical society there doesn’t have regular visiting hours.

 

Let’s take a walk around the entire estate and you can refer back to the floor plans provided as needed. This is where the several photos happens.

1 Sears 303 Idabel Oklahoma Front

What a beautiful home! I wish there was an Oklahoma flag on that other flagpole!

 

3 Sears 303 Sears 303 Idabel Oklahoma Left

Left angle.  Yes, I noticed that the left tower on this house is polygonal and the Sears 303 is circular.  The Sears house is constructed of brick.  That’s an easy alteration for a master carpenter and an architect.  And, Sears didn’t sell bricks or masonry so that would be a larger materials sale for Sears!

 

4 Sears 303 Straight Sears 303 Idabel Oklahoma Left

Left side elevation.  The bay is squared and not rounded as shown in the plans.  Same song different verse as I often say.

 

5 Sears 303 Sears 303 Idabel Oklahoma Back Left

Left back angle. A few minor alterations. With the early Sears homes I have noticed that there were often a few minor alterations. Keep in mind, materials were supplied but not yet ready-cut this early in the game.

 

6 Sears 303 Sears 303 Idabel Oklahoma Back

Rear elevation. In the upper left there was at one time a balcony. You can see that it has been enclosed. The Sears 303 shows a balcony there as well.

 

7 Sears Sears 303 Idabel Oklahoma Right Back

Are you still there? We’re almost all the way around now! You know, this is a HUGE house. I think I would prefer an open balcony over an enclosed balcony! Oklahoma sunsets are beautiful! This balcony faces the western skies.

 

8 Sears 303 Sears 303 Idabel Oklahoma Right Side

The right side elevation. The queen anne leaded glass attic window is broken. I hope that is on the soon to be repaired list before rainy season gets here. Otherwise, there will a lot of water damage! Per the Sears 303 floor plan there should be a window on the first floor between those two chamfered corners. This faces west, maybe they didn’t want the western sun beating in during the summer? Or, maybe they just didn’t want a window there!

 

9 Sears 303 Sears 303 Idabel Oklahoma Right Angle

Now we are back to  the front. What do you think? It’s a great match to the Sears 303. Did Jewell Hicks purchase the materials and free plans from Sears in 1911? OR…..did Jewell Hicks maybe design the home that Sears would use and name model 303? Many of the early Sears modern homes models were actually early plan book designs!

 

SMH_303_Description

Let’s take a close look at the description and see what else matches to the Barnes-Stevenson House in Idabel Oklahoma!

 

Sears 303 Front Porch

The description calls for Queen Anne windows, leaded glass, on the first floor and attic windows. This house has those!

 

Sears Millwork

The Sears 303 description calls for the Superba front door, same as the West Chazy NY Sears 306. And guess what?

 

Sears 303 Superba Front Zoom

That’s right! The front door on the Barnes-Stevenson House is an exact match to the Sears Superba, the specified front door for the Sears 303! Those side lights are also found in the millwork and materials catalog.

 

Sears 303 Superba front Side door

Not only the front door but the side door off of the living room to the enormous porch is a Superba design door!

 

 

Sears 303 Upper Balcony

A great second story balcony for catching the Oklahoma sunrise!

 

Sears 303 Left Tower 2

The second floor balcony wraps all the way around the left tower.  If I lived here this is where I would have my morning coffee.  Notice the queen anne windows in the tower? The Sears 303 has those as well!

 

Sears 303 Left Tower

What a beautiful home! What a view that must have been in 1911.  It’s a shame the turret roof wasn’t restored to it’s original steep angle.

 

Marker

Now that you have seen the “evidence” what do you think? Yay or nay? Is the Barnes-Stevenson House a Sears 303 or did Jewell Hicks design the pattern/plan that Sears would “borrow” for the model 303? Leave me a comment with your thoughts.

 

Sears 303 Barnes Stevenson House w marker

The Barnes-Stevenson House was place on the National Register of Historic Places, NR 78003083, in 1978. It is now the home of McCurtain County Historical Society.

