In Summer 2004, I visited the beautiful community of Cape Charles (on the Eastern Shore of Virginia), to give a talk on Sears Kit Homes. The folks there in Cape Charles treated me like a queen, and left me with many wonderful and happy memories of their hospitality and warmth and authenticity.
When I was there, I was driven around nearby communities as well, and in a town “across the street” (Route 13) from Cape Charles, I discovered this fine-looking old yellow bungalow. At first, I suspected it was a Gordon Van Tine kit house (Model #534), but once I got home and compared the photo to my catalog images, I decided it wasn’t a good “fit” and put it out of mind.
And then last month, Sears House aficionado and photographer Donna Bakke sent me pictures of a Sears kit house in Ohio, “The Paloma.”
As I compared that house to the line drawing, I saw that the actual proportions of the Sears Paloma were not a good match to the extant house. In fact, they were dramatically skewed.
And then my friend Rachel Shoemaker commented that she’d also discovered that these line drawings were often not good representations of the house itself.
So last week, I went through my old pictures and dragged out the Gordon Van Tine I’d seen on the Eastern Shore and as I got to studying it, I started to change my thought about the house. Based on what I saw in that Pomona (thanks to Donna), I’m now thinking, this could well be the Gordon Van Tine Model #534.
Ah, and a little PS. This house is on the east side of Route 13, “across” from Cape Charles and a little bit north. It’s in a tiny community and I neglected to get the name of this town. If anyone has any idea where this house is, I sure would be grateful to know!
To see the post on the Sears Paloma, click here.
To read more about the kit homes I saw in Cape Charles, click here.
To join our group (“Sears Homes”) on Facebook, click here.
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To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.
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This is very interesting. There are some houses I’ve thought might be kits but the proportions seemed wrong.
Next time I’ll do a closer inspection. I like the way you squished the house! 🙂
Lara, now I’m starting to wonder how many houses I have *missed* because of paying too many attention to the line drawing (catalog) and not the actual floor plan.
Twenty-six feet is not very wide for a house. In fact, it’s pretty small.
I agree. It appears that a lot of catalog houses were drawn from photographs or were the actual photograph that had been doctored or altered. I think it’s possibility that this could have happened often.
With my editing software I can turn that in to a Magnolia 😉
We’ve got to figure out where it is so we can at least see it from our little Google cars.
The right side might tell us more. I sure think it is the GVT though.
Rachel! I found the address! I’m hoping to go off tomorrow and take some photos (depending on weather, life and some other considerations).
I may even knock on the door (but I doubt it).
Do you think they’ll mind if I take a few measurements of the house while I’m right there?