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Posts Tagged ‘ronceverte’

The Altona Can Be Yours for $858

March 26th, 2012 Sears Homes 4 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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Two of My Favorite Things: Sears Homes and the Blue Ridge Mountains

January 25th, 2011 Sears Homes No comments

For most of my years, I’ve dreamt of living in the Blue Ridge Mountains. And I will get there one day. In the meantime, I’ll spend my spare time driving around in the hills, looking for Sears Homes. Do you know what a Sears Home is? These were true kits, 12,000 pieces of house, sold out of the Sears Roebuck catalog. Sears promised that “a man of average abilities” could have one of these kits built in 90 days. Click here for more info on Sears kit homes.

Here are a few of the Sears kit homes I’ve found in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. First, my favorite find in Shenandoah, Virginia.

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

Original image from 1916 catalog

Original image from 1916 catalog

Sears Maytown - original catalog image

Sears Maytown - original catalog image

Sears Home in Shenandoah, Virginia

Sears Home in Shenandoah, Virginia

This next house is currently in use as a B&B. It’s the only Sears Milton I’ve ever seen, and it’s in Stanley, Virginia. It’s quite a magnificent house! Note the tall columns and flanking pergola on the front porch. The Milton was one of Sears’ biggest and best homes. Probably the only house that was fancier was the Sears Magnolia.

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Sears Vallonia, from the 1923 Sears Modern Homes catalog. This was a very popular house.

Sears Vallonia, from the 1923 Sears Modern Homes catalog. This was a very popular house.

A beautiful Sears Vallonia in Lewisburg, WV

A beautiful Sears Vallonia in Lewisburg, WV

The Sears Altona, as shown in the 1916 Sears Modern Homes catalog

The Sears Altona, as shown in the 1916 Sears Modern Homes catalog

Sears Altona in the tiny town of Ronceverte.

Sears Altona in the tiny town of Ronceverte, West Virginia.

Sears Lynnhaven, as seen in the 1929 catalog

Sears Lynnhaven, as seen in the 1929 catalog

Sears Lynnhaven in Rainelle, WV

Sears Lynnhaven in Rainelle, WV

Sears Marina, Model #2024

Sears Marina, Model #2024

Although significantly remodeled, this is clearly a Sears Marina, #2024

Although significantly remodeled, this is clearly a Sears Marina, #2024. This house is in Lewisburg, WV. Note how the shed dormer still retains its three little windows.

Aladdin was another prominent kit home company, with a large lumberyard and mill in Greensboro, NC. There were many Aladdin Kit Homes in WV, too.

Aladdin was another prominent kit home company, with a large lumberyard and mill in Greensboro, NC. There were many Aladdin Kit Homes in WV, too. Here, you can see the Aladdin Genie going back into his bottle (presumably on the back porch) after building a house for his master in a day (I'm guessing here).

The Aladdin Pasadena was one of Aladdins most popular homes.

The Aladdin Pasadena was one of Aladdin's most popular homes.

As a point of comparison, this is a PERFECT Pasadena in Lynchburg, Virginia. Note, the side porch is still in original condition.

As a point of comparison, this is a PERFECT Pasadena in Lynchburg, Virginia. Note, the side porch is still in original condition.

An Aladdin Pasadena in a small town just outside of Rainelle, WV. Sometimes, its hard to identify these kit homes because of surrounding landscaping. This house called my name from the highway, and once you hear the sound of an Aladdin Pasadena, you never forget it.  :)

Here's a nice Aladdin Pasadena in a small town just outside of Rainelle, WV. To the uninformed, this may look like a grove of trees, but there is an Aladdin House there. Sometimes, it's hard to identify these kit homes because of surrounding landscaping. This house called my name from the highway, and once you hear the sound of an Aladdin Pasadena, you never forget it. :)

Aladdin Virginia from the 1919 Aladdin catalog

Aladdin Virginia from the 1919 Aladdin catalog

An Aladdin Virginian in White Sulphur Springs, not too far from the famous hotel, The Greenbriar.

An Aladdin Virginian in White Sulphur Springs, not too far from the famous hotel, The Greenbriar.

Gordon Van Tine was yet another popular kit home company of the early 1900s. Heres the GVT Durant, a fairly popular little bungalow.

Gordon Van Tine was yet another popular kit home company of the early 1900s. Here's the GVT "Durant," a fairly popular little bungalow.

The Durant, in Lewisburg, WV.

The Durant, in Lewisburg, WV.

To buy Rose’s book on Sears Homes, click here.

To read another article on Sears Homes, click here.

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