Waynesboro and Their Kit Homes, Part III

Thanks to Staunton resident and old house lover Linda Ramsey, we’ve now made several fun discoveries of kit homes in Waynesboro, using only Linda’s photos, good work and persistence!  (To read Waynesboro Part I click here. For Part II, click here.)

And Linda’s most recent find is the very rare Gordon Van Tine “Bristol” – right there in Waynesboro, Virginia.

She sent several photos to me several weeks ago, and among those photos was a perfect Alhambra and also a Collingwood (Sears House). In my excitement, I overlooked the best one in the bunch – the GVT Bristol!

In just the last few hours, Rachel Shoemaker and Linda Ramsey have identified several more kit homes in Waynesboro.

As a native of Virginia (and resident of Norfolk), I’d love to return to Waynesboro sometime soon and do a thorough street-by-street survey of the city. Judging by Linda’s many finds, when I was in Waynesboro in May, I missed “the sweet spot.”

When you’re a flat-lander tourist driving yourself around an old town, it can be tough to 1) stay on the road, 2) not sideswipe any parked cars, 3) not impale pedestrians with your hood ornament, 4) stare intently at each and every house.

I’ve done hundreds of architectural surveys in hundreds of cities, and I’d love to get some folks in Waynesboro involved in the fun!

Lastly, I’d be willing to bet that the home’s current owners do not know what they have.

Do you live in a Sears Home in Waynesboro?

To read the prior blogs featuring the kit homes in Waynesboro, click here and here.

To contact Rose and ask about her availability, please leave a comment below.

Thanks to Linda Ramsey for finding this house and thanks to Rachel Shoemaker for supplying the vintage catalog images.

If you’re in Waynesboro, please share this blog with anyone and everyone!!!

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The Bristol, from the 1935 Gordon Van Tine catalog. Image is courtesy Rachel Shoemaker (who not only found this rare GVT model in her many catalogs, but also scanned the image and sent it along).



So many of the floorplans for these kit homes were "similar" but the Bristol's unique shape afforded it a little extra flair on the room arrangement. Image is courtesy Rachel Shoemaker.


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I wonder if the home's current owners find that their home "commands enthusiastic admiration." It's quite unlikely that the home's owners know what they have a historically significant home. Image is courtesy Rachel Shoemaker


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This was an unusually fine home. Look at the cathedral ceiling in the living room. I know of only one other kit house that had a raised ceiling like this, and that was a house offered by Pacific Ready Cut Homes in Los Angeles. This is a most unusual (and elegant) feature for a kit home. Image is courtesy Rachel Shoemaker.


The Bristol, from the 1935 Gordon Van Tine. Thanks to Rachel Shoemaker for sharing the catalog image!

The Bristol, from the 1935 Gordon Van Tine. Image is courtesy Rachel Shoemaker.



Be still my heart. I went through Waynesboro in May 2013, but I surely did miss this house. Fortunately, Sears House researcher Linda Ramsey did not miss it. And, I must say, it does appear to be a GVT Bristol. All the details are just right. Photograph is copyright 2013 Linda Ramsey and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.



And there's that unusually high roof. If it's not a GVT Bristol, it sure is doing a good imitation of one! Photograph is copyright 2013 Linda Ramsey and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.


To read the prior blogs featuring the kit homes in Waynesboro, click here and here.

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  1. Dale Wolicki

    Oh that’s a GVT Bristol without a doubt!

    I found my first GVT Bristol in Warsaw Indiana years ago and maybe six or seven since, so it was obviously a popular model.

    I suspect the unusually high roof ridge is so they could put a second floor bedroom or two in the attic.

  2. Sears Homes

    @Dale Wolicki
    Dale, you must be drawing in all the “Bristol” energy from some other-wordly source, because I have never ever never seen a Bristol!

    And I’m so excited to know that there’s one just waiting for me in Waynesboro (about three hours from me in Norfolk).

    Rachel found it only in the 1935 catalog. Was it offered any other years? Rachel has, through painstaking effort, slowly acquired a whole bunch of GVT catalogs.

  3. Rachel Shoemaker

    @Sears Homes
    I can’t account for 1932-34 or 37. I see that Dale has a 1936 image on his website.

    I think the assessor said 1932 on the Waynesboro Bristol, IF that is correct. I’m hoping Dale will reply back on what years it was offered other than 35 and 36.

  4. Carter Rowland

    I’m the guy working on scanning and indexing all the Gordon-VanTine houses and it was offered in the 1932, 1935 and 1939 catalogs.

    Carter Construction and Renovation LLC

  5. Dale Wolicki

    So the Bristol was offered 1932 to 1939.

    Carter has been working on the GVT Index for a couple of years and has scanned all the catalog and listed the years the models were offered. Hopefully we will publish the GVT Field Guide sometime soon!

  6. Cordelia Parham

    I grew up in a house I believe was a Collingwood in DeKalb, Illinois.

    Unlike the photo in this article, our house was wood, not brick. My only source of doubt is the placement of the chimney. Our chimney was in the back part of the house in an interior portion rather than against the side and there was no fireplace.

    I notice that there is an “OPTIONS” section although I cannot make out what it says. Perhaps these features were optional.

    By the time, I lived there the front porch was enclosed, but clearly had not always been that way. Other than these minor differences the floor plan features match perfectly right down to the phone cubby in the hallway.

    We had a car garage a few feet away. I wonder if that was Sears as well. The house is still there, but my family sold it in 2012. It was a great place to live!