Eugene Lorton’s Gordon Van Tine #711

Did Eugene Lorton build a mail order house in 1919 at 1516 W. Easton Street?   I believe he did and in this blog I will show you what I have gathered. Hang on, this is a long blog!

The assessor shows the house at 1716 W Easton Str as being built in 1916. The address in 1916 was 1516 W. Easton Str.

The Lortons were residing at 411 S Guthrie in 1916. In 1917 they are listed at 1630 Baltimore Ave. In fact, they lived at a few other addresses until the 1920 census which is dated January 17, 1920.

I will post that timeline at the end.

I suspect that Mr Lorton ordered his house in 1919 and had it built and moved in sometime in 1919 and at least by Jan 1920 when the census was taken.

This is what Mr Lorton’s house looked liked in 1920 shortly after it was built.

I found this photo in one of John Brooks Walton's book and I knew immediately what it was!

I found this photo in one of John Brooks Walton’s books and I knew immediately what it was!

The house was originally constructed from stucco. This Sanborn Map shows the house sometime around 1925. You can see that it was added on to after it was built and you can see that it was stucco. It also shows the old address.

Sanborn Map in the early-mid 1920's showing the house was stucco and it shows the addition.

Sanborn Map in the early-mid 1920’s showing the house was stucco and it shows the addition.

Sometime in the early-mid 1920’s the house was added on to. I haven’t pinned that date yet.

In this early 1920's photo you can see that the house was added onto on the west end.  You can see the addition on the southside, the back, in the Sanborn Map.

In this early 1920’s photo you can see that the house was added onto on the west end. You can see the addition on the southside, the back, in the Sanborn Map.  This photo is also in one of John Brooks Walton’s books.

The #711 was first offered in 1918. The home was one of their not-ready cut homes. In 1920 the price for the #711 was $6,234. Plumbing packages were $470.50, $604.00 and $742.75 depending on which style was selected. The heating equipment package was $453.65 for warm air, $773.40 for steam or $926.54 for hot water. The electric fixtures were $39.32 up to $101.87 and there were six choices of styles. To upgrade from yellow pine flooring to oak flooring and woodwork was $649.70. Mr and Mrs Lorton selected oak if my memory serves me right. I was in this house several times in early and mid 2000’s. You can see that this would add up to almost $10,000 just for the house and not including the land or the labor to build it.  I seriously doubt as editor for the Tulsa World he had time to build it himself.  And he had the money that’s for sure!  I would love to peruse the newspapers at this time to see what I can find.

Gordon Van Tine #711 from the 1920 catalog

Gordon Van Tine #711 from the 1920 catalog

That’s a pretty darn good match isn’t it? The house does appear to have been raised at the eaves. The house was likely ordered like that. It would be especially easy for Mr and Mrs Lorton to do because Gordon Van Tine had a sales office and sales rep right here in town during that time! They were located at 203 Ohio Building.

I found evidence of Gordon Van Tine having a sales office and rep in the 1918 city directory.

I found evidence of Gordon Van Tine having a sales office and rep in the 1918 city directory.

I found evidence of Gordon Van Tine having a sales office and rep in the 1918 city directory.

I found evidence of Gordon Van Tine having a sales office and rep in the 1918 city directory.

It looks like by 1919 they needed more room. Gordon Van Tine sold lumber and millwork. There are likely more Gordon Van Tine homes around town. I imagine that GN Wright and Robert Kellough ordered their #560’s here in town as well! How many houses were built just with lumber and millwork and ordered or purchased here too? The sawmill (GVT) in Davenport, Ia was a pretty big operation and had been since the late 1800’s.

Gordon Van Tine advertising in the 1919 Tulsa City Directory shows that they were doing enough business to move into a warehouse.

Gordon Van Tine advertising in the 1919 Tulsa City Directory shows that they were doing enough business to move into a warehouse.

This 1919 City Directory shows that another manager was added.

Gordon Van Tine Tulsa City Directory in 1919 shows two managers now.

Gordon Van Tine Tulsa City Directory in 1919 shows two managers now.

One of the very first things I did a couple of years ago when I suspected this house was a Gordon Van Tone #711 was check the measurements. The main body of the house, pre-addition, just so happens to match the measurements of the #711. Since I had been in the house several times I could verify that the floor plan was like the catalog shows with the exception of the stairs being reversed and the entry being completely open and not having a vestibule or closets as shown in the catalog.

Gordon Van Tine #711 1920 floor plan

Gordon Van Tine #711 1920 floor plan

This house won’t have stenciled part numbers on the lumber because it wasn’t pre-cut, or ready-cut as they called it. However, the windows and other lumber or millwork will be stenciled with the name of the person who ordered it, more than likely Lorton or perhaps the salesman in this case. It will also have Davenport, Ia stenciled and Tulsa, Oklahoma. That is the best way to tell for sure if this is a Gordon Van Tine #711. I feel pretty certain that it is and I have several other experts in kit home identification that agree.

In the early 1920’s the house was renumbered to #603 and then the Brentwood. It was Gordon Van Tine’s largest and finest house along with the #560. We have two #560’s in Tulsa and one of them is at 518 N Tacoma just a block NE of Eugene Lorton’s house.

 Map showing how close the #711 and #560 are to each other.

Map showing how close the #711 and #560 are to each other.

Here is the 1920 catalog page of the #711. Take note of the specifications and notice the bottom that refers the reader to the back of the catalog for pricing on plumbing, heating and lighting.

Gordon Van Tine 1920 #711

Gordon Van Tine 1920 #711

The Eugene Lorton house as it looks today. It was sided at some time with rock veneer. It still very much resembles the Gordon Van Tine #711 aka the Brentwood enough that about three years ago it caught my attention!

The Lorton house at 1716 W Easton Str as it looks today.

The Lorton house at 1716 W Easton Str as it looks today.

The Gordon Van Tine Brentwood was featured on the front of the catalog in the mid-late 1920's.  This image is from my 1924 catalog.

The Gordon Van Tine Brentwood was featured on the front of the catalog in the mid-late 1920’s. This image is from my 1924 catalog.

The Lorton house from that angle.

The Lorton house catalog angle view.

The Lorton house catalog angle view.

And, here is that timeline I built showing the addresses of the Lorton family.  You can see they moved out by 1924.  This can also be seen on the family tree I built on Ancestry.

Lorton Timeline

Lorton Timeline

Well, all of that being said and presented I would say it’s safe to say that the Eugene Lorton house at 1716 W Easton Str is a Gordon Van Tine #711 aka The Brentwood. Unless….someone has evidence that can prove more so than this!

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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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11 Responses to Eugene Lorton’s Gordon Van Tine #711

  1. Lara says:

    Nice house! Do you think the same developer built both GVT’s? They are less than a half block away and the biggest models they had.

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  2. Jan says:

    Nice Job, Rachel! This was a very interesting to read all of this. These homes truly are treasures and you have done a great job of documenting the story behind this house. So what is going on with the tall chain link fence around the home? I hope that the fence is not a bad sign!

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    • This was a long one. Since the date on the assessor was obviously wrong I thought I had better show that and considering who Lorton is and that the family is still one of Tulsa’s most prominent families 100 years later I thought I better show why and how this is possible! It was a wordy read and I thank you and appreciate that you read it and left a comment 🙂
      That tall chain link fence has been there as far back as I can remember which is around the house and another lot. The house sits on two lots. The house was on the market last summer and I should have arranged to see the inside then. From the real estate listing photos I can see that it is still a very beautiful home. It sold back in the fall.

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  3. Mark says:

    This is really cool! I knew you would track this one down. Impressive!

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  4. Philip Zoellner says:

    Thank you for this fine research. My wife & I are the very proud owners of this home now. I would love to hear if you have any information on the home. You’re welcomed by anytime. -Philip

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  5. Rachel, do you have an email? Thanks, Philip Zoellner

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