 

 

Sears 303 Barnes House in 1912

UPDATE! NEW PHOTO! The president of the McCurtain County Historical Society shared this photo and information with me. This is the TJ Barnes home in 1912. I was told a tornado came through Idabel in 1917 and the two towers sustained damage resulting in the loss of the “witches cap” to the left turret and the the railing on the top of the right tower. This photo shows the ionic columns on the wrap around porch, the ionic caps to the columns are no longer there. This 1912 photo is a very good match to the Sears 303 catalog image!

 

Do you have a Sears 303 to report? If so please contact me at searshomes@yahoo.com. I have another possibility and have had for a few years. I’ll share it sometime.

You can see other wonderful homes and blog posts of both Rosemary Thornton and me 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!

Follow me on twitter!
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Sears 303 … Sometimes They’re in Your Own Backyard!

I’ve found what I believe to be a Sears 303, and in of all places, my own backyard. At least not too far from my backyard!
I have been google driving the streets of Oklahoma for several years now and making a list of houses to get photos.

This morning I decided to visit early Oklahoma towns I might have missed so I referenced the Sanborn Maps for a list of early Oklahoma towns. I came to Idabel. I don’t recall that I have “driven” Idabel and if I did it was a few years ago. I put Idabel Ok in my google search bar and first searched images before going to maps. And low and behold a house I recognize to be a likely Sears 303 appears.

No way!

Not in Oklahoma!

In a few seconds I had learned that this was the home of Thomas Jefferson Barnes, the first county judge of McCurtain County. Construction on the house began in 1911 and the architect that was given credit is Jewel Hicks.

At this point I just want to see what readers think. All I have for now are screenshots. All though, you can google TJ Barnes home Idabel Oklahoma and numerous images will pop up! I’ll go get my own photos, soon. VERY soon.

SMH_303_House Only

This is the Sears 303. It was only offered 1910/1911 ish. The house doesn’t appear in Houses By Mail, a field guide of all of the Sears models that were offered 1908-1940. Thanks to Rosemary Thornton we have an image that we can see!

 

 

 

Sears 303 at 302 SE Adams Idabel, Oklahoma Catalog front

This Idabel Oklahoma home sure looks to be a possibility doesn’t it? This google screen shot will have to do for now.

 

 

Sears 303 at 302 SE Adams Idabel, Oklahoma Catalog view

Is this a Sears 303 in Idabel Oklahoma? This is a google screen shot that shows the left side, the best I can do for now.

 

Sears 303 at 302 SE Adams Idabel, Oklahoma Catalog right

This view really seals the deal for me. I’ve got one other house that I think might be a Sears 303 but if it is this octogonal tower was omitted during construction. It leaves me wondering. THIS house however does not! Did the architect, Jewel Hicks, build a Sears 303 for TJ Barnes? Is Jewel Hicks the architect who designed the pattern that Sears borrowed for the 303?

 

Sears 303 at 302 SE Adams Idabel, Oklahoma Catalog back

The rear view of a possible Sears 303 in Idabel Oklahoma. No more google screenshots of this house….the next images of the house will be real.🙂

 

SMH_303_improved

A very special thanks to Rosemary Thornton who has the only KNOWN copy of this catalog image! I carefully studied and compared the fenestration of the TJ Barnes home in Idabel Oklahoma with this catalog image of the Sears 303 and I believe we have a match here! The question is, is this from Sears or a pattern? I would love to get inside to check the millwork out! In the meantime, the description calls for the Superba front door.  That’s the same door seen on the Sears 306 in West Chazy NY.   I’ll look for that door when I go for photos!

