Another Gordon Van Tine Kit Home in Lake Mills, Wisconsin!

In September and November 2011, I traveled to Lake Mills, Wisconsin to do more research on my Aunt Addie, who was allegedly murdered by her husband, Enoch Fargo. It’s a fascinating story and you can learn more about that here.

Whilst there, I discovered a handful of kit homes in Lake Mills. Click here to see photos of those houses.

More recently, my friend Rachel sent me a picture of a very unique house sold by Gordon Van Tine. Immediately, I recognized it as a house I’d seen in Lake Mills. I asked folks in Lake Mills if they could get me a photo of the house and they gladly obliged. Scroll down to see this very interesting house!

And as Rachel Shoemaker observed, the GVT #126 was also built in Mechanicsville, Ohio (according to the testimonial in the 1913 catalog) and she also found one in Fayette, Ohio!

From the 1913 Gordon Van Tine house

House Plan #126 from the 1913 Gordon Van Tine catalog.


1913 catalog

Close-up of #126. Note the flare at the bottom of the dormer's columns.



Close-up of the floorplan.


Lake Mills

A small snapshot at the bottom of the catalog page shows an interior shot of the living room. Notice the heavy drapes over the entrance to the stairwell.


Dawn Stewart

Here's what I *think* could be GVT #126 in Lake Mills (on Lake Street). (Photo is copyright 2012 Dawn Stewart and may not be used or reproduced without permission.)


Joeylynn Mattson

Another shot of the GVT #126. Notice that the front door is not centered on the Lake Mills house and yet the catalog house has a centered door. However, the living room spans the entire width of the house, so this would be a simple change to make. (Photo is copyright 2012 Joeylynn Mattson and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.)


Angie Hallmark

A better view of that front door. (Photo is copyright 2012 Angie Hallmark and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.)


compare dawn

Is this the GVT #126? I'm still not sure, but it's mighty close. That flare at the bottom of the dormer is a very unusual feature, and the house in Lake Mills is a beautiful match to the catalog image. The rest of the features are so very close that it does seem likely that the house in Lake Mills is the GVT #126. (Photo on the left is copyright 2012 Angie Hallmark and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.)



And here's the reason I became interested in Lake Mills in the first place. The above is a picture of my great Aunt Addie (on the left) and her sister, my great grandmother (Anna Hawley Hoyt Whitmore). Addie and Anna were the children of Julia Hawley Hoyt and her husband, Homer. Julia and Homer's families both had deep roots in the Lake Mills area, and their children were born and raised in Jefferson County. According to "A History of Lake Mills," Addie was shot and killed by her husband in 1901. Addie was 29 years old at the time.


To learn more about Gordon Van Tine houses, click here.

To read what the funeral director told me about Addie’s burial, click here.

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1 Comment

  1. Rachel Shoemaker

    Followers may be interested to know that searching for the Sears Milton in Fayette, Ohio is what lead to the identification of the GVT 126. I am a nut for these houses, there’s no doubt about that! 😉 I also had family in Fayette in the 1870s.

    My great great grandfather William Baldwin was a grocer there and married my great great grandmother Ella Kate Cook in Fayette and that marriage certificate is still in the immediate family. I know they lived on Main street and I have been up and down that street via google a hundred times. So cruising Main one night at 407 W Main (approx) I noticed a GVT #126! But, no Sears Milton 🙁

    And wait, there’s more….because of Addie and Rosemary’s search for the truth I too became interested in my genealogy.

    I have subscriptions to all of the research sites. SO, after reading the testimonial of Albert Brown and Frank Culps on the GVT #126 from my 1913 catalog I immediately started searching Mechanicsburg, Ohio via google and then using the census reports.

    Mechanicsburg, Ohio has not been google mapped except for the main streets. However, using census reports I have an idea where Albert Brown built his GVT 126 in 1912. Albert Brown lived on a farm and with an approximate location another kit home researcher in that area is taking it from here. Hopefully she will be able to locate the home mentioned in the testimonial.

    Check back to see if we have located it! Hopefully it is still standing.

    That Lake Mills GVT 126 is a fine looking house! We have Addie to thank for so many discoveries.