Two Almost Identical Different Catalog Houses and Their Happy Owners

What?  Two almost identical different catalog houses and their happy owners?  That’s right! In this blog I am going to show you two testimonial houses I researched and found that appear to be identical from the outside but they are from two different catalog companies. One is the Gordon Van Tine #100 and the other is the Sears Flossmore. As I mentioned before I also look for the testimonial houses from my catalogs.  I have actually found quite  a few.

Let’s begin by looking at the Gordon Van Tine #100 from my 1913 catalog.

Gordon Van Tine #100 from my 1913 catalog.  The same catalog that the Ward Bloss and GB Moon houses are in.

Gordon Van Tine #100 from my 1913 catalog. The same catalog that the Ward Bloss and GB Moon houses are in.

 

Did you notice the testimonials? Take a look at the one in the lower right corner.

The Gordon Van Tine #100 that EE Bowlin built in St. Joseph Mo. As the testimonial states he was very pleased!

The Gordon Van Tine #100 that EE Bowlin built in St. Joseph Mo. As the testimonial states he was very pleased! It is dated Jan 29, 1911 which means he had to have ordered his house in 1910

 

Elmer Eugene Bowlin and his lovely wife Malena were pleased with their Gordon Van Tine home.  My research shows they owned and lived in the house next door prior to living here. I bet he built his new home himself. Afterall, he was a cableman, electrician and carpenter at various times.  I wonder if the woman on the porch is Mrs Bowlin?

Elmer Eugene Bowlin and his lovely wife Malena were pleased with their Gordon Van Tine home. My research shows they owned and lived in the house next door prior to living here. I bet he built his new home himself. Afterall, he was a cableman, electrician and carpenter at various times. I wonder if the woman on the porch is Mrs Bowlin?

 

 And here is that GVT #100 at 1109 S 33rd in St Saint Joseph, MO .  Maybe some in St Joseph will send me a real photograph?

And here is that GVT #100 at 1109 S 33rd in St Saint Joseph, MO . Maybe someone in St Joseph will send me a real photograph? The only thing missing is Mrs Bowlin standing on the front steps!

 

Sears Modern Homes also offered a house that was pretty darn close to the Gordon Van Tine #100. Sears called their house the Flossmore. It was offered from 1912 and periodically until 1924. The last year it was offered was 1924.

 The Flossmore from my 1924 Sears Catalog.  This was the last year Sears would offer the Flossmore.

The Flossmore from my 1924 Sears Catalog. This was the last year Sears would offer the Flossmore.

 

According to the 1920 Sears Modern Homes catalog shown below a Flossmore was built in Evansville, Indiana by F.M. Hills

Sears Catalog 1920

Sears Catalog 1920

 

Sears 1920 Flossmore Testimonial

Sears 1920 Flossmore Testimonial

 

Would you believe that the Flossmore is still there too? Sure it is, why else would I be telling you about it? LOL However, the house next door on the left, is not there now it is an empty lot.

And here is that Flossmore that Mr Hills built in 1919 according to the assesors records anyway.  That is probably accurate since it appeared as a testimonial in 1920 catalog.  The attic windows were covered with that siding. that's the house though. I researched this house quite some time ago and I think it was in foreclosure or had gone to auction at the sheriffs, can't remember the specifics now.  I just hope it is still there.  It is according to google maps.  Take a look, the address is 26 Madison Ave Evansville, Indiana

And here is that Flossmore that Mr Hills built in 1919 according to the assessors records anyway. That is probably accurate since it appeared as a testimonial in 1920 catalog. The attic windows were covered with that siding. that’s the house though. I researched this house quite some time ago and I think it was in foreclosure or had gone to auction at the sheriffs, can’t remember the specifics now. I just hope it is still there. It is according to google maps. Take a look, the address is 26 Madison Ave Evansville, Indiana

 

Those two houses are so close to being identical it’s scary! My thoughts were that they were probably borrowed from Wm Radford but I haven’t found that exact house in any of my Radford books, yet anyway. The last thing I want to do is show you the floor plans of the two houses. They are reverse of each other but that was an option in kit homes. It was NOT an option in a Radford plan. Wm Radford did not reverse the blue prints. From what I can tell Gordon Van Tine offered the #100 before Sears offered the Flossmore. Gordon Van Tine often borrowed Radford plans. If I find the Radford I will post it here.

Gordon Van Tine #100, first offered in 1910 maybe earlier.

Gordon Van Tine #100, first offered in 1910 maybe earlier.

 

Compare to the Sears Flossmore

The Sears Flossmore appears to have first been offered in 1912.  That's at least two years after the Gordon Van Tine #100 was first offered.

The Sears Flossmore appears to have first been offered in 1912. That’s at least two years after the Gordon Van Tine #100 was first offered.

 

Are you confused now? Welcome to my world! I am challenged by this almost daily when I research houses. There are a lot of imposters out there. If you think you have found either one of these houses you are going to need to have a tape measure. Unless you tear it apart to find stamped lumber or have mortgage records about the only way to figure out which one it is will be to measure the silly thing!

Do you know of a possible mail order or plan book house but you need help identifying it? Please send me a message here and I’ll try to help you.

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About Rachel Shoemaker

I've been hooked on finding and or identifying mail order homes since 2008. I'm not picky, kit homes from Sears Modern Homes, Aladdin Ready Cut, Gordon Van Tine, Wardway Homes, all of the major companies as well as the popular pattern and plan book homes built from about 1900 and on. Could you be living in one of these homes? Send me an email: searshomes@yahoo.com
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