A great trip to Bartlesville

One of the things I enjoy is playing the saxophone. I guess I should, after all I was a music major! I play with The Sounds Of Music Orchestra in Tulsa Oklahoma.

Sounds Of Music Orchestra Tulsa Oklahoma

Sounds Of Music Orchestra Tulsa Oklahoma

On Saturday April 6th we played for a dance at the Bartlesville Elks Lodge that was sponsored by the Bartlesville Public Library. Boy was it a lot of FUN! Joe Sears  aka Aunt Pearl was the emcee.  What a HOOT!

Sounds Of Music at the 1940's Canteen Dance

Sounds Of Music at the 1940’s Canteen Dance

Bartlesville is about 45 miles north of Tulsa on highway 75. What a great place to visit. I had family in Bartlesville and Barnsdall years ago and I remember visiting Frank Phillips mansion and Woolaroc quite well. On Saturday I decided to go early and see the three Lustrons, Price Tower and of course look for kit homes. Those are things I knew nothing about forty years ago.  The three Lustrons are well-known and listed on the Lustron locator website.  Price Tower, well that is a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece. It speaks for itself!   Kit homes?  I couldn’t find any evidence anywhere that anyone has documented any there. I know there has to be because I have a sales receipt for an Aladdin Maples!  Where there’s one there are usually more, especially in a large town or city.

If you are not familiar with Bartlesville, well… it was built by oil much like Tulsa was.

I had a great time in my short afternoon and found a couple of very nice homes!  I’m fairly easy to entertain.  Give me someplace to explore and my camera and you’ll never hear the word boring from me.

My blog today is just pictures. I have researched the homes and their owners but I’ll write about those another day.

I found the most gorgeous Aladdin Villa!  Just absolutely stunning.  I talked with the neighbor for a while.  He had no idea it was a kit home.  In fact, he had never heard of such a thing and he was probably 70 years old or so.

Aladdin Villa in Bartlesville Oklahoma

Aladdin Villa in Bartlesville Oklahoma

Aladdin Villa from the 1919 catalog

Aladdin Villa from the 1918  catalog

Aladdin Villa in Bartlesville Oklahoma

Aladdin Villa in Bartlesville Oklahoma

It was added on to recently according to the neighbor.  I can see that because I am very familiar with this house plan. They added the second floor above what was the sun parlor. You can just barely see the fireplace poking through the roof.  the contractors did a beautiful job.  You can’t even see where they added on and I believe those are the original windows on the second floor, they must have reused them.

It was featured on the front of the inside of the 1918 catalog!

It was featured on the front of the inside of the 1918 catalog!

What a grand house! I call it the "BartlesVilla"

What a grand house!
I call it the “BartlesVilla”

That is a huge house!  And how they built it on that lot I’ll never know.  I looked on the Sanborn Maps and the house next door was there as well. Less to mow?

The Aladdin Villa from the 1918 catalog.  this shows the floor plan and what an enormous house it was!  It still is even by today's standards.

The Aladdin Villa from the 1918 catalog. this shows the floor plan and what an enormous house it was! It still is even by today’s standards.

I was hoping to get the sales receipt for it but no luck. I did receive the sales order for another Aladdin home in Bartlesville today. Hopefully I can find it when I return.

Another one of my favorite finds was a rare Sears Savoy. Actually a Savoy that was a 264P233 originally. Sears gave their houses numbers in the early years. My research shows that this house was built in 1914 or 1915 according to the Sanborn Maps. The house is on the Sanborn Maps dated June of 1915. So, it was built late in 1914 or early 1915. It is in wonderful condition and hasn’t been altered on the exterior. I immediately recognized it!

A beautiful Sears Savoy in Bartlesville Oklahoma

A beautiful Sears Savoy in Bartlesville Oklahoma

Sears 1914 catalog image

Sears 1914 catalog image

Sears Savoy in Bartlesville Oklahoma

Sears Savoy in Bartlesville Oklahoma

Sears Savoy 1916 image

Sears Savoy 1916 image

Are you convinced? I am! Let’s see the entire page of the 264P233 aka Savoy from my 1914 catalog.