Is the TJ Barnes home in Idabel Oklahoma a Sears 303? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

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When Your Knee Jerk Reaction is Correct…

Another pattern book home used by Sears…Yep, that was my knee jerk reaction, again, to a poorly researched  blogpost about three Sears Altonas in Webster Groves Missouri. The original blog (it was changed shortly after being published) was an attempt to discredit Rosemary Thornton stating she obviously missed these three houses all within a few houses of each other when she did a windshield survey several years ago. Rosemary and I both knew they were pattern homes and I KNEW I had it somewhere in my files. Where in my files remained a mystery until some discussion about pattern homes came up in the Sears group.  Rosemary and I have a memory like you can’t even imagine! I’m not being a braggart either, it’s just the plain simple truth. We both notice details, very fine details. It’s just the way we are wired I guess.

 

EPSON MFP image

The “blog” identified three houses as a Sears Altona. This is the Sears 121 aka Altona from my 1908 4th edition Modern Homes catalog. The 4th edition features 30 different models and to my knowledge is the earliest available edition online.

 

Houses By Mail shows the Sears 121 aka Altona in the side gable section of the book. Rosemary Thornton shows both sides of a 121/Altona on pages 66-67 of her book Finding The Houses That Sears Built. Pretty cut and dried as to what this Sears model looks like.

Rosemary has a wonderful blog on the Sears Altona! It was published in 2012. I read all of her blogs, they are awesome! Check it out by clicking here.

Sears 121 aka Altona  at 1100 W Wade El Reno Okla Combo

This house is in El Reno Oklahoma. I think it is likely a Sears 121/Altona. I would love a few good photos of it to replace these screen shots! If you live in or near El Reno and wouldn’t mind sending me a few photos let me know please.

 

Sears 121 aka Altona at 80 Park St Oxford Michigan Left  (Dale) Combo

This Sears 121 aka Altona is in Michigan and was contributed as an address by architect/architectural historian Dale Wolicki.

 

Many of the kit homes that kit home companies sold came from other plan sources such as pattern books, and especially the earliest years.  I have a few blogs that prove this.   When I say it’s likely from a pattern that’s not my knee jerk reaction as yet another blogger (also a detractor) is quoted saying. That is my response and an honest effort in trying to help a homeowner out. If I say I have seen that pattern before then you should probably believe me.😉 I’m not here to make up stories. I’ve had my bulldog nose in many books and trade journals the past few years and I am simply relaying what I have seen.

Let’s have a look at the three purported Sears Altonas in Webster Groves Missouri.

Three not Altonas on  Atalanta Ave Webster Goves, Missouri

Falsely accused of missing three Sears houses all in a row, pretty much in a row, shown are the purported Sears Altonas. If this blogger and her team of detractors had done their research they would have been able to see that these are not Altonas. Do YOU see the differences? The Altona is a side gable house where as these houses are one side gable with a hip roof, really a cross gable house….a T. Not anything at all like an Altona. Three strikes, you’re out!  :)  To see these you can google drive by 829, 833, and 843 Atalanta Ave in Webster Groves Missouri.

 

So you’re now saying, okay Rachel prove it! Let’s see that planbook model they (the detractors)say. No problem, I came across it by chance last night in my files!  I knew I would eventually.

JH Daverman

JH Daverman & Son of Grand Rapids Michigan plan No 27. This pattern dates to at least 1905. That predates the Sears 121 by THREE YEARS. Compare the floor plans. Same house almost with the exception being mainly the roof type.

 

Front

Is this a JH Daverman & Son No 27? It is about 5 minutes from me in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. It was located across from the lumber dealer. I wonder how many Daverman patterns were built in Broken Arrow in the early 1900’s?

 

Right

Imagine my delight when I found this Sears 121/Altona in Broken Arrow Oklahoma. Until…

 

Left

UNTIL … I saw this side! Darn it. I knew this wasn’t a Sears 121 aka Altona. I figured it had to be a pattern home though. At this time I didn’t know about the Daverman pattern.

