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A Gordon Van Tine No. 104 in Richmond, Indiana

Hello All. In my last blog post, dated June 12, 2022, I said I was going to try to hold to my original goal of having one post per month. I made it! At least I will if I get this finished and up by midnight tonight, July 31.

I have been writing a blog post in my head for a couple of weeks now. That’s usually how I get started. I go over all the details I want to write about, think about the houses I have seen, then sit down one day, or evening, usually, and put it all down in words. Sometimes it just flows out. Sometimes it’s a struggle.

But this post isn’t the one I have been building in my head for a while. That one will be kinda long and I will have to hunt up photos I took long ago to make it what I want it to be. So……this post will be short on thought, but long on photos that are not mine, but are from a real estate listing I saw today.

I did locate the house though, quite a while back. I just have never seen it in person. I don’t usually do posts using photos from real estate listings, but the listing pics of the house are so well done that I won’t have to go get ones of my own!

Thanks to the listing agent, Tyler Fortman, for putting together a nice listing for this old home that needs a little love.


The house is a kit home design from the Gordon Van Tine Co. of Davenport, Iowa. If you have been following this little blog, or have researched mail order kit homes on your own, you should recognize that company name. GVT, as researchers refer to it, was a competitor of Sears, Roebuck in the mail order home business, and in the 1920’s and 1930’s, supplied the kit homes sold by Sears larger competitor, Montgomery Ward.

GVT published their own catalogs for many years. In 1916, they had two catalogs, one for Ready Cut Homes, which featured kit houses with factory cut lumber for a quicker building time, and another catalog featuring “Standard Homes” which did not have the lumber pre cut at the factory. These houses are still considered kits, as all the lumber and everything else you needed was supplied, but you had to cut the lumber to size on site. This type of kit home would require additional skills and tools by the builder.

The 1916 GVT Standard Home catalog is available to the public on Internet Archive. Here’s the link.


I located this house by researching one of the testimonial letters found on page 51 of the catalog, which is for house model No. 104.

The letter is the middle one on the left side, from the builder J. N. Hodgins

It’s pretty vague where in Indiana the house was actually built, but that is where years of hunting down these houses and good resources come into it.

Using Ancestry, I searched for W. B. Hadly in Indiana, hoping to spot him in a 1920 Census record. I didn’t find him, but I did find a William B Hadley in Richmond, but in the 1900 Census, followed by a Wm. B Hadley in the 1910 Census. There was no listing for him in the 1920 Census, which was what I was really hoping for, since the house was built probably not long before the 1916 GVT catalog was published, and that would have given me an address. Maybe. It’s not at all unusual to see names misspelled in the catalog testimonial letters. I was hopeful. Then…….using Newspapers.com, I did a search for W. B Hadley in the Richmond newspaper, many of which are digitized and available.

And I found him!

Now I have an address, 125 North Ninth St. Fingers crossed!

When I put that address in Google Maps, here’s what comes up.

There it is…..just down the street a ways. I don’t think W.B. Hadley lived in the GVT house though, as the Ninth St address was listed for him in the earlier Census records. I think maybe he had the house built next to his, maybe for one of his children, and his home is gone. No matter. The GVT house that matches the photo in the 1916 catalog is there.

I did all this research a while back. I don’t really remember exactly when, but it’s been a couple years ago, I think. Then today, while doing a cursory check of houses on Realtor.com, I added Richmond to my list of area Counties that I check. I do that sometimes, because, hey, Richmond is almost in Ohio, and if I find a Sears House for sale there, that will occasionally generate a trip to Today’s Harvest for donuts.

Here’s the catalog illustration of the floor plan.

Now I will inundate you with the Realtor’s photos of the house, