In the 1960s, our family frequently traveled from Portsmouth, VA to Douthat State Park in Clifton Forge. Ensconced by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Douthat was (and remains) one of my favorite places on earth. We’d venture into Clifton Forge to use the laundromat and to buy supplies at the local grocery store.
Even in my childhood, I’d noticed that Clifton Forge had lots of train tracks and lots of trains coming and going. (Today, there’s a delightful train museum in Clifton Forge – The C&O Railway Heritage Center – stuffed full of treasures and ephemera and photographs. It’s at 705 Main Street in the heart of the city.)
About 40 years after those fun family vacations in Douthat, I returned to Clifton Forge to look for Sears Homes. Take a look at what I found!
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Sears Princeville from the 1919 catalog
Sears Princeville in Clifton Forge - and what a beauty!
Sears Woodland from 1918 catalog
In all my travels, I have never seen a Model #137, until I saw it in Clifton Forge!
Landscaping prevented a better photo, but you can see one side!
From the front
The Sears Auburn is another unusual house. This is, as the catalog states, a massive house with lots of interesting details. Note the interesting brickwork on the porch, and the bracketing under the eaves.
There are many trees sitting right in front of houses in Clifton Forge. This large evergreen prevented me from taking the picture I wanted to take. Nonetheless, even from this angle, you can clearly see this is a Sears Auburn.
Another view of the Auburn
Close-up of the brickwork on the front porch.
Sears Elsmore from the 1919 catalog
Sears Elsmore on the main drag in Clifton Forge
Like Sears, Montgomery Wardd also sold kit homes. Here's a Montgomery Ward "Lexington" from the 1927 catalog.
And in the flesh - The Montgomery Ward Lexington in Clifton Forge!
Aladdin was another kit home company that, like Sears, sold kit homes through mail order. Aladdin Homes are fairly common in Virginia and I found a few in Clifton Forge. However, most of the kit homes I found in Clifton Forge were Sears Homes.
An Aladdin Sheffield in Clifton Forge
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