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And The Plat Thickens, Part II

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.

Eth

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. )


house

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. All photos are courtesy of Mark Mckillop and may not be reproduced without written permission.)

Our "Ethel Bungalow" in Dupont, Washington. (This photo is courtesy of Mark Mckillop and may not be reproduced without written permission.)

Ethel

This Dupont Ethel is in largely original condition. (This photo is courtesy of Mark Mckillop and may not be reproduced without written permission.)

Ethel

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.)

Ethel

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.)

Ethel

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.

House

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.

Another

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.

house

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

Close-up of railing

Close-up of dormer

This dormer window is a pretty distinctive feature.

another Ethel

Another "Ethel Bungalow" in Riverview

Aladdin promoted itself to companies as a supplier of industrial housing. It was believed that providing housing for workers created a more stable workforce. And that was probably true.

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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  1. Rachel
    October 11th, 2011 at 10:38 | #1

    I wondered that too! I google drove Muskogee ALL day yesterday and found 2 more houses just like this one with this ONE exception: There is a bay window on one side. However, I did find an Aladdin Shadow Lawn. Pretty sure that it is anyway. That makes 2 Shadow Lawns in Muskogee. I’d be willing to bet there are more kit homes around that town.

  2. Dan B. Moore
    February 2nd, 2014 at 00:14 | #2

    I am the former president of Minter Homes Corporation of Huntington, West Virginia.

    Minter Homes built houses during the years 1912 through 1946 in West Virginia [Belle, a DuPont factory], for the War Department.

    There was a munitions factory at Nitro, and Nitro (near Charleston) was home to a 2,000 unit WW1 house development in West Virginia.

    Duplex houses were constructed at St. Albans, also near Charleston.

    There were coal mining communities at Hico and many mining towns in the southern West Virginia Coal fields.

    There were coal mining communities with miner’s housing in Wheelwright, Kentucky and Jellicoe, Tennessee.

    Minter also sold houses to North and South Carolina (and there was a Minter Prefab plant in Columbia, SC).

    Minter Homes also had a presence at the Babcox-Wilcox naval boiler plant housing in Barberton, Ohio, and at the Waverly, Ohio Defence Plant during WW2.

    Other places with an abundance of Minter Homes include Wright-Patterson Air Force base housing, Dayton, Ohio. Bethel Park, Aliquipi, Pennsylvannia, Bethlehem Steel Plant housing at Sparrows Point, Maryland and Dundalk, Maryland.

    The University of Maryland Women’s dormitory is from Minter Homes (and it’s in College Park, Maryland, Tacoma Park, Maryland on the DC line).

    Our company sold housing to Coney Island, (Bay View Avenue), Islip and Bethpage, (Long Island) New York.

    A model home was erected on the roof of Gimbles’ Department store in Mahattan.

    We built 600 homes in Miami Beach [1927].

    Two of our houses shipped to the Acropolis near the Parthenon as visitor centers ordered by the King of Greece. Minter Homes was the largest customer of United States Gypsum, the largest plaster and gypsum company in the U.S. and Flintkote roofing the dominant roofing company in the U.S.

    I am 82 yrs. old, and live here in Virginia.

    I have a Minter Homes catalogue of early prefab houses. My father, who preceded me as president, was raised by a luxury home builder who was Frank Lloyd Wrights’ (often) financier. He built Buena Park, Illinois; Southern Pines, North Carolina and Winter Park, Florida.

  3. Shari D.
    February 3rd, 2014 at 04:38 | #3

    Wow! What an awesome amount of information regarding Minter Homes! A definite treasure-trove of information that may end up being a new focus?

    About the “Musky” house, looking at the dormer ~ compared with the previously identified Ethels ~ it seems to be taller between the part of the roof it sits on in front, and the lower edge of the roof that covers it.

    I thought for a minute it might be an optical illusion provided by the differences between the dormer windows, but after looking really close (without my glasses, which for me is like looking through a magnifying glass because of my extremely short focal length without them) I don’t think that’s the case.

    It really is “thicker” from top to bottom than the real “Ethels.”

  4. Shari D.
    February 5th, 2014 at 05:05 | #4

    Here’s a Treasure Trove of information on Minter Homes - with locations and addresses of some of the Southern developments, corporate structure, and other juicy bits and pieces.

    http://www.camperdownmill.com/Documents/Minter%20Homes%20Company%20Greenville%20SC.pdf

  5. Shari D.
    February 5th, 2014 at 05:11 | #5

    This is referenced in the above mentioned-document, but seems to have a huge amount of information all by itself about “kit type housing” for mill workers and other factory employees of North Carolina.

    Very cool - I have family living in or near the Forest City, NC area, which is mentioned as possibly having Minter Housing for one of their industrial employers.

    http://www.livingplaces.com/NC/Davidson_County/Lexington_City/Erlanger_Mill_Village_Historic_District.html

  6. February 10th, 2017 at 15:31 | #6

    Hi, I’m looking for a Minter Homes Catalog.

    As Assistant Village Historian for Garden City, I am researching homes built in Garden City Estates, Garden City, Long Island, New York.

    I would be happy even with scans! please contact me at suziealvey@gmail.com. Thank you.

  7. Cynthia Carter
    April 25th, 2017 at 08:28 | #7

    @Dan B. Moore
    I am researching a high-style home built in Syracuse, New York” in 1921 in what was referred as the “English” style.

    The local paper stated that plans were being drawn by the Minter Home Corporation of New York City.

    This is nothing like the bungalows being described here, and I am wondering if this is the same company and did they have a division that served private clients who wanted distinctive custom homes. Any assistance would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

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