The 1914 Sears 264P233 aka Savoy

The 1914 Sears 264P233 aka Savoy

One more house tonight and that’s it. Promise!

This Radford 1508 caught my attention. Wow! This was a surprise. I’ve not seen this Radford house before so I was thrilled to add this one to my collection. What a cool house.

Radford 1508 in Bartlesville Oklahoma

Radford 1508 in Bartlesville Oklahoma

The Radford 1508

The Radford 1508

Radford 1508 in Bartlesville Oklahoma

Radford 1508 in Bartlesville Oklahoma

Sorry about that loblolly, I tried to shoot around it the best I could from the street.

Here's the entire page showing the floor plan of the Radford 1508

Here’s the entire page showing the floor plan of the Radford 1508

The Radford 1508 in Bartlesville Oklahoma.  It is a unique looking house, I like it!

The Radford 1508 in Bartlesville Oklahoma. It is a unique looking house, I like it!

I would LOVE to see that Radford restored!

I have a few more but I will post them later and I have some I have to go back and get photographs of and I will see what else I can find! In the meantime, if you live in the Bartlesville area and would like to learn about mail order houses I recommend that you start with any or all of the books that Rosemary Thornton wrote and the Houses By Mail book too. I’m sure that they can probably be found at the local library in the meantime until yours come in the mail.
Be sure and read Rosemary’s awesome blog, she recently featured the Villa and the Savoy. It’s quite an honor to have those two houses featured by a well-known author on kit homes! http://www.searshomes.org

I hope you enjoyed the photos. If you have a kit home that you need help identifying then please send me a message. I have helped folks from all over the country identify their kit home.

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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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9 Responses to A great trip to Bartlesville

  1. Rose says:

    I just love that Villa. If you look at that floorplan, you’ll see it’s 62 feet wide as built. With that addition, it must be more than 80 feet wide. That is a massive house!!!

    What a great story about the kit homes in Bartlesville. I can’t wait to see what else you find. And that Radford House is a real doozy.

    And please bring me back some photos of the Sears Argyle and Sears Hazleton when you return!

    🙂

    Like

    • The Argyle and Hazelton are on my list as well as that darling planbook bungalow. 🙂 Hopefully I can get through all of Bartlesville this trip!

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      • Rachel… I live in Bartlesville and would be happy to take you around. The History Museum forwarded your name and Royemary Thornton’s name to me. I am a co-author of the book we have just published, IF BARTLESVILLE WALLS COULD TALK. The Villa and the Savoy are bother in the book. I feel sure that there may be others. I would love to check for the identifying marks on the insides of the houses. I personally know the lady that lives in the VILLA. I’m sure that she would let us look around inside.

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      • The stenciling or grease pencil marks won’t be seen except maybe on unpainted lumber. I would imagine that when they added on the second floor to the Villa they likely found all kinds of identification. Do they know it’s an Aladdin Villa? The time to check for that would be as they remove trim or do any construction where they will see the bare lumber. If they do that in the future I would love to see it, I am sure that it is an Aladdin Villa though.

        As for the 264P233 aka the Savoy, you won’t find any stenciling or marks because that house was not likely precut. The early homes from Sears were actually plans and enough lumber and all materials to build the house. And, it predates the stenciling. However, there are probably shipping labels here and there. From what I can see that house was ordered from the 1914 catalog. In order for it to have been built in time to appear on the 1915 Sanborn Map I suspect they ordered it sometime in 1914 and possibly late 1914.

