Here in Norfolk, we have 16 little bungalows (dubbed, “The Ethel”) that were originally built at another location, and then moved here by George P. Hudson on April 14, 1922.*
Several months ago, we learned that 3,000 miles away (in Dupont, Washington), there are dozens of identical bungalows, built by Dupont for the dynamite factory. Thanks to Lee and Joh from the Dupont Historical Museum in Dupont, Washington, we now that the little houses were built in Fall 1909.
And then old-house lover and researcher Mark Hardin found another neighborhood of these “Ethel Bungalows” in a little village just outside of Butte, Montana. (It was Mark who found the houses in Dupont, too.) More recently, an Ethel was spotted by Rachel Shoemaker in Oklahoma.
So, our Ethel Bunaglow in Norfolk (which came from somewhere else) is a spot-on match to the company houses in Dupont, Washington, and Butte, Montana. And there’s also one (and maybe hundreds more) in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Fellow old-house lover Mark Mckillop took a trip to Dupont, Washington and photographed more than 100 of the houses in that tiny village , and then sent me the photos. His photographs prove (as we suspected) that the Ethel Bungalows in Dupont are indeed identical to the Ethel Bungalows here in Norfolk.
To read more about what we’ve learned thus far, read Part Five of this ongoing (and fascinating) story.
Despite what we’ve learned, many unanswered questions remain. Are these “Ethels” kit homes from Aladdin? Are they pattern book houses? If not, where did DuPont get this design? Why are these houses popping up in several of Dupont’s neighborhoods? And where did the houses in Norfolk come from?
If you’ve any information to contribute, please post a note in the comment’s section below!
* Thanks to Norfolk historian David Spriggs for finding that date, and also finding the name of the man who moved them! To learn more about what David learned, click here.
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.
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