 

 

Daverman No 27 at 222 W Broadway Ave Broken Arrow, Okla

Also in Broken Arrow Oklahoma and just a couple of blocks north of the other Daverman. This poor house has had massive additions. It has actually been joined to another house to make one long building that houses a funeral home now.

 

Daverman No 27 (Alton NOT) at 312 E Main St Grafton Illinois Combo

This JH Daverman No 27 is in Grafton Illinois. Rosemary Thornton said she sat in front of this house for thirty minutes  several years ago trying to make a Sears Altona out of it. She’s funny and has some pretty funny stories to share and she really knows her houses too!

 

JH Daverman No 27 looks like Sears Altona sort of at 716 E Springer Ave Guthrie Oklahoma Combo

I’m not surprised to find this Daverman No 27 in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Guthrie is home to several other pattern homes as well. This E Springer Ave house was the scene of a fatality fire a few years ago. I’m not sure the house is still there.

 

Sears Altona Pattern 915 W 2nd Street Joplin Missouri

A couple of days ago I took a little day trip east on Route 66. I was in Joplin Missouri when I rounded a corner in a neighborhood when I thought I had scored a Sears 121/Altona. But, I quickly realized it was that pesky pattern home again that I had yet to come across on my computer.

 

 

Sears Altona Pattern 915 W 2nd Street Joplin Missouri Left Side

There’s that hip roof side, NOT an Altona. Ugh, the disappointment. Not so much now, I FOUND it finally. I solved the mystery.  I knew I would in time. I suspect that Joplin Missouri has more JH Daverman homes.  I found that they do have other pattern homes, and no that’s not my knee jerk reaction that’s from my experiences and what I have seen reading and spending countless hours pouring through catalogs and trade journals.

 

Floor combo

Both floor plans measure 24′ 6″ x 28′ . The Sears 1908 model 121 is on the top and the JH Daverman No 27 from 1905 is on the bottom. I wonder where Sears got their pattern for the 121/Altona? Maybe it was JH Daverman or maybe there’s another one out there waiting for me to find it!

 

Combo House

The 1908 Sears 121/Altona is on the top and the 1905 JH Daverman No 27 is on the bottom.  See how the Sears house has a hint of a cornice on the right and the Daverman model does not?  The Sears house eave continues across the front and through the balconette to form the cornice that we get a glimpse of and the Daverman house is flat, no continuing eave across the house… it stops at the dormer.  Maybe you have seen this house somewhere? If so contact me!

 

By the way, Rosemary Thornton is the author on several books on kit homes and how to identify them. Her blog was the first on the subject of kit homes on the internet and her facebook group IS the original facebook page/group. If you want to learn how to identify homes she’s a good person to make friends with!  She has done more for Sears homes as far as bringing research to the internet more than anyone out there.  Her blog and facebook group is why I (as well as the detractors) have come this far!

Have you seen a house like this somewhere? Or, another kit home?   If so please contact me at searshomes@yahoo.com.

You can see other wonderful homes and blog posts of both Rosemary Thornton and me 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!

Now on twitter!
Tulsa Oklahoma Houses by Mail, Sears Homes, Wardway, Aladdin and more

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Sears Modern Homes 118 in Cherokee Oklahoma

Earlier today someone posted a photo in the facebook group ‘You know you grew up in Cherokee, Oklahoma when…’ asking what the history was on the home in their photo. My hand shot up like a kindergartener when the teacher asks what is 1+1? Oohh, pick me! Pick me! I knooow I knooow!!! I know all about that house.  Although it makes a cameo appearance in one of my blogs on the Sears Modern Homes #118 it has never played the starring role. Tonight, it becomes a star!

photo 4

This Sears #118 is located in Cherokee, Oklahoma and was built around 1917 per the Sanborn Maps. (The best I can determine.)  Using US Census reports, draft registration cards, and other genealogy records I was able to piece together the early history of this lovely Sears Modern Home.  No one in that group seemed to know the early history.

