Aladdin Babies

One of my favorite parts of playing with kit homes is reading the testimonials in the back pages, from happy customers. Today, as I was scanning a 1914 catalog, I came across this testimonial.   The writer is Charles Stoffel, and he explains that he’s quite pleased with his new home, the Kentucky #2, which was finished in January 1913.  His baby girl, Maxim Stoffel, was born about a month later. The house was built in Mechanicsville, Iowa.

This picture helps give perspective on these houses.  An Aladdin baby, born in 1913 (when the Aladdin kit home was built), would now be 98 years old.

And I’d bet money the Stoffel family doesn’t know that great-grandma’s baby picture is in an old Aladdin catalog.  🙂

If  you know where this house is in Mechanicsville, please leave a comment below! Or if you know the Stoffel family, please forward this link to them.

To learn more about kit homes, click here.

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Aladdin Baby

Aladdin Baby


The testimonial from the 1914 Aladdin catalog.


Here's the catalog picture of the Kentucky Kit home that Charles Stoffel built, and little Maxim was born in. It's in Mechanicsville, Iowa.


Another view of the Aladdin Kentucky, as seen in the 1919 catalog.


Actual photograph of the Kentucky from the 1914 catalog.

To learn more about Aladdin, click here.

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  1. Jill S

    I know where this house is in Mechanicsville. I received a call from my librarian in town that you were inquiring about Sear’s kit homes in the area. I have been trying to research my home since we bought it in 2007. It is 1917 four square style home, and we were told it was a Sear’s home when we purchased it. I was told that Alice Glasgow and her husband built it in 1917 and lived in it until their deaths. Rumor has it that he died in the yard cutting wood, and that she had seen him through the kitchen window and had a heart attack and died. I am a history nut and would love to know more about our home. It is 402 Grant Ave, Mechanicsville Ia 52306.



  2. Rachel Shoemaker

    According to the 1920 census Charles Stoffel lived on South Street, no house number listed. It was Charles, his wife, their son, the daughter mentioned in the testimonial and they had another daughter by then. He was a proprietor in the clothing industry. Maybe the lady above can get a photo of it.

  3. Rachel Shoemaker

    The address of that house is now 109 S LINN ST MECHANICSVILLE, IA.

    I’ll post the ‘photos’ I have in the Sears group on Facebook.