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An Aladdin Rochester in St. Paris

I have been researching and locating homes purchased through the Sears, Roebuck & Co. Modern Homes catalogs for a while now.  Along the way I meet people who say they know exactly where one of these houses had been built.  That was how I started to look for a Sears House in St. Paris last year.  “Right by the Funeral Home on Springfield St.”, she said.  So up I go to St Paris.

 I can recognize a lot of the more common Sears models by sight, so I drove up and down Springfield St.  A couple of times.  Nothing.  I parked, got out, and walked the block where the Funeral Home is located.  I checked out the houses on the side streets.  I talked to a couple of home owners.  I took pictures of six or seven houses.  Nothing clicked.  I went home, uploaded my pictures, then looked through my Houses by Mail Field Guide. That book is the main source used for identifying houses from Sears Roebuck.  Nope. Nothing.  No Sears House for me that day.

A couple of months later, I was going through some research materials from a trip I made to The Clarke Historical Library in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.  The Clarke Library holds an extensive collection of records from The Aladdin Co. of Bay City, Michigan.  Aladdin also sold house kits through mail order catalogs, like Sears.

In my opinion, every serious researcher of Kit Homes should make at least one trip to The Clarke.  I’ve been there twice.

While I was there, I took a lot of photographs of actual sales records for houses that were shipped to parts of Ohio near me.   Here’s what a sales order from the Aladdin Co looks like.

14928-220 S Springfield, St Paris

Photo of an Aladdin Co. sales record on file at The Clarke Historical Library in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

The house model is listed as “Style”  On this sales record, it’s The Rochester.

Here’s The Rochester from the 1917 Aladdin Homes catalog.  Quite a bit of price difference between 1917 and 1919 when the Domigans ordered their house.

catalog 1917

The Rochester from the 1917 Aladdin Homes catalog

So now I have a 1919 sales record, a name and place, Mrs. J.H. Domigan of St. Paris, and a catalog image of the Aladdin Rochester.

My next step is to go to Ancestry.com and search for the Domigan family in Champaign Co, Ohio in the 1920 Census.

Yep, there they are!  On Springfield St.

Screenshot (143)

Guess where on Springfield St the house is located?  Of course.  It’s right next door to the funeral home.

So while I was looking all over for a Sears House, an Aladdin House was right in front of me, and I didn’t recognize it.

A Rochester 220 S Springfield St L CCat St Paris OH

An Aladdin Rochester at 220 S Springfield St. in St. Paris, Ohio

Here’s a few of the details of this lovely home.

A Rochester 220 S Springfield St dormer CCat St Paris OH

A Rochester 220 S Springfield St eaves CCat St Paris OH

So I learned something important that day.  When people say “Sears House” they don’t always mean a house from Sears, Roebuck.  “Sears House” has become a common term for any house whose plans and building materials were purchased as a kit through a mail order catalog.  I knew that before this, but usually am so excited to hear about a new “Sears House” that I forget to put that knowledge to use.

And by the way, there is a Sears House in St. Paris.  From Sears Roebuck.

Screenshot (138)

The Lewiston from the 1930 Sears Modern Homes catalog

Sears Lewiston St Paris OH- 2 (2)

A Sears Lewiston at 411 E Main St in St. Paris, Ohio

This Sears Lewiston is not documented like the Aladdin Rochester above, but all the details seem right.

If you know of any other “Sears Houses” in St. Paris, please let me know.

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3 comments on “An Aladdin Rochester in St. Paris

  1. I love getting to see the sales record, and the house is in such great shape! I love those deep eaves, and thei many brackets. Very nice, indeed:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sales record is very cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I find it very amusing that most of the sales records I have seen say “Rush shipment”. I wonder if that really made any difference. 🙂

    Like

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