Home > Uncategorized > To Think That It Happened on Mulberry Street!

To Think That It Happened on Mulberry Street!

Yesterday, my husband and I spent 10+ hours coming back home via “The Vermonter,” an Amtrak train that runs between Washington, DC and Vermont. The train pulled into DC about 11:00 pm last night, and then we got in the car and drove 200 miles home back to Norfolk!

What a long day!

While Hubby and I were in Vermont, I couldn’t resist looking for kit homes in The Green Mountain State. Much to my chagrin, I didn’t find much.

One of the towns we visited was Claremont, New Hampshire (just across the Connecticut River from Vermont). While driving through the older parts of town, I saw a sign that said, “Mulberry Street.”

I told Hubby, “I just know there are some kit homes on Mulberry Street!”

And that’s where I found three kit homes! In fact, those were the only three kit homes I saw in Claremont, New Hampshire.

In this blog, I want to focus on my favorite find: The Sears Castleton. I sure hope the owners know what they have. And this Castleton is in beautiful shape. Despite the harsh New England winters, this house retains its original siding. Looks much like it did when built almost 100 years ago!

Enjoy the photos, and please share the link with other people who love Sears Homes and/or New England!

To learn more about how to identify kit homes, click here.

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The Castleton is an easy house to spot.

The Castleton is an easy house to spot. That unusual staircase bay on the side is very distinctive. Also notice the full-length rails on the front porch.

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Those three windows

And those potted plants on the "cheeks" are pretty distinctive too!

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This Castleton was featured in the 1924 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

This Castleton (built by F. W. Grisso) was featured in the 1924 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

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Fairly spacious house, too.

Little bit different from the classic four-square floor plan.

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Check out that Butlers Pantry! Pretty fancy!

Check out that Butler's Pantry! Pretty fancy!

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Those three windows

Looks like it has box gutters. This may be a not-fully-accurate line drawing, because I don't know of any other Sears House with box gutters.

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Oh yeah, baby! Isnt that a pretty thing!

What a pretty thing! And what a delight to see that it has its original siding!

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A view from the other side.

A view from the other side.

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And just down the street from the Castleton, I found this early 1930s Sears house, The Lorain!

And just down the street from the Castleton, I found this early 1930s Sears house, The Lorain! More on that later!

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Nice match, isnt it?

Nice match, isn't it?

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White the Vermont/New Hampshire area didnt have many Sears Homes, it did have a lot of covered bridges. This one is the Windsor/Cornish Bridge, spanning the Connecticut River.

While the Vermont/New Hampshire area didn't have many Sears Homes, it did have a lot of covered bridges. This one is the Windsor/Cornish Bridge, spanning the Connecticut River.

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To join our Facebook group, “Sears Homes,” click here.

Click here to learn more about how to identify Sears Homes.

Do you know the owners of these houses? Please leave a comment below!

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  1. September 8th, 2014 at 13:51 | #1

    What a PERFECT Sears Castleton. It has a couple of pattern book likeness models and is often misidentified. That house in Claremont is PERFECT in every way!!!

    BTW, I gave up on Noonan’s house and I don’t remember why.

    But, the Forrest W Grisso Castleton is somewhere in Dayton Ohio.

    I don’t think it was his home. He was a real estate salesman.

    His home since 1909, and for several years after, was at 136 W Fountain Ave in Dayton.

    The Castleton, then #227, wasn’t offered until 1910 I believe. Maybe someone in Dayton will know where it is.

  2. Shari D
    September 8th, 2014 at 16:23 | #2

    Nice Castleton! Looks like it could use a spot of paint here and there though. Perhaps the New England climate has been rough on it after all.

    I saw you mention box gutters in the drawing. Looking at the photos though, I don’t see a single downspout ~ does this house have any kind of gutters at all?

    I also noticed that the current residents (if not the owners) appeared to have taken care to match their “kiddie pool” on the front porch to the color of that gorgeous blue-violet second story though! Nice touch!

    So, how did you like the journey on Amtrak? Were the cars nice? Any dining car?

    Hubby and I (before we became Mr. and Mrs., took a couple of trips on Amtrak way back in the mid-70’s between Newport News and Chicago. It was quite an adventure then ~ in more ways than one!

  3. Laura (So Ca)
    September 9th, 2014 at 00:55 | #3

    I love the train, but a LONG trip (2+ hours) would get to me. When I was 4, my family traveled on Amtrak from NY to So Ca, relocating to be with my Father’s family.

    The brick clock in the Philly station is still etched in my memories. Very cool childhood memory.

    I now romanticize about owning a Sears, Pacific Cut, or Wardway home, but redoing electrical, plumbing, and restoring its original splendor sounds expensive.

    I’ll tell you Rose, you’ve opened up the possibility. You’re a neato lady, and have given me some dandy Americana history lessons.

    Shari-
    You guys sound like adventurers. I hope as the seasons have past, you both still have a zest for discovery. I miss my youth. Getting old sucks.

  4. Shari D.
    September 9th, 2014 at 20:54 | #4

    Laura ~ Thanks! We have apparently both been blessed with adventurous spirits in our youth. Or so we have been told by others, when we relay some of our past adventures. Actually, it just seemed like “life” to us, so maybe they’re right!

    We still possess the desire for adventure, but have become more intimately acquainted with our physical and financial realities as time goes along.

    We have been married for 38 adventurous years, and are both approaching 60 much MUCH faster than we’d prefer!

    I just had my most traumatic birthday ever last February when it dawned on me that I had just turned 57.

    Now, I had no problems with 30, or even 50, but for some reason, 57 just brought me to tears. And having become disabled and unable to do the work I adored for over 15 years did not help a thing.

    My husband, bless his hard-working soul, will be 59 in November. Still can’t believe it!

    Yes, we miss our youth as well, and reminisce from time to time. And my dear grandmother’s favorite phrase always was, as her age crept up on her, was “Getting old is not for sissies!”

    They remained incredibly active until cancer and advancing old age took them from us. We should have been so lucky to be able to afford to do all they did.

  5. September 9th, 2014 at 23:33 | #5

    The FW Grisso testimonial Castleton is still there. It is at 201 E Fairview Ave in Dayton, Ohio.

    It was likely built in 1920 (per assessor) and occupied in 1921 by Henry E Nordquist and his wife Pearl who was from Ohio. Henry immigrated from Sweden in 1905. He was a carpenter.

    Henry and Pearl lived in the Castleton about two years and by 1923 they had moved and seems that they moved quite often after.

    Forrest Grisso was a real estate salesman and Henry Nordquist was a carpenter. Maybe Henry built houses for Forrest???

  6. Laura (So Ca)
    September 11th, 2014 at 21:30 | #6

    Shari D
    We’re the same age. I’ve got to share these great two finds. 1. Advanced Style Blog, where Ilona says “I’m so old, I can’t buy green bananas.” LOL We’re not there yet.

    2. Is the Pink Lady Of Hollywood” Jackie Goldberg, who owns a firm “Let up. Get out. Get A Life.” Her lectures (free on youtube) set my attitude straight. She’s so funny.

    If there is a National Train Day in your town (or area) go to the free event. (Usually, it’s the Sat. before Mother’s Day.) What a hoot!

    I just noticed Rose did a follow up post on her and hubby’s train adventure, and my next action is to read it. We are thinking of a train adventure.

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