To read a fun update on this story, click here.
Mark Hardin (fellow researcher and old house aficionado) has observed something (again), that I casually overlooked. But after thinking about this for 24 hours, I think he’s right.
That happens a lot.
David Spriggs, Mark Hardin, Rachel Shoemaker and I have been scouring cities (via google maps) looking for Ethels, our pet name for these distinctive little bungalows that have been found in several Dupont towns. We’ve found them in Butte, Montana and Norfolk, Virginia (where they were probably moved from Penniman, Virginia), and Dupont Washington. (Actually, it was Mark that found them in Dupont, WA and Butte, MT.)
This summer, I thought I’d found one in Muskogee, but as Mark Hardin obseved, it’s not a spot-on match to the rest of our Ethels. Secondly, we can’t find any evidence of a Dupont presence anywhere nearby, and that’s an important fact.
On the bedroom side of our Ethels, it’s one window for the bedroom, bath, bedroom. On the Musky House, there’s an extra window on that last bedroom. A window by itself isn’t a big deal, but this window adds some length to the house, making it a more spacious house.
On the Musky’s front, it’s got a door beside the window, whereas our Ethels have a door on the sidewall of the front porch, and it appears to have a significantly wider foot print.
More info is needed, because I think Mark might be right. This house in Muskogee is very close, but it’s not a perfect match.
This is the Ethel in Muskogee, Oklahoma in the 900-block of Boston Avenue. It is a close match to our other Ethels, but it's a little wider. (Photo is courtesy of Angeline Stacy and may not be used or reproduced without written permission. )
Another view of our Ethel in Muskogee. You'll note the windows are all boarded up. Not a good sign. Angeline reports that this neighborhood was "a little scary." (Photo is courtesy of Angeline Stacy and may not be used or reproduced without written permission. )
And thanks to Mark Mckillop, we have many photos of the houses in Dupont, Washington.
Our "Ethel Bungalow" in Dupont, Washington. (This photo is courtesy of Mark Mckillop and may not be reproduced without written permission.)
This Dupont Ethel is in largely original condition. (This photo is courtesy of Mark Mckillop and may not be reproduced without written permission.)
I wish Mark had taken his chain saw with him. Landscaping is always a problem when photographing old houses. (This photo is courtesy of Mark Mckillop and may not be reproduced without written permission.)
This Ethel in Dupont has seen a little modification. Vinyl siding is not a friend of old houses. (This photo is courtesy of Mark Mckillop and may not be reproduced without written permission.)
This is such a distinctive little house. Have you seen it in your neighborhood? (This photo is courtesy of Mark Mckillop and may not be reproduced without written permission.)
Next are the photos of our Ethels, which art in Norfolk. As you’ll see from the photos below, they really are a good match to the houses in Dupont, Washington and Muskogee, OK.
One of our mystery bungalows on 51st Street. Photo is courtesy of David Spriggs and may not be reused or reprinted without permission from David Spriggs.
Good shot of the two bungalows on 51st Street. This photo is courtesy of David Spriggs and may not be reused or reprinted without permission from David Sprggs.
This is one of the houses in Riverview that's in mostly original condition. The little dormer on the side was added in later years.
Close-up of railing
This dormer window is a pretty distinctive feature.
Another "Ethel Bungalow" in Riverview
Aladdin promoted itself to companies as a supplier of industrial housing. It was believed that if a company provided housing for its employees, this would create a more stable workforce. And that was probably true. Dupont turned to Aladdin to supply homes for Hopewell, Virginia and Carney Point, New Jersey and Old Hickory, TN. (1919 Aladdin catalog)
To read an update on this interesting story, click here.
To read what we learned about the Ethels at Penniman, click here.
To contact Rose, please leave a comment below.
To learn more about the kit homes in Norfolk, click here.
To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.
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