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Posts Tagged ‘Ersela’

The Altona Can Be Yours for $858

March 26th, 2012 Sears Homes 3 comments

The simpler Sears Homes are the ones that are most difficult to identify, because there’s so little to distinguish them from other houses. The fancier the kit home, the easier it is to identify.

The Altona couldn’t really be classified as a “fancy” house, but it surely is easy to identify. It’s got a number of odd, unique and funky features that make it stand out in a crowd.

The first thing that catches my eye is that hipped dormer, with a gable inset! Now that’s not something you see very often. In front of the dormer’s double window is a small balcony, another curious feature, and there’s substantial bracketing under that balcony.

And alongside the one big dormer, there’s a tiny shed dormer.

Notice also the oversized cornice returns on the porch side of the house (but not the other side!). And on that porch side there’s a double window centered on the exterior wall, with a single window above it. That’s a lot of unique features.

And this was a very popular house - probably because of the low price and square footage. It was a solid value.

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

And to see some other snazzy architectural oddities, click here.

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Altona

Altona as seen in the 1916 catalog.

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Close-up of the house as shown in 1908.

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The house had about 1,370 square feet, plus a nice porch.

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And one of the bedrooms did not have a closet. The other closets were tiny.

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sold

As noticed from this snippet in the 1916 catalog, this was a popular house.

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And Mr. McGrath of NJ loved his Altona!

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Burlington

This house is in Burlington, Iowa. Notice the porch has been closed in, but it still has its original windows, which is a boon. Someone needs to fix that porch light on the left. And the wrought-iron railing is a bit disturbing.

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Louisville

I spent a week in Louisville, Illinois one afternoon. My rented car broke down, stranding me in this tiny city in central Illinois. However, I do love this little house.

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And it's on the corner of Boaz and Hiram. So Biblical!

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house mattoon

This photo was taken in 2002 in Mattoon, IL. When I saw this house again in 2010, it had been substantially remuddled. Poor little Alton.

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Roncervte, WV

And a fine Altona in Ronceverte, WV. It's pronounced, "RONS-a-vert," which is a French word meaning, "Greenbriar." I love, love, love West Virginia.

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To read more about the abundance of Sears Homes in WV, click here.

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1908

The Altona has seen in the 1908 catalog.

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If you compare the 1908 image to the house in Iowa, youll see that the upstairs windows are a perfect match.

If you compare the 1908 catalog image to the house in Iowa, you'll see that the upstairs windows are a perfect match.

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To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

To learn about Wardway Kit Homes (Montgomery Ward) click here.

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Charleston, West Virginia: A Plethora of Sears Homes

August 23rd, 2010 Sears Homes 3 comments

How did Charleston, West Virginia end up with a large collection of kit homes from Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward and Aladdin Homes?  Were these homes purchased for industry workers? Were they built by a local  builder or developer? Or did word about these well-built kit homes just spread by word of mouth? I’d love to know.

In 2008, Ersela Jordan, Billy Joe Peyton and Henry from the Historical Society and I toured Charleston and found many kit homes, from several companies.

These early 20th Century kit homes were true kits, and were shipped via rail, arriving at the local train depot in 12,000 pieces.

Each kit came with a 75-page instruction book that told the hopeful homeowner how all those pieces and parts went together. Today, finding these homes is especially challenging. Unfortunately, when Sears closed their Modern Homes department in 1940, all sales records were destroyed.

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

To read more about Sears Homes, click here.

The Sears Dover as shown in the 1936 catalog

The Sears Dover as shown in the 1936 catalog

The Sears Dover - with a slate roof - in Charleston, West Virginia. This is one of the prettiest Sears Homes Ive ever seen!

The Sears Dover - with a slate roof - in Charleston, West Virginia. This is one of the prettiest Sears Homes I've ever seen!

Sears Chateau - from the 1932 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

Sears Chateau - from the 1932 Sears Modern Homes catalog. Very unusual house and unlike the more "traditional" Sears catalog homes.

Sears Chateau:  In my many travels, this is the only Sears Chateau that Ive seen. Note that the front door was moved from the left side (catalog image) to the middle. The homes living room spanned the full width of the house, so this was a simple change to make. Note the detail on the brick work above the windows.

Sears Chateau: In my many travels, this is the only Sears Chateau that I've seen. Note that the front door was moved from the left side (catalog image) to the middle. The home's living room spanned the full width of the house, so this was a simple change to make. Note the detail on the brick work below the windows. This Chateau is next door to the Sears Dover (pic above).

Sears Lexington, from the 1928 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

Sears Lexington, from the 1928 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

Sears Lexington in Charleston, WV. A real beauty!

Sears Lexington in Charleston, WV. A real beauty!

Sears Alhambra - one of their most popular designs.

Sears Alhambra - one of their most popular designs.

Sears Alhambra dressed in brick, in downtown Charleston

Sears Alhambra dressed in brick, in downtown Charleston

Sears Vallonia, another one of Sears most popular designs

Sears Vallonia, another one of Sears most popular designs

Sears Vallonia in Charleston.

Sears Vallonia in Charleston. Dormer windows have been replaced, but note original porch railings and columns. One of the unusual features on the Sears Vallonia is the small space between the two windows on the dining room bay.

Aladdin kit home: The Maplewood

Aladdin kit home: The Maplewood

A perfect Aladdin Maplewood in Charleston. We found several of these kit homes in one section of town.

A perfect Aladdin Maplewood in Charleston. We found several of these kit homes in one section of town. this Maplewood is in remarkably original condition, and even retains its original batten shutters. Note the detail around the front porch roof.

Gordon Van Tine catalog page.

Gordon Van Tine catalog page. GVT was a large kit home company based in Davenport, Iowa.

Gordon Van Tine Roberts in Charleston

Gordon Van Tine "Roberts" in Charleston

To read more about Sears kit homes in West Virginia, click here.