Dogs and Cats – Living Together in West Virginia

Last year, I visited the Eighth Magnolia in northern West Virginia. The owners were kind enough to give me a full tour, from the basement to attic. What a happy day that was, to see that old house, faithfully restored to its former splendor!

My hubby and I spent two hours at the house, photographing it from every possible angle, and soaking in the happy ambiance of a gorgeous Sears Magnolia in beautiful condition. This 90-year-old Sears kit house sits majestically on several acres in the bucolic hinterlands of West Virginia.

I was floating on air when we drove away from The Beautiful Magnolia. When I came to the first intersection, I saw a very interesting house on the corner and snapped my head around to get a better view.

“Oh my gosh,” I said slowly, but happily.

“What is it?” my husband asked, hoping that it was not another kit house. It was already an hour past his lunch time and he was not happy about that.

“It’s another kit house,” I said absent-mindedly, as I stopped the car hastily and retrieved my digital camera.

You could hear a soft little “plop” as his heart sank in his chest.

“Oh,” he said apprehensively.

“Don’t worry,” I assured him. “I’m just getting a few pictures.”

Famous last words.

Fortunately, I was able to get several good shots in a hurry (I was hungry too), and we were back on our way in less than five minutes.

So what kind of house is living next door to The Beautiful Magnolia?

It is a *perfect* example of a Gordon Van Tine #612, a classic bungalow, and one of their finer houses. Gordon Van Tine, based in Davenport Iowa, was a significant kit home company and probably sold more than 50,000 kit homes. They were also the company that supplied kit homes for Montgomery Ward.

To read my favorite blog about the Magnolia, click here.

To learn more about how to identify kit homes, click here.


Gordon Van Tine

The Gordon Van Tine #612 as it appeared in the 1924 catalog.


Spacious too

Look at the size of that living room! The dining room is also quite large.


house 1924

It really is a beauty.


Be still my heart

Be still my heart. Wow, wow, WOW! What a fine-looking home!


And its on a pretty lot

And it sits on a beautiful lot in West Virginia. Notice the short window in the dining room? It's likely that they had a built-in buffet in that bay window, necessitating the smaller window.


house on lot

A better view of the house from the side.


See that detail on brick

See that detail on chimney?


nice match isnt it

Nice match, isn't it?


Beautiful house in Vinton, VA

And here's a beautiful brick #612 that Dale found when we were in Vinton, VA (near Roanoke).


Heres a not-so-beautiful GVT 612 on Pocohontas Street in Hampton, VA

Here's a not-so-beautiful GVT # 612 on Pocohontas Street in Hampton, VA. It's just outside of the Old Wythe section of Hampton, which has many kit homes. Heaven only knows why that extra roof piece was added between the two gables. My oh my.


Yeah, it really is one.

Due to the many trees on the side, I could not get a good picture down the right side, but a visual inspection satisfied me that this really is a Gordon Van Tine #612 (or its Montgomery Ward counterpart). If you look down this side (shown above) and compare it with the floorplan, you'll see it's the real deal.


And its all just around the corner from our Maggie!

And that Gordon Van Tine is just around the corner from our Maggie!


To read my favorite blog about the Magnolia, click here.

To learn more about how to identify kit homes, click here.

*       *      *


  1. Rachel Shoemaker

    There’s a testimonial for that Wheeling #612, I’ve been looking for it.

    All I could find was “farm” as a location so I gave up. And now I can’t find the testimonial, had it out just last week looking again.

  2. Dale Wolicki

    Oh I remember that #612 in Vinton. We had just exited onto the main road and I saw it up on the hill.

    Neither of us had ever seen a #612 and we got lots of good photos.

    If you look at the bottom of the page illustrating the GVT #612 there is an architectural rending of the side of the #612, and I have the original pen and ink drawing in my collection.

  3. Rachel Shoemaker

    @Dale Wolicki
    It was that side view of the #612 that made me realize the “familiar” house I drove by back and forth to the fire station every third day for two years and also every Thursday evening for band rehearsal for several months was a GVT 612.

    Not to mention all of the other random times I passed the house.

    I knew it was *something* and that I had seen it in one of my catalogs.

    I was just thumbing through one night and BAM it hit me when I came to that page!

    Otherwise it would still be driving me nuts. LOL

    Our #612 side faces a major street that is right off of one of our main highways and the front of it is blocked by a parking lot full of broken down cars. I can never get good pictures of the front. 🙁