Another pattern book home used by Sears…Yep, that was my knee jerk reaction, again, to a poorly researched blogpost about three Sears Altonas in Webster Groves Missouri. The original blog (it was changed shortly after being published) was an attempt to discredit Rosemary Thornton stating she obviously missed these three houses all within a few houses of each other when she did a windshield survey several years ago. Rosemary and I both knew they were pattern homes and I KNEW I had it somewhere in my files. Where in my files remained a mystery until some discussion about pattern homes came up in the Sears group. Rosemary and I have a memory like you can’t even imagine! I’m not being a braggart either, it’s just the plain simple truth. We both notice details, very fine details. It’s just the way we are wired I guess.
The “blog” identified three houses as a Sears Altona. This is the Sears 121 aka Altona from my 1908 4th edition Modern Homes catalog. The 4th edition features 30 different models and to my knowledge is the earliest available edition online.
Houses By Mail shows the Sears 121 aka Altona in the side gable section of the book. Rosemary Thornton shows both sides of a 121/Altona on pages 66-67 of her book Finding The Houses That Sears Built. Pretty cut and dried as to what this Sears model looks like.
Rosemary has a wonderful blog on the Sears Altona! It was published in 2012. I read all of her blogs, they are awesome! Check it out by clicking here.
This house is in El Reno Oklahoma. I think it is likely a Sears 121/Altona. I would love a few good photos of it to replace these screen shots! If you live in or near El Reno and wouldn’t mind sending me a few photos let me know please.
This Sears 121 aka Altona is in Michigan and was contributed as an address by architect/architectural historian Dale Wolicki.
Many of the kit homes that kit home companies sold came from other plan sources such as pattern books, and especially the earliest years. I have a few blogs that prove this. When I say it’s likely from a pattern that’s not my knee jerk reaction as yet another blogger (also a detractor) is quoted saying. That is my response and an honest effort in trying to help a homeowner out. If I say I have seen that pattern before then you should probably believe me. 😉 I’m not here to make up stories. I’ve had my bulldog nose in many books and trade journals the past few years and I am simply relaying what I have seen.
Let’s have a look at the three purported Sears Altonas in Webster Groves Missouri.
Falsely accused of missing three Sears houses all in a row, pretty much in a row, shown are the purported Sears Altonas. If this blogger and her team of detractors had done their research they would have been able to see that these are not Altonas. Do YOU see the differences? The Altona is a side gable house where as these houses are one side gable with a hip roof, really a cross gable house….a T. Not anything at all like an Altona. Three strikes, you’re out! 🙂 To see these you can google drive by 829, 833, and 843 Atalanta Ave in Webster Groves Missouri.
So you’re now saying, okay Rachel prove it! Let’s see that planbook model they (the detractors)say. No problem, I came across it by chance last night in my files! I knew I would eventually.
JH Daverman & Son of Grand Rapids Michigan plan No 27. This pattern dates to at least 1905. That predates the Sears 121 by THREE YEARS. Compare the floor plans. Same house almost with the exception being mainly the roof type.
Is this a JH Daverman & Son No 27? It is about 5 minutes from me in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. It was located across from the lumber dealer. I wonder how many Daverman patterns were built in Broken Arrow in the early 1900’s?
Imagine my delight when I found this Sears 121/Altona in Broken Arrow Oklahoma. Until…
UNTIL … I saw this side! Darn it. I knew this wasn’t a Sears 121 aka Altona. I figured it had to be a pattern home though. At this time I didn’t know about the Daverman pattern.
Also in Broken Arrow Oklahoma and just a couple of blocks north of the other Daverman. This poor house has had massive additions. It has actually been joined to another house to make one long building that houses a funeral home now.
This JH Daverman No 27 is in Grafton Illinois. Rosemary Thornton said she sat in front of this house for thirty minutes several years ago trying to make a Sears Altona out of it. She’s funny and has some pretty funny stories to share and she really knows her houses too!
I’m not surprised to find this Daverman No 27 in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Guthrie is home to several other pattern homes as well. This E Springer Ave house was the scene of a fatality fire a few years ago. I’m not sure the house is still there.
A couple of days ago I took a little day trip east on Route 66. I was in Joplin Missouri when I rounded a corner in a neighborhood when I thought I had scored a Sears 121/Altona. But, I quickly realized it was that pesky pattern home again that I had yet to come across on my computer.
There’s that hip roof side, NOT an Altona. Ugh, the disappointment. Not so much now, I FOUND it finally. I solved the mystery. I knew I would in time. I suspect that Joplin Missouri has more JH Daverman homes. I found that they do have other pattern homes, and no that’s not my knee jerk reaction that’s from my experiences and what I have seen reading and spending countless hours pouring through catalogs and trade journals.
Here’s a really nice JH Daverman no 27 in Onancock, Virginia and it’s for sale so we can see the inside of one now!
And here’s that same view as shown in the house from Joplin, Mo.
I found a JH Daverman no 27 in Muskogee, Oklahoma too! This was a popular pattern home.
Both floor plans measure 24′ 6″ x 28′ . The Sears 1908 model 121 is on the top and the JH Daverman No 27 from 1905 is on the bottom. I wonder where Sears got their pattern for the 121/Altona? Maybe it was JH Daverman or maybe there’s another one out there waiting for me to find it!
The 1908 Sears 121/Altona is on the top and the 1905 JH Daverman No 27 is on the bottom. See how the Sears house has a hint of a cornice on the right and the Daverman model does not? The Sears house eave continues across the front and through the balconette to form the cornice that we get a glimpse of and the Daverman house is flat, no continuing eave across the house… it stops at the dormer. Maybe you have seen this house somewhere? If so contact me!
JH Daverman and Son no 27, 1901.
By the way, Rosemary Thornton is the author on several books on kit homes and how to identify them. Her blog was the first on the subject of kit homes on the internet and her facebook group IS the original facebook page/group. If you want to learn how to identify homes she’s a good person to make friends with! She has done more for Sears homes as far as bringing research to the internet more than anyone out there. Her blog and facebook group is why I (as well as the detractors) have come this far!
Have you seen a house like this somewhere? Or, another kit home? If so please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oklahoma Houses By Mail by Rachel Shoemaker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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