“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get” said the white rabbit in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”.
Some days I can relate to that.
This has been a Summer of Sears House Hunting for me. We took several weeks off from our work, and because of that, I’ve been trying to get out and about a least one day every week, to hunt down mortgage records and look for houses.
So……..because of that……..I am behind on labeling photos, actually looking for the houses that go along with the mortgage records I’ve found, and……sharing some of the houses I have found here on my little blog.
It’s a good problem to have, in this case, to be a little behind.
As I am based in Southeast Ohio, I am in the Sears, Roebuck laden area for kit houses. On mortgage record research trips to small area Counties, I usually find several mortgages that lead me to Sears Homes, but zero, or maybe one, mortgage record for homes purchased from Montgomery Ward.
On a recent trip to Marion County, I did find that one occasional mortgage record for a Wardway Home.
Background info: Wardway Homes was the name used by Montgomery Ward, who sold houses as kits through specialty mail order catalogs. Sears, Roebuck started out selling house plans in 1908, and Montgomery Ward followed a year later, in 1909.
Montgomery Ward didn’t sell near as many homes as Sears, and discontinued that part of their business toward the end of 1931. Sears stayed in the home selling business until 1942.
On Nov 24, 1930, a mortgage for $5,350 was issued to George A Hultz for two lots (8387 and 8388) in a plat with the crazy name “South-We Go”.
Now I have to tell you, I totally did not find the house when I went looking for it the day I got the mortgage record. My Granddaughter and I drove around the block so many times trying to figure out which house it was, based on the plat map, that we were starting to get dirty looks from the neighbors working outside in their yards.
Here’s part of the plat map, with the two lots circled.
When I looked at this plat map, I was pretty confident the house would be on Uncapher St., and that’s where we drove around and around and around again. No house I could ID as being from Wardway.
We moved on.
Later that night, I pulled up the area on Google Maps, to see if maybe I had misinterpreted where the lot was.
I still don’t entirely understand how the plat map relates to the current Google Map, but by going back and forth between the maps and the Auditor’s website, I was able to find the correct lots. Eventually.
A lot of things have changed in this little area in the last 90 years. Here’s what the legal description for the house looks like now.
It’s no wonder I didn’t find the house when we were driving around and around and around the block……..because………it sits sideways on the lot!
At one time I’m sure it did face a street……or maybe the alley…….but no more. And since I was driving, and looking at the houses facing the street, I missed it.
No matter. I did find it, and went back the next day for my very own pictures of Ohio’s first ever located Wardway Cranford.
Now don’t let me lead you on. Other researchers have located Wardway Cranford models through the years. We currently have 32 Cranford models listed on our Wardway Homes list, but the majority of them (24) are in Michigan. Apparently it was a very popular model up there. I guess I need to look harder for them here in Ohio, because us Buckeyes don’t like it when Michigan wins.
Now that I have seen one “for real”, they should be easier for me to spot.
The Wardway Cranford is an odd combination of architectural styles, in my opinion. From the front, it looks like an English Tudor. The catalog showed the false front gable peak with half timbering over a four paned picture window. What makes this odd is that the Cranford is a Dutch Colonial with a Gambrel style roof line.
Here’s the side of the Cranford model in Marion that faces the street. It’s clearly a Dutch Colonial from this angle.
See that large evergreen tree on the right? That’s what blocked my view of the front of the house when I was driving around and around and around the block. ( That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. )
I’m so glad to have located this Wardway Home in Marion. I’ll be sharing a few more finds from my trip those two days. Eventually.
Thanks for following along.