Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA - Historical Restoration - Contractor Talk

Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA

 
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:53 AM   #1
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Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA


If y'all are getting tired of the photos of Sears Homes, tell me now. I love, love, love looking at pictures of old houses and even more than looking at pictures, I love driving around the countryside finding these hidden treasures of Americana.

Last week, I was in Clifton Forge, Virginia (not too far from Lexington), and I was surprised to find so many kit homes in this sleepy little mountain town.

First, my favorite: The Sears Princeville (a fairly rare Sears home).






















Aren't they wonderful!!
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:06 AM   #2
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Re: Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA


Thanks Rose. Never get tired of this kind of stuff.

Question as I look at the last house with all the brick work.
Did the Sears Kit come with the brick? or was that something you hired a mason to come in and do? Just curious.

You ever get up to Northeast? ....past New York & Boston.
There must be kit homes up here. no?

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Old 09-18-2010, 07:10 AM   #3
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Re: Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA


Love this ---keep it up!--Mike--
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:21 AM   #4
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Re: Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA


Sears homes were dressed in brick, wood or stucco - or anything you can imagine! If you opted for masonry, those items were obtained locally. In other words, Sears would tell you how many bricks or cinder blocks you'd need, and you'd buy them yourself (due to weight and shipping expenses).

Sometimes, people think, "oh, it can't be a Sears Home because it's brick," but that's not the case.

Interestingly, that old stucco was sturdy stuff, unlike today's crappy stucco. I've seen Sears Homes that are more than 90 years old, and their stucco siding is still in remarkably good condition.

To answer the other question, I've never been to the northeast, but I'm sure that area is heavy laden with Sears Homes.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:40 AM   #5
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Re: Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA


More, More, More

I'd love to know more of all the sears home's and your field in general. I get younger guy's asking me how I know about sears homes and this and that but the more you know the more you find out how much more there is to know. I'm always saying that I'll research this and learn more but always seems to get put aside to keep the business going and putting out fires.

Is there a book you could recommend or website that is all inclusive and a good resource for your field?

Grand Rapids is filled with Sears homes.
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:29 PM   #6
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Re: Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA


You asked, is there a book I could recommend?

Be still my quivering heart.

Yes, I highly recommend, the best-selling tome on the topic of Sears Homes, "The Houses That Sears Built," one of eight books written by our favorite author, Rosemary THornton.

And if you like looking at pictures of pretty Sears homes, take a peek here: http://www.searshomes.org/index.php/...hern-illinois/

I've spent 10 years studying these old houses, and I've got hundreds of photos posted at the website, plus lots of information on how to identify.

Mainly, be on the lookout for this:


Those marks - a letter and a 3-digit number - helped the neophyte homebuilder assemble those 12,000 pieces of house. Today, it's a dandy way to authenticate Sears Homes.

Rose Thornton
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Old 09-18-2010, 05:25 PM   #7
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Re: Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA


Rosethorn, thank you for bestowing your vast knowledge of the kit home subject upon us. So many homes around me share similar architecture, it makes me wonder, which design came first and who mimicked who?
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:54 PM   #8
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Re: Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA


I know Clifton Forge fairly well. I towed my boat over that damn mountain while attempting to find a short cut to my beloved Smith Mountain Lake. We stopped in some hippish coffee and donut shop in Clifton Forge and decided to return without the boat in tow.

If anyone has the chance to see the countryside in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.............DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!

The charm of these old houses will remain part of the American landscape long after we are gone.

By the way, if any of you are in this area, and are old enough to remember the old TV sitcom "The Waltons", The real life Waltons Mountain is about 2 hours south east of Clifton Forge, Virginia in the tiny town of Schuyler. You can have lunch in the real life Ike's General store after visiting the school where the real Walton kids went. Their real name was Hamner. Earl Hamner's TV character is John Boy who really did become a writer and now lives in NYC. What a fascinating story. A must see !
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:55 AM   #9
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Re: Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA


I love the Sears homes you're talking my language now man. Craftsman bungalows, Foursquares are my favorite thanks for sharing the pics...

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Old 01-22-2012, 06:21 PM   #10
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Re: Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA


http://www.searshomes.org/index.php/...ous-kit-homes/
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:34 AM   #11
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Re: Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA


Hey, thanks for the bump on this thread!

Man, I spent 90 minutes in East End (Newport News, VA) driving around, looking for (and photographing) kit homes. I was nervous as a cat, because that is one rough-looking neighborhood.

I didn't realize how rough it was until I got home and talked to a friend who'd lived there for years. He said it's a war zone over there. A few hours later, a pizza delivery driver was shot multiple times in the same neighborhood.

Sorry to say, I won't be returning. Pity too, because the neighborhood is full of kit homes.









I did take my watch dog with me though, but even she was nervous.



Rose
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:04 PM   #12
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Re: Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA


Rose, Did you write that article?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosethornva View Post
Hey, thanks for the bump on this thread!

Man, I spent 90 minutes in East End (Newport News, VA) driving around, looking for (and photographing) kit homes. I was nervous as a cat, because that is one rough-looking neighborhood.

I didn't realize how rough it was until I got home and talked to a friend who'd lived there for years. He said it's a war zone over there. A few hours later, a pizza delivery driver was shot multiple times in the same neighborhood.

Sorry to say, I won't be returning. Pity too, because the neighborhood is full of kit homes.









I did take my watch dog with me though, but even she was nervous.



Rose
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:10 PM   #13
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Re: Beautiful Old Kit Homes In Clifton Forge, VA


Apparently you did write this, there is a link on a link to buy your book. You should be paid combat pay to be in that part of Newport News
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Old 01-01-2019, 08:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellbuilder View Post
Apparently you did write this, there is a link on a link to buy your book. You should be paid combat pay to be in that part of Newport News
This is awesome. Yes, combat pay is appropriate. I'm glad I got those pictures years ago because that part of town has gone downhill even more.

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