        You can find several good blogs about identifying houses and where to look for stencil or grease pencil marks on Rosemary’s blog. There is an Aladdin Colonial in Skiatook that is being restored and she took several photos of the marks on the lumber. Rosemary posted those a while back.
        You can always send us an address or a photo and we can identify the house that way. Well, not all of Bartlesville is on google view otherwise I would have noticed that Villa 4 years ago. As long as we can see it from google view we can usually accurately identify a model. I do it all the time.

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    • Rose.. This is a reply to you. I received your email stating that you are in Virginia and not able to come to Bartlesville. I have also invited Rachel to come to Bartlesville and go scouting for kit homes. I am familiar with the Villa and the Savoy. I’m not sure where the Radford is? Unfortunately, my husband deleted the e-mail with your phone #, before I had the opportunity to call you, so would love your you to resend it to me again. I am interested in purchasing your book from Amazon. I know of one other house in Bartlesville that I have heard is a Sears kit home, but I haven’t asked to verify it by searching for the markings on the lumber, but I am very interested in pursuing it.
      Vicki Stewart (stewartvic@cableone.net)

      Like

  2. Rose says:

    Hi Vicki,

    Instead of purchasing my book, I could send you a copy (gratis) of “The Houses That Sears Built” and a copy of “The Mail-Order Homes of Montgomery Ward” (a value of $54.90), and perhaps you could send me a copy of your new book.

    That would certainly be simpler and easier for both of us.

    As to the other houses in Bartlesville, please supply me and/or Rachel with the addresses and/or photos, and we can help you in identifying and/or authenticating these homes. You mentioned that you know of yet another kit house in Bartlesville. What is that address?

    And in your book, is the Aladdin Villa categorized as a Sears House? Based upon my research, that’s a very common misconception. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that they have a “Sears kit home,” when it’s NOT a Sears, but a kit home from another company.

    In fact, there were seven companies selling kit homes on a national level. In addition to Sears, there was Aladdin, Gordon Van Tine, Montgomery Ward, Sterling, Lewis Manufacturing and Harris Brothers.

    Sears was the most well-known, but Aladdin was actually the largest. These many years later, people forget those six other companies and every kit home becomes a “Sears kit home.”

    As to identifying these homes through a windshield survey, that’s very, very difficult. Rachel and I (and a few others in the country) have devoted countless hours to amassing thousands of vintage images and memorizing hundreds of designs, so that we can identify these houses by sight. It’s not for the weak of heart! (Nor for the weak of memory!!)

    Please email and/or post those addresses of the known and suspected kit homes in Bartlesville, and Rachel and I can tell you more. We’d love to help.

    Like

    • Rosemary, I saw the book. A friend had a copy. There is absolutely no mention of any Sears house or Aladdin house or kit homes at all. They mention three “Craftsman” homes, not one of them was a kit home from any of the catalog companies. I didn’t see any Sears houses other than that Savoy and they didn’t know it was a Sears house, a California bungalow. They call it a house you would expect to see a southern belle sitting out on the porch drinking a mint julep. I made a second trip and found a couple of more homes.
      Hopefully someone interested in kit homes from Bartlesville will either buy your books or go check them out of their library. I bet there are more, I can’t cover every street when I go.

      Like

  3. Rosemary says:

    Rachel, I just got invited to write a chapter for a local history book (Hampton, Virginia), and I am *jazzed* about it. The book is going to be well publicized and promoted and I’m so gratified to know that all the facts in my chapter on Sears Homes will be RIGHT!!!

    I’m hoping that this blog of yours will create an opportunity for you to do the same thing there in Oklahoma. It’s so wearying to see so much misinformation bandied about on our kit homes.

    And right there in Bartlesville are several homes that were ordered from plan books and mail-order catalogs, and yet – before your blog – they were largely unknown.

    Frustrating!!!

    Rose

    Like

    • Congratulations! That is something to be “jazzed” about!

      I’ve not heard a word from anyone in Bartlesville. I guess I need to post what else I have discovered! Because as you know, there ARE others that I haven’t posted yet!

      Like

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