 

Sears merchandise catalog fall 1908

The Sears #118 was one of 40 modern home plans offered by Sears in 1908. Did this feature from the Fall 1908 Sears Merchandise catalog make it popular?

 

My research shows that Alanson Robert Carpenter was the original owner.  Alanson was born in Franklin Ohio on January 11, 1879 to Robert and Louisa Carpenter. His father was a stock raiser and a farmer. Alanson was the youngest of seven children.
Following his high school graduation in June of 1901 Alanson matriculated to nearby Marietta (Ohio) College for three years before transferring to Ohio State University in Columbus to attend Law School. Alanson was awarded a Degree of Law in June 1907.
Alanson immediately relocated to Guthrie Oklahoma where he was permitted to practice law under his Ohio state license until Oklahoma was admitted to statehood. In November of 1907 Alanson relocated to Cherokee Oklahoma where he would practice law until his death in 1953.

Alonson Robert and Ollie Leotte Carpenter  Sears 118 Cherokee Oklahoma

Alanson Robert Carpenter married Ollie Leotte Strain of Marrietta, Ohio on November 5, 1909. Per the 1910 US census the newlyweds were residing on Massachusetts Ave in Cherokee, Oklahoma.

 

Sears 1917 No 118

By the mid 1910’s Alanson was doing very well as a lawyer. In 1915 he became a director of Farmers National Bank. Ollie must have had her heart set on a victorian home and they selected this model from the Sears Modern Homes catalog. This is from my 1917 catalog as I estimate this was the year the home was built. You can see the price was $2,297. That price did not include electrical, plumbing or masonry materials.

 

photo 2

This is the side of the Sears 118 and it faces 12th Street, or, when the house was built, it was Pear Street! The 1920 US Census has the Carpenters residing at Pear and Grand Ave. The 1930 and 1940 US Census has them residing at this house on Grand Ave. The house now carries the address of 1201 S Grand Avenue.

 

Sears 1917 No 118

Now’s a good time to compare the right side fenestration with the photo above. Boy, that’s a BIG house. Mr and Mrs Carpenter never had any children and per the US Census reports they were the only occupants. That’s a lot of room for two people! Perhaps they entertained? Alanson was also the City Attorney for at least two terms. He was very active in the community as well. He was affiliated with Corinthian Lodge 307, Free and Accepted Masons, Consistory No 1, Knights Templar of Guthrie, and the Methodist Church. Mrs Carpenter was a cook, at least per the 1900 US Census she was. Sounds to me like she likely utilized her cooking skills quite often!

 

Untitled

The trees in this google screen shot obscure the view a little but I think you can see well enough to be sure that the fenestration on the left side matches the above floor plan too! And, what’s a house in Oklahoma without a cellar! (Maybe someone in Cherokee will send me a better photo to replace this google screenshot)

 

Sears 1917 No 118

That is a GRAND house! It’s no wonder it was such a popular model for Sears Modern Homes. It was offered in 1908 when Sears first offered kit homes, one of their original models. In 1918 it was named the Clyde and was discontinued shortly after. The 1930 US Census shows the value of the Carpenters house at $9,000. I bet it was the Belle of the Ball on Grand Avenue back in its day!

 

photo 4

This VERY LOVELY Sears #118 is in Cherokee, Oklahoma.  Do you have any stories to share about this home?  If so please comment below!   I only researched the history to 1940.  Alanson Robert Carpenter passed away in 1953 and his wife Ollie Leotte passed away in 1963.

 

Fall_1915_p1598_118_Clyde

I hope someone restores the Sears Modern Homes 118 (Clyde) in Cherokee Oklahoma soon. It needs some TLC. Perhaps a nice cheery yellow paint like this 118 in a Seroco Paint ad from the 1915 merchandise catalog. Would you believe this house isn’t even on the Oklahoma Landmarks Database? Go to OKLAHOMA HISTORICAL SOCIETY State Historic Preservation Office website, it’s not listed on their database! Why?

