FREE Bungalow! Extra Extra! Read ALL ABOUT IT!

Just when I didn’t think this little hobby or project could get any larger.  A few years ago I acquired a catalog from Los Angeles Investment Company from a man here in Tulsa.  I really made a good haul in that meeting and came home with a trunk full of paper treasures!  I started investigating this company to find out more than what I already knew.  After all I now have one of their rare catalogs and that’s an excuse to dig deeper. That and there were a few houses I recognized as kit homes offered a few years later and one being the front cover which looks just like the Sears “Hollywood”. I began by finding where the houses were built and who the designers and architects might be.  That sent me on a virtual journey to Los Angeles California.  I scoured the newspapers for any information I might find in the real estate sections.  One night I got lucky!  I came upon a house I knew very well, a house that was very familiar to me.  A house that I had seen not only in the LA Investment Company catalog but also in a kit home catalog.  A mystery that I had hoped to one day solve. I have a lot of those 😉

In spring of 1910 the Los Angeles Herald announced that they were going to have a ‘voting contest’. They were going to give away $25,000 in prizes.  In 1910 that was a lot of money! Today’s value would be around $600,000 I estimate. Sign me up!

In that $25,000 of numerous prizes was a newly built bungalow by the LA Investment Company valued at $5,300. Heck of a deal. Here’s that FREE BUNGALOW as it appeared in the Los Angeles Herald as the front page of the contest section on March 21, 1910.

The front page of the contest section of the Los Angeles Herald March 22, 1910.  Click to enlarge image.

The front page of the contest section of the Los Angeles Herald March 22, 1910. Click to enlarge image.

However, it was THIS page in the Los Angeles Herald that caught my attention while searching for bungalows built by the LA Investment Company!  I knew that house for another reason to be revealed at the end. This page sent me on another adventure.

However, it was THIS page in the Los Angeles Herald on March 17th that caught my attention while searching for bungalows built by the LA Investment Company! I knew that house for another reason to be revealed at the end of this blog.  This page sent me on another adventure, where the house was located was obvious since the address is right there.

This page will give you all of the specifications if you are interested in that.

This page will give you all of the specifications if you are interested in that.

I was very curious about who won the bungalow so I read through the next few months newspapers to see how it all transpired.

March 22, 1910 Nominations Are in Order.  That's a good place to begin!  Who were the contestants?

March 22, 1910 Nominations Are in Order. That’s a good place to begin! Who were the contestants?

The voting contest progress and the nominations came in and the prizes were beginning to be awarded beginning with those of lesser value.  It became obvious that a group of women known as the American Woman's League of LA had their eye on the prize!  One of the nominees was Jean Van Allen and that is who I would begin to follow.

The voting contest progressed and the nominations came in and the prizes were beginning to be awarded beginning with those of lesser value. It became obvious that a group of women known as the American Woman’s League of LA had their eye on the prize! One of their nominees was Jean Van Allen and that is who I would begin to follow.  The Los Angeles Herald was very supportive of this society for women and their events were regularly published.  They were in need of a temporary chapter house until one could be built for them.

May 1 the question was raised to  attend the great jubilee convention or stay behind and have benefits to raise votes.  Looks to me like they stayed behind!

May 1st the question was raised to attend the great jubilee convention or stay behind and have benefits to raise votes. Looks to me like they stayed behind!

Oh dear, it's June 7th and there's a new leader!  Miss Jennie Van Allen, the nominee for the American Woman's Club, is no longer in the lead!  The voting contest ends June 30th!

Oh dear, it’s June 7th and there’s a new leader! Miss Jennie Van Allen, the nominee for the American Woman’s Club, is no longer in the lead! The voting contest ends June 30th!

June 29th, the contest ends tomorrow.  Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock....

June 29th, the contest ends tomorrow. Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock….

The voting contest ended on June 30th at 5pm.  Who won the $5300 bungalow?  Better yet, who would later offer this bungalow pattern and what are its ties to kit homes?

The voting contest ended on June 30th at 5pm. Who won the $5300 bungalow? Better yet, who would later offer this bungalow pattern and what are its ties to kit homes?

Here's a screenshot of the house that was built by Los Angeles Investment Company in late 1909 early 1910 that was given away in a voting contest by the Los Angeles Herald.  I wonder if the current owners know the story of their house?  Do they know it was a prize bungalow? Literally!

Here’s a screenshot of the house that was built by Los Angeles Investment Company in late 1909 early 1910 that was given away in a voting contest by the Los Angeles Herald. I wonder if the current owners know the story of their house? Do they know it was a prize bungalow? Literally!

Do you know?  if you do leave a comment!  Be sure and come back for my next blog to see who the winner was and what became of the house after that as well as what kit home company would later offer this pattern as one of their homes!

Do you know? If you do leave a comment! Be sure and come back for my next blog to see who the winner was and what became of the house after that as well as what kit home company would later offer this pattern as one of their homes!

You can follow my finds 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!

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

Creative Commons License
Oklahoma Houses By Mail by Rachel Shoemaker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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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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7 Responses to FREE Bungalow! Extra Extra! Read ALL ABOUT IT!

  1. Mark says:

    Great story! This had to be an absolute blast to track down!

    Like

  2. Pingback: FREE BUNGALOW! And The Winner Is… | Oklahoma Houses By Mail

  3. Rachel, I am absolutely thrilled to find your blog!! Ernest Williams is my great-great grandfather!! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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