Several days ago, I wrote a blog about the abundance of kit homes I found in Staunton, VA.
A fine fellow named Frank left a comment at that blog about a possible kit home at 1102 North Augusta Avenue (in Staunton). Thanks to Google Maps and their sharp images, I “drove” to the address (via my laptop). As it turned out, the house he’d mentioned on North Augusta was not a kit home, but then I saw something next door that really piqued my interest!
Next door at 1106 North Augusta was a beautiful home, and I recognized it as a catalog house, but I couldn’t remember WHERE I’d seen it. Was it from a kit or a planbook? I knew I’d seen that house in one of my books, but where?
I closed my eyes and tried to pull up the image mentally, but to no avail. Next, I dug out the catalogs and pored over thousands of images, desperate to find this house.
Through the days, I’d lie down, take a deep breath, close my eyes and “see the house” (in Staunton) and then try to match it up with the houses in memory. It was not a strong memory. I could “see” the black and white image in my thought and tried to scroll up on the mental page to see what catalog I was looking at.
Honestly, it got somewhat frustrating.
Several days ago, I posted the image on Facebook, in our “Sears Homes” group.
And then this morning when I logged onto Facebook, I found a message from one of the most active members, Cindy Catanzaro. She’d found the house in a Gordon Van Tine catalog. I was over-the-moon happy, and my brain was happy, too. No more endless searching for a faint image. No more walking into walls while my tormented mind was on overdrive, desperate to match up the Staunton house with the thousands of images rattling around in my head.
And the best part is, the house in Staunton is a spot-on match to the Gordon Van Tine “Sussex.” It is a beauty!
Now how fun is that?
And how did I miss it? I have a home-made field guide to the kit homes offered by Gordon Van Tine. It’s got about 500 house designs in it, organized by style, but the Sussex was not in my field guide. Complicating matters even more was this: Gordon Van Tine fulfilled all the orders for the Montgomery Ward kit homes (Wardway Homes), but there were a handful of designs that were exclusive to Gordon Van Tine. The Sussex was one of them.
So the Sussex fell through the cracks of my copious collection of kit home catalogs!
Thanks again to Frank for the tidbit that led to me finding this house, and thanks to Cindy Catanzaro for solving the mystery, and thanks to the owners of this house in Staunton (Alan and Sharon) for allowing me to use their photo!
And, as a side note, this house is currently for sale and if I lived in Staunton, I’d be all over that! 😉
If you know of any other kit homes in Staunton (or surrounding areas), please leave a comment below!
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To contact Rose, please leave a comment below.
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