 

To see just a few more Sears 118’s click here.   AND…    To see the inside of a Sear’s 118 click here!

Click here to see a Sears #118 that is on the market.  You will see some of the same millwork!

Have you seen a house like this somewhere? Or, another kit home?   If so please contact me at searshomes@yahoo.com.

You can see other wonderful homes and blog posts of both Rosemary Thornton and me 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!

Now on twitter!
Tulsa Oklahoma Houses by Mail, Sears Homes, Wardway, Aladdin and more

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Inside a Sears Modern Homes 306 / 215, A Guided Tour With Blueprints

My last blog featured the exterior of a Sears Modern Homes 306 aka 215.

Today we get to see inside of that house and we are going to do so through the original blueprints! I’m going to point out a few things in the blueprints and show them with their catalog images. It’s going to be informative! Educational.  AND, FUN!  I LOVE matching millwork and hardware like this.

Let’s go!  The front is a great place to begin!

Sears 306-215 West Chazy New York Left Side

When I found this house a few years ago she was pink. She has recently been painted I have been told. This beautiful queen anne is at 50 West Church Street West Chazy, NY 12992 and it is currently on the market!

 

Sears 306-215 Front Elevation West Chazy New York Edited for Blog Highlighted

This original blueprint, courtesy of the homeowner, shows the front elevation. I’ve circled a few things that I’m going to show you.

 

Sears Millwork

This page is from my 1912 millwork and materials catalog. I have matched the corresponding numbers from the blueprints with the millwork in that catalog.

 

Sears 306-215 West Chazy New York Superba Front Door w Stratford Hardware

The description for the Sears 306, 215, specifies the Superba door. It is also seen in the blueprints. The hardware specified is the Stratford Design. Compare with the front door of the Sears 306, 215, in West Chazy Ny.   The other exterior door can be seen here.

 

Sears 306-215 First Floor West Chazy New York Highlighted

Let’s step inside! Once again I have highlighted a few things in this original blueprint that I have matched with millwork in the 1912 Sears millwork catalog.

 

Sears Reception Hallway

Welcome! This is the reception hall. I would like to point out the leaded glass cottage window and the leaded art glass. Those can be seen in the original blueprints.

 

Sears Millwork

The best cottage windows on the market.  :)  This page is from my 1912 materials catalog.

 

Sears Millwork

And there’s that beautiful leaded art glass (circled) in the reception hall! We’ll see it again later. I know it looks a little different but the number in the blue print matches the number in the catalog.

 

West Chazy 306-215 Colonnade

This beautiful colonnade separates the reception hall and the library. It’s the Lorraine colonnade and is in the blueprints as well.

 

Sears Millwork

From my 1912 Sears millwork catalog, the Lorraine Colonnade.

 

9

This is another Lorraine Colannade from a Sears 306 215 in Livingston NY. The image is from from a real estate listing when I found it a few years ago.

 

 

Sears 306-215 West Chazy, New York Grille 8430 2

This beautiful grille, as notated in the original blueprint, leads from the library to the dining room.

 

Sears 1912

Artistic grilles will beautify your home. They certainly do as we have seen!

 

Sears 306-215 West Chazy, New York Grille 8428

This artistic grille comes with the house but I don’t know where it goes or where it was removed. However, it’s in the catalog, shown above, but not in the blueprints. Maybe it was sent in error?

 

West Chazy 306-215 Dining Room and grille

So, now we’re in the dining room! How about that chandelier? Light fixtures were not included in the package. HOWEVER…….

 

West Chazy 306-215 Dining Room Chandelier

Look closer

 

Sears 1912

I found the dining room chandelier in my 1912 building materials catalog! Looks like Maude ordered fixtures too.

 

Sears 306-215 Buffet in West Chazy NY

And that beautiful pass through china buffet in the dining room? Oh my!

 

Sears 306-215 Buffet in Livingston NY

I’m glad I saved this image! This is from a real estate listing for a Sears 306 215 in Livingston NY. The same built in buffet!

