This house was reported last fall as a possible Sears Modern Home in the Sears Homes group on facebook. The house was on the market at the time.
What I discovered when I opened the real estate listing was NOT a Sears Modern Home built from a kit but a rare model from Gordon Van Tine! The Erie was a ready cut kit home from the Gordon Van Tine company in Davenport Iowa that was first offered in 1930 as the Dunham and from 1935-1937 as the Erie. Maybe you have seen one!
This is the Gordon Van Tine Erie from my 1937 catalog. This colonial bungalow was offered from 1935-1937.
According to the assessor, this house, at 19 Tryon Str Middletown Ct, was built in 1937. This image is from the assessor website.
That’s a pretty nice match isn’t it?
It even has the original trellis! Photo on real estate listing
You can see that same trellis in the catalog image!
I was certain it was a Gordon Van Tine Erie. I checked the assessor website for measurements and yes, those measurements matched the floor plan as well!
You may have noticed that the house at 19 Tryon Str Middletown Ct is reversed. Reversing floor plans was an option as seen in this 1937 catalog image.
This image is from the real estate listing last fall. They insisted the house was from Sears. The stenciling on the lumber is original and that is Gordon Van Tine stenciling. Frank J Whidbee was the purchaser of the house. 60 Saybrook Rd was his address. He was a farmer and I believe that his farm was located there at the time and he built his Erie on his property which back then was 91 Tryon aka Tryon and Bow. Tryon and Saybrook run at an angle parallel Bow intersects with Tryon and a triangle of land is formed. I suspect that area may have been his land. The houses were renumbered years later.
What about that magic marker handwriting? I guess someone thought they had a Sears Modern Home but Sears offered nothing even close to this. Sears was not shipping lumber from Davenport Ia in the 1930’s or manufacturing anything for Sears for that matter. However, they have the 1935-1937 date correct. Someone in the past knew a little something about this house but they were also confused. This house located at 19 Tryon Str in Middletown Ct is an Erie sold by Gordon Van Tine, plain and simple.
This house is once again on the market. If you would like to see more photos, close to 30, click here.
Do you have a bungalow resembling this in your neighborhood? If so email me at email@example.com let me know, I’d love to find another!
Tulsa Oklahoma Houses by Mail, Sears Homes, Wardway, Aladdin and more
Oklahoma Houses By Mail by Rachel Shoemaker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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, National Database of Sears Homes
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