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Aladdin Homes in Alpha

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that there were other companies that sold house kits through mail order catalogs. One of them was the Aladdin Co. of Bay City, Michigan.  Some researchers of kit houses believe that Aladdin may actually have sold more houses than Sears, and that may be true, as Aladdin sold houses by mail until 1982.

Here’s a page from just inside the 1920 Aladdin Homes catalog.  I don’t know what’s up with those little birds, but Sears used them in their catalogs as well.

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Aladdin had several bungalow models that I dearly love, The Pomona being one of them.  Here’s the catalog page showing the Pomona.  You could purchase it with either a one story or a two story floor plan.  I love the eave brackets on this model, and since they are unusual, can be used to help spot this Aladdin Home on a street survey.

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And here’s Aladdin himself with his magic hammer, feeling proud after building a Pomona.

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The friendly little village of Alpha (just outside Beavercreek) has a lovely Pomona model, that retains the original eave brackets.  I love the brick porch pillars on this home, too.  Imagine the time and care it took for the bricklayer to do those.

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2396 Maple Dr., Alpha

Another interesting, and popular, bungalow model from Aladdin is The Marsden.

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Alpha has a  Marsden as well, right next door to the Pomona shown above.  At least I think it’s an Aladdin Marsden.  The windows in the dormer are spaced out a bit,  and the front porch has different details.  Also the brackets don’t match the ones shown in the catalog illustration.  These small differences make me wonder a bit, especially since there is an authenticated Aladdin Marsden up around the corner.  Could the builder have reused the plans for the Marsden kit using local purchased materials, and made a few changes to the design?  It’s certainly a possibility.

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2382 Maple St., Alpha

Below is the authenticated Aladdin Marsden, with the correctly spaced windows in the dormer and brackets that match the catalog.

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849 Alpha Rd., Alpha

I have a copy of the original sales record for the Marsden above.  The Aladdin sales records are available for viewing by the public at the Clarke Historical Library in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, and I have been there twice to research.  Thanks to the Clarke for allowing these documents to be shared freely and encouraging patrons to take photos of the records.

15790 Alpha Marsden

I found some info on Jennie A Tobias, the buyer of the Marsden, through Ancestry.com.  She lived her entire 94 years in the Alpha area on the family farm, except for the 19 years (1920-1939) it appears she resided in the Marsden, according to her obituary.  The 1930 census lists her as living in Alpha on Main St., which I am assuming is now known as Alpha Rd.

Along with the three Aladdin Homes in Alpha, there are also two possible kits from Sears, Roebuck.  One is just next door to the Marsden shown above.  It’s a Sears Winthrop, but is not documented.

S Winthrop L Alpha, Beavercreek, OH

841 Alpha Rd., Alpha

image 1930

The other Sears, Roebuck House is a Starlight model, and it’s on Maple, just down the street a ways from the two Aladdin Homes.

S Starlight 2420 Maple L CCat Alpha OH

2420 Maple Dr., Alpha

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Alpha is a quiet little piece of Greene Co., considering how close it is to the hustle, bustle of St. Rt. 35 and the major shopping area in Beavercreek.  It has it’s own history to tell.

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And historical homes.

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And what is left of the Alpha Seed and Grain Co.  The bike path next to the business was originally the rail line, and most likely had a siding where the Aladdin and Sears House kits were delivered, unloaded, and hauled the short distance to their home sites.

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Take a ride through Alpha next time you are in that area.  I did.

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17 comments on “Aladdin Homes in Alpha

  1. And I’m so glad you did 🙂
    What beautiful houses!
    Judith
    Sears-House-Seeker.blogspot.com

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  2. Love this! We live in 849 alpha. Would love more info if you have it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We live in the Starlight at 2420 Maple. We are the second family to live in this house since it was built. We really love that you are doing a blog on the Sears and Aladdin homes in Alpha. And by the way, our daughter and her family live in the yellow Marsden at 2382 Maple…

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  4. A random Google search brought me here to a picture of my house. Lol Cruz sign and all! I’d love to show off the inside if you’re ever near Alpha again. We’re in our first year of complete renovation. Everyone in town kept telling us it was a Sears, but I never found the historical markers or floor plan that fit.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We live at 2396 Maple. Since buying the home two years ago we had always been told it was a SR kit home. This was very informative and also quite interesting. Thanks for doing the research.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great article!!! I lived at 2382 Maple Street. We had contact with the Sayrs family who built the house. The kids thought it was a Sears home but they were not sure. From the picture in the Aladdin book, it looks nearly identicle. Mr. O’brien had paperwork on the house next door from the builder. I don’t know what happened to it after he passed.
    Alpha has a very rich history that truly needs to be taken out and dusted off from time to time. It was a village of hardworking citizens who were the backbone of todays Beavercreek. Take pride.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Looks like I need to get back to Alpha soon and meet all the homeowners! Thanks to all of you for commenting on this post. 🙂

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  8. Love these old homes. I delivered newspapers to them all when I was a kid in the 1970s. The Pomona at 2396 Maple Dr. was Chateau O’Brien from 1964-2004. The previous owner said it was an Aladdin home ordered from Sears and built in 1919. One of the old time neighbors told me it was originally built on a crawlspace foundation and later was jacked up in place and the basement dug and poured. The laundry room and garage were added to back of the house in the 1950s. The laundry room was built on a concrete rainwater cistern which was the original back porch.

    When we moved in in 1964 the upstairs bedrooms were not heated. Dad installed hot air ducts to them. He tore out the original sidewalks and had the current ones poured in 1967. Insulation was blown into the outer walls in the mid-70s when oil prices spiked. The driveway was poured around the same time. I did most of the digging on that one! There used to be a barn in the backyard–also from Sears–which was torn down in the 1950s. The chain link fence? Sears.

    They built homes to last back then: the house is framed in oak and the clapboard siding (under the vinyl) is redwood. Mom insisted on carpeting the hardwood floors. Oh well.

    The beautiful sugar maple tree on the west side of the house was 3′ tall when I planted it on July 4, 1976. Mom and dad called it “Matt’s Tree” but to me it has always been the Bicentennial Tree.

    Thanks for this.

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    • Great information! I love hearing the history of these homes, and all the changes that went into them through the years. I wonder if anybody would have pictures of the old barn. Happy Birthday soon to Matt’s tree!

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    • Thank you so much for all this information on 2396! Some we had heard from neighbors, some contradicts what we were told and some is new to me! The very first thing we did (before even moving in) was to start pulling up the carpets and exposing the BEAUTIFUL hardwoods. Your mom’s carpet kept them in pristine shape, although the areas that had linoleum stuck on them have proven a little more difficult.

      One of the neighbors told us that there is a Sears plaque in the basement somewhere, but we haven’t been able to find it. Do you have any idea where that is, or if he is mistaken?

      Also, Matt, feel free to friend request me on Facebook. I keep it updated with all our remodeling projects and just posted last week the final “before and after” of our remodel of the pantry/laundry room and we’ve finished all but the stairs on a brick patio and walk way in the backyard. I’d love to hear your thoughts on things we uncover!

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    • It also just occurred to me, Matt, that you’re probably part of the “Bill + Matt” that is written on one of the upstairs bedroom doors.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wrote it on the door in the late 60s when I shared the bedroom with my brother Bill. I think it was the result of territorial competition between siblings. Mom and dad were not pleased that I had used indelible marker. Nice to know it’s still there and the original doors too.

        I knew those beautiful hardwood floors were lurking under the carpet all those years. Dad power sanded and re-finished some of them the first few years we were there. Then we never saw them again! And some already had linoleum tiles on them. Ugh.

        Mom always wanted a patio right where you’re putting yours, but never convinced dad to make one. The big shade tree right behind the garage is an American Ash. Mom and I dug it up from a woods that was to be bulldozed when they decided to finish I-675 in the early 80s. It was about 6′ tall when we planted it. She specifically wanted the yellow and purple fall colors it has which she knew from the woods on the farm where she grew up.

        We did a fair amount of remodeling in the basement but I don’t remember seeing a Sears plaque or stamp anywhere. I’ll check with my brothers.

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