 

Sears 306-215 Buffet and Book Case West Chazy New York

I’ve never seen that buffet in a Sears millwork catalog HOWEVER … it IS in the original blueprint!

 

Sears 306-215  Book Case West Chazy New York

Did you notice the bookcase in the blueprints? It should be in the library but it’s in one of the bedrooms upstairs. And those blinds? I think those are original too! I found blinds like that in my 1912 materials and millwork catalog. I bet Maude placed an order for several things from Sears! Just like *Sears* hoped for customers to do!

 

West Chazy 306-215 Hinge

Did you notice this hinge in the photos? This half mortise hinge is often found in Sears kit homes.

 

Sears Modern Homes

Sears hardware from an advertisement in my July 1913 National Builder. You can see the hinge as well as the Stratford door hardware!

 

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There is a pantry between the dining room and the kitchen and the pantry in West Chazy is intact! To the right in this photo is the pass through buffet to the dining room. I love those!
Now to the kitchen…

 

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And once again we have that beautiful leaded art glass that we saw in the reception hall!  It also appears the door off the back of the kitchen was moved, an alteration to the house where it was built on to as seen in the first blog.

 

West Chazy 306-215 Door and Stratford Hardware

The original blueprints show a Jackson door off the kitchen. It looks like the window has been replaced. There’s the Stratford door hardware again!

 

Sears Millwork

And from my 1912 Sears millwork catalog is the Jackson door.

 

14

The Sears 306 215 shows another stairway off of the kitchen, good morning stairs. Although they are shown in the original blueprints for the West Chazy house I think they were omitted. This photo is from the Sears 306 215 in Livingston NY You can see the good morning stairs from the kitchen and those will lead you to the landing in the stairs from the reception hall.

 

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This is a view of the landing between the stairs that serves the kitchen and the reception hall stairs. That’s shown in the blueprints as well.

 

West Chazy 306-215 Newel and Stairs combo w Livingston

We’ve circled through the first floor now. On the left of this image is the Sears 306 215 stairway and landing in West Chazy NY and on the right is the Livingston NY stairway, from a real estate listing that I saved years ago.

 

Sears 306-215 Stair Detail West Chazy New York

Let’s take a look at the details for the stairs since we are here. I matched the inventory/catalog numbers from my Sears 1912 millwork catalog with the numbers shown for the millwork shown in the blueprint that you see.

 

EPSON MFP image

The more decorative newel is used in the reception hall and the plain newel in the kitchen for the good morning stairs. Except, you may have noticed…I did, the Livingston good morning stairs swapped the newels at the landing. Newels 2, 3 and 4 in this image are very common newels and every millwork catalog and kit home company had them. Those three newels were very common in kit homes and non kit homes.

 

Sears Millwork

The stairwork is in the millwork catalogs as well. This page is from my Sears 1912 millwork catalog.

 

Maude Lawson Sears 306-215 West Chazy New York

This undated photo of Maude Lawson’s Sears 306/215 was provided by the homeowner. I wonder if Maude sent this in as a testimony and it was never used in a catalog? It’s a GREAT photo! How about that interior? Was that not gorgeous?

 

Sears 1913

The Sears 306/215 from my 1913 catalog, the year Maude ordered her home. The price she paid was probably close to that $1561.00 . Cement, bricks, cement blocks were not included in that price and neither was anything electrical or plumbing. In 1913 the lumber was not pre-cut either. I’m sure she hired a carpenter or two. The 1920 census lists the value of her home at $3,500.

 

I would like to thank homeowner Amelia Lushia for all of the wonderful photos and documents for this house. What a treat!

If you are interested in buying this house please contact Tina Calkins Covey RE/MAX North Country by clicking this link.

 

Do you have a Sears 306/215 to report? If so please contact me at searshomes@yahoo.com.

You can see other wonderful homes and blog posts of both Rosemary Thornton and me 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!

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