A Very Special Christmas for an East Granby Connecticut Woman (Gordon Van Tine 517-B)

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It was a typical New England winter in East Granby Connecticut and most assuredly a Christmas that Anna Viets would remember forever.
The year was 1920 and Anna and Charles Palmer Viets had been married for 32 years. Anna and Charles had one son, Leon. Leon was married and had three young children. Charles was a cattle dealer and owned a large farm, almost 500 acres. His son Leon farmed along side him as he had be doing for years in the family business.
This Christmas was special for Anna because Charles would present her with a deed to her very own charming four bedroom bungalow! Their farm house was occupied by Leon his wife Grace and their daughter and two sons. I’m sure Anna was thrilled with her grandchildren but was in need of space.
And so the story goes…

This photo dated Dec. 14, 1920 shows a bungalow in a typical New England winter. When I found this photo post card a few years ago I immediately recognized the bungalow as a Gordon Van Tine 517-B. I purchased the postcard for my collection and in hopes of finding it because, well, it's my quirky hobby :)

This photo dated Dec. 14, 1920 shows a bungalow in a typical New England winter.
When I found this photo post card a few years ago I immediately recognized the bungalow as a Gordon Van Tine 517-B. I purchased the postcard for my collection and in hopes of finding it because, well, it’s my quirky hobby 🙂

 

This is the floor plan of their new Gordon Van Tine bungalow. Spacious for Charles, Anna, and Charles 80 year old mother Sarah.

This is the floor plan of their new Gordon Van Tine bungalow. Spacious for Charles, Anna, and Charles’ 80 year old mother Sarah.

 

Anna's charming bungalow still looks pretty charming today!

Anna’s charming bungalow still looks pretty charming today!

 

A wider view of the Viet 1920 bungalow shows something very interesting! Let's zoom in on that silo.

A wider view of the Viet’s 1920 bungalow shows something very interesting! Let’s zoom in on that silo.

 

This photo of a unique silo is courtesy of the East Granby Parks and Recreation facebook page. LH Viets is Leon Hasting Viets, the son of Charles and Anna. The livestock business and farm thrived for several years. the city of East Granby now owns the almost 500 acre family farm. This mural was painted on the silo and the name was left as is. How cool is that?

This photo of a unique silo is courtesy of the East Granby Parks and Recreation facebook page. LH Viets is Leon Hasting Viets, the son of Charles and Anna. The livestock business and farm thrived for several years. The city of East Granby now owns the almost 500 acre family farm. This mural was painted on the silo and the name was left as is. How cool is that?

 

This front view of the Gordon Van Tine sure resembles the Sears Hazelton doesn't it?

This front view of the Gordon Van Tine sure resembles the Sears Hazelton doesn’t it?  Gordon Van Tine was a competitor of Sears as far as selling lumber and kit homes.  Gordon Van Tine started offering homes in 1907 and Sears not until 1908.  The first company to offer kit homes was Aladdin in Bay City Mi.  Gordon Van Tine also outlasted Sears Modern Homes!

 

The Gordon Van Tine 517-B in east Granby CT gifted to Anna Hastings Viets by her husband Charles Palmer Viets for Christmas in 1920. I wonder when the silo was built?

The Gordon Van Tine 517-B in east Granby CT gifted to Anna Hastings Viets by her husband Charles Palmer Viets for Christmas in 1920.
I wonder when the silo was built?

 

Here we have Anna showing her husband Charles which house she wants. When I saw this image in my 1915 Gordon Van Tine catalog I imagined Anna looking through a Gordon Van Tine catalog and choosing her charming bungalow.

Here we have Anna showing her husband Charles which house she wants.
When I saw this image in my 1915 Gordon Van Tine catalog I imagined Anna looking through a Gordon Van Tine catalog and choosing her charming bungalow.

 

The information on the back of the post card gave me enough information to locate the Gordon Van Tine 517-B and it made for an interesting blog! CP (Charles) passed away in 1947 at the age of 84. Anna passed away in 1951 at the age of 88. The Viets were married for 60 years. The key to a long happy marriage must be charming bungalow for a Christmas gift to the wife!

The information on the back of the post card gave me enough information to locate the Gordon Van Tine 517-B and it made for an interesting blog as well!
CP (Charles) passed away in 1947 at the age of 84. Anna passed away in 1951 at the age of 88. The Viets were married for 60 years. Imagine Anna’s delight when she found the deed to her home in her stocking Christmas morning!    The key to a long happy marriage must be a charming bungalow for a Christmas gift to the wife!
As the story goes…

 

This bungalow style was very popular and several either offered it as a kit home or a pattern. You can see several of those catalog images in this flickr album.

Have you seen a bungalow like this and need some help figuring out which one it is? If so email me at searshomes@yahoo.com

You can see other wonderful homes and blog posts of both Rosemary Thornton and me 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

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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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10 Responses to A Very Special Christmas for an East Granby Connecticut Woman (Gordon Van Tine 517-B)

  1. Darla Russell says:

    Thanks for posting this neat story! One small thing in your post is kind of comical. The “city” of East Granby! The town is small by standards in the East at only 4,000 people. It is a great place to have a family. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

    • Hi Darla! Thanks for reading my blog. When I used “city” I meant as a form of government owning the property now. 🙂
      It does look like a great place to live and I enjoyed learning about the Viets family. Genealogy is one of my interests and I see the Viets are well researched and documented so I thought maybe folks would enjoy this little bit of Americana that seems to have been either forgotten or unknown.

      Like

  2. Sue says:

    What a lovely story. 🙂 How great it is to find that in your christmas stocking. And to find it all still so very lovely ! It is heartening. Thanks Rachel

    Like

  3. Pingback: Gordon Van Tine 517 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma | Oklahoma Houses By Mail

  4. symorris says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I had this house in Madison, Wisconsin. It had always been identified as a Sears Hazelton, but this layout with the stairs is exactly like my old home.
    Thank You!
    Susan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Susan,
      This bungalow was very popular and several companies, both kit home and pattern books, offered this particular design. One of the ways to determine just which one you have is by the floor plan because, as you well know, they look the same from the outside!
      I have uploaded some of the versions of this bungalow design here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • symorris says:

        Thank you, Rachel. This is so interesting. Modifications had been made to the house over the years but the basic structure and position of the stairways–plus the full second story–sure look like the right house.

        I no longer live in Madison. I’m in another bungalow in Savannah, GA. I’ve tried to find information about kits and architects that were common at the time this neighborhood was being developed (1914 to 1935-ish) but didn’t have much luck. Would you be able to steer me in the right direction?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Join our closed facebook group, the link is above, you can post photos there and I’ll take a look as well as Rosemary.
        If you aren’t finding that it matches a kit plan then chances are it isn’t a kit home.

        Like

  5. Pingback: The Gordon Van Tine 552, A Popular Home – Fine For a Narrow Lot | Oklahoma Houses By Mail

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