Four years ago when I first started my search for kit homes I naturally turned to the internet. I am pretty suave with internet searching, trust me. When I searched for kit homes in the Tulsa area nothing showed up, NOTHING! So, I asked around and someone told me they thought there was one in Chelsea. I then did a search for “Sears house Chelsea, Oklahoma” and up pops the Sears Saratoga and it was known as the Hogue House. I also discovered that according to what I found that the house in Chelsea was the only known Sears house built west of the Mississippi!
Don’t believe everything you read on the internet!
The only KNOWN Sears Roebuck house, that gave me hope of finding more. Afterall, why wouldn’t we (Tulsa) have houses from Sears or any of the other catalog companies? Sears catalog home sales peaked about the same time that the population in Tulsa exploded because of the oil industry. I had read about Standard Oil Company’s addition in Carlinville that was built for their employees and my first thought was why wouldn’t the oil companies in the Oil Capital of the World order kit homes for some of their employees too? If you have read my blog about the Brentwood in Bristow you may recall it was ordered by Continental Refining Company in 1916 as I showed in the original sales order. One of our Gordon Van Tine Roberts here in Tulsa was the home of the Wright Producing and Refining Corporation president. Did GN Wright order the house through his company too? In my 60+ Aladdin sales records I have found that several of the houses were ordered by oil companies which is going to make it really difficult to find them using my original owner method that I use by tracking down addresses via city directories and the census reports.
I’m not going to get in to the history of each of the Route 66 houses I have found so far because I have several. You can read about the history on the individual blogs. This blog is merely to show that there are more on Route 66 than the Hogue House in Chelsea, Oklahoma.
The next time you travel Route 66 through Tulsa make sure you have your camera. Tulsa is an architectural smorgasbord and there are several beautiful buildings to photograph!
Welcome to Tulsa Oklahoma. I was born in the hospital in the background in 1962.
Let’s take a look at the Hogue House in Chelsea, Oklahoma. If it was constructed in 1913 like they say it was “not ready cut” meaning that the lumber came in full lengths and had to be cut on location. It was indeed a kit but not pre-cut. You got all of the material, windows, doors, hardware, etc and enough un-cut lumber to build this house. Sears did not begin precutting the lumber for the walls, floor joists and rafters so forth until 1915. We know this because that is specified in the early catalogs. They also claim that this is the first Sears house built in Oklahoma. The more I research the more I doubt that. However, it makes a lovely story and they tell it so well.
Sears Saratoga Chelsea built circa 1913
Sears Saratoga 1921 catalog image
Also in Chelsea is a Sears Avondale. How funny that there is another Sears house just a few blocks from the “only known Sears house west of the Mississippi”! The Avondale made its debut at the Chicago State Fair, Springfield, in 1909. I have plans for a blog on it alone because it was one of their best-selling homes and has a very beautiful interior. So, keep a watch here!
Sears Avondale catalog image
This Sears Avondale in Chelsea, Oklahoma is on Vine Str. Thanks to Rosemary Thornton for spotting this house while google driving around Chelsea
If you stop at the Route 66 Village at 3770 Southwest Blvd just drive a few blocks south on Union to 41st and on the southeast corner is a Gordon Van Tine #612.
Gordon Van Tine #612
The Gordon Van Tine #612 is hard to see from the front because it sits behind an auto repair business.
The Side View of our Gordon Van Tine 612 is what caught my attention as I drove down 41st street to band rehearsal at Clinton Middle School
Bristow Oklahoma is home to THREE mail order homes from Aladdin Readi-Cut Homes out of Bay City, Mi. All three are in excellent condition!
Aladdin Shadow Lawn Bristow, Oklahoma
I met the family who lives here, nice folks! Bristow is a nice friendly homey place and I had no fear knocking on doors here.
Another Aladdin Shadow Lawn Bristow with the original exterior!
And one of my most favorites finds was this Aladdin Brentwood in Bristow. This house is absolutely gorgeous!
The Aladdin Brentwood in Bristow was ordered in 1916 by Continental Refining Company.
The Aladdin Brentwood catalog image
Our last stop on Route 66 today will be Depew, Oklahoma where I discovered that the town doctor ordered a Gordon Van Tine Roberts to build next door to his pharmacy and across the street from his hospital. Back in the day Route 66 ran through Main Street of Depew. Downtown Depew has a lot of cool old buildings to photograph. Make sure you see this catalog house off of Main Street on Sims.
This Gordon Van Tine Roberts in Depew, Okla on Sims Street was the home of the town doctor Dr. Coppedge. He also owned the pharmacy AND the hospital!
The Gordon Van Tine Roberts aka #535 and #560
That is a sampling of what I have found along Route 66. I have more I just haven’t photographed them yet.
In the 60+ Aladdin sales orders that Cindy sent me was an order for an Aladdin Tremont shipped to Chelsea, Oklahoma in 1914.
In 1914 William Edwards Sr from Chelsea, Ok. ordered an Aladdin Tremont. I wish I could find it but the only address for him was “farm”. It is unlikely that I will find that house. Also, it is probably gone now because it was a small 4 room farm-house. However, I will post the catalog image just in case someone out there recognizes it. And the next time I am in Chelsea I may drive the streets along the railroad tracks within a few miles radius to see if perhaps I can find it.
The middle house, the Canton, was originally the Tremont. A small four room house for $237 bucks!
Hopefully that is enough evidence to dispel the myth of the Hogue House as the first or only Sears house west of the Mississippi!