Lost in Lynchburg!

My dear friend Rebecca is working on a new project and asked me to find this 1910s kit home in Lynchburg, Virginia. Most folks have heard of Sears Kit Homes, but in addition to Sears, there were six companies selling kit homes through mail order. Their names were Gordon Van Tine, Montgomery Ward, Aladdin, Harris Brothers, Lewis Manufacturing and Sterling Homes.

Sterling was based in Bay City, Michigan and yet, I’ve found a few of these houses in Virginia. According to Rebecca, there’s a Sterling Windemere in Lynchburg. She found a testimonial in an old Sterling Homes catalog and the location listed for this house was Lynchburg. I’ll be driving up to Lynchburg soon to find this house. If anyone knows the address or area, it sure would be helpful to have that!

Please leave a comment below with the address or write me at thorntonrose@hotmail.com.

Note, one of the distinctive features of this house is that paired staircase landing window (midway up the side wall). That’s a fairly unusual feature, as most landing windows were single. Also note the grouped columns (three on the corners), with the brick foundations. And note how the second-floor windows come right up to the eaves of the house. Lastly, there’s a hipped dormer with two small windows.

There are a gazillion foursquares in Lynchburg, but I’m hoping to find THIS foursquare! Thanks for your help!

Sterling Homes The Windemere from the 1917 catalog

Sterling Homes "The Windemere" from the 1917 catalog.


To prove the superiority of Sterling pre-cut homes, this Windemere was built on this lot in just 11 days. Note, this did not include the fireplace chimney and windows. This view shows the other side of the Windemere which (unfortunately) is quite non-descript.



Heres a real live Sterling Windemere in Bay City. Thanks to Dale Wolicki for allowing me to use his photo.

Here's a real live Sterling Windemere in Bay City. Thanks to Dale Wolicki for allowing me to use his photo. Sometimes, seeing the house "in the flesh" gives a more clear impression of the details, than a vintage line drawing.

To learn more about identifying kit homes, click here.

To buy Rose’s book, click here.

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  1. jarrad woliver

    it looks very similar to a house i helped renovate in Peakland Place neighborhood in boonsboro. i know that house was built in 1917.

  2. Paula

    This looks like the house I lived in when I was 2-4 yrs old, 1960-62. It is on Euclid Avenue, corner lot, down the street from the old Westover Drug Store. Has 2 staircases, I snuck down the back one and out hte door at 4 and road my tricycle into the Drug Store where they gave me ice cream and called my mom!!

  3. PCH

    Take Rt 29 to the Grace St exit. Turn left on Grace and look to your right. The house is on the corner of Grace and ??

  4. Byron

    I have seen similar homes at the Westover, Yeardly Ave area. I am curious and will start looking. I looked on google earth street view along Grace Street but did not see. You may find it helpfull to use google street view… you can get a pretty good look at the homes.