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The Wardway Warrenton in West Virginia

May 27th, 2013 Sears Homes No comments

In 2009, I visited the tiny town of Rainelle, West Virginia and discovered several Sears Homes on Main Street. That was a lovely surprise.

And another nice surprise was finding a Wardway Warrenton in town, too.

Sears sold about 70,000 houses during their 32 years in the kit-home business (1908-1940). Wardway sold about 25,000 kit homes in roughly the same time period (1909-1932). Gordon Van Tine (who manufactured the houses for Montgomery Ward) sold about 50,000 kit homes. (Thanks to Dale Wolicki for the stats on Wardway and Gordon Van Tine.)

Because of the rarity of these Wardway Homes, it’s always a nice surprise to find one, especially so far from the Midwest (where Montgomery Wards was based).

Many thanks to Skip Deegans for traipsing out to Rainelle and getting these photos for me!

Wardway also sold kit homes, but was lesser known that Sears.

Wardway also sold kit homes, but was lesser known that Sears.

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Like Sears, Wardway kit homes were also

Like Sears, Wardway kit homes also had pre-cut lumber that was marked to facilitate construction. These many years later, those marks can help identify a house as a kit home.

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The Wardway Warrenton

The Wardway Warrenton was a "splendid home," and the accompanying text said it was "dignified and handsome." In fact, it was a six-bedroom home which was unusually large for a house of this time period. Recommended colors were cream paint (walls) with white trim. Yawn.

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The house was just shy of 2,200 square feet.

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Wardway

The Wardway Warrenton as seen in the 1921 catalog.

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Is this a Wardway Warrenton? Looks like it to me! Photo is copyright 2013 Skip Deegans and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.

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Another view of the Wardway Warrenton in Rainelle, WV. Photo is copyright 2013 Skip Deegans and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.

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To learn more about the kit homes in West Virginia, click here.

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A Very Nice House on a Champaign Budget

August 5th, 2010 Sears Homes 1 comment

Sears Homes were real kit homes, ordered right out of the pages of the Sears Modern Homes catalog. The 12,000-piece kits came with a 75-page instruction book and a promise that “a man of average abilities” could have it assembled in 90 days.

One of my favorite Sears kit homes is the Sears Dover. This little neo-Tudor is adorable, thoughtfully designed, well-laid out, relatively spacious and just as cute as a button. On the back of the house is a large shed dormer, creating plenty of room on the second floor for an additional two bedrooms and a full bath, giving the house a total of four bedrooms, two baths, large living room, dining room and kitchen.

For the late 1920s/early 30s, that was a good-size house.

Here’s a cutie-pie in Champaign, Illinois. This particular catalog page does not show price, but generally the Dover sold for under $3000. Pretty good deal.

This photo (and the one below) was taken in late February 2010, when I visited my daughter and her family.

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here or  click here.

The Sears Dover as shown in the 1936 catalog

The Sears Dover as shown in the 1936 catalog

The Sears Dover in Champaign, IL

The Sears Dover in Champaign, IL

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Pictured below is another beautiful Sears Home, The Americus. This house is in Urbana, Illinois. So I guess we’d call it, a fine little Sears House on an Urbana budget?

Sears Modern Home, The Americus

Sears Modern Home, The Americus

The Sears Americus in Urbana.

The Sears Americus in Urbana.

To see more pictures of Sears Homes, click here.