It was a pretty fall Sunday. A good day to take a drive and get one last look at the season’s beautiful colors. We (me, my husband, and two dogs) decided to head north to the Indian Lake area. We usually stay off the interstates, just about anywhere we go, but to get to Indian Lake from Springfield, that’s the only choice you have!
Of course, I can’t go anywhere, especially on a pretty day, without trying to get photos of at least ONE kit house. And that’s how we ended up taking a quick drive down a side street in Belle Center.
I had come across a picture and a reference to an “Aladdin Sears Home” a while back while doing some research, but didn’t recognize it.
The Aladdin Co. of Bay City, Michigan, sold house kits through mail order catalogs, just like Sears. Actually, they started doing house kits BEFORE Sears, but since Sears was so well known, due to their large General Merchandise catalogs, people have gotten into the habit of calling any house purchased as a kit through a mail order catalog, a “Sears House”.
I don’t know the Aladdin models all that well, so when I find a reference to one, I usually have to check through my catalog files to identify the house. And that’s what I did for this one.
Here’s a close- up of the front, showing the “four massive columns” mentioned in the catalog details.
The house appears to have all the original windows with nine over one sashes.
The house siding looks original as well.
The buyer decided not to have a fireplace like the house in the catalog, so there is a window in the living room instead.
From the side views, you can see that the dormer extends from the roof at the peak, just like in the catalog.
The right side has a few less windows, but that was sometimes done to save on cost.
Belle Center is a quiet little village in Logan County with less than 1000 people, and today I was glad I stopped by.
UPDATE – 29 March 2016
Being something of a disorganized researcher (have too much stuff), I just realized I have documentation for this home. A few years back, I went to the Clarke Historical Library in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, which has all the original sales records for homes that shipped from the Bay City, Michigan lumber mill of The Aladdin Co. (Aladdin had mills in other areas of the country as well.)
Photographing of the original documents was encouraged, so I took loads of pictures of records for Aladdin Homes that shipped to areas near me here in Ohio. I was just looking for a record I knew I had for a house that shipped to Alpha, Ohio, and noticed I had the information for this Pomeroy in Belle Center as well. The “Special Instructions” section notes the changes made to the windows on the side of the house.
Thanks to the Clarke for allowing researchers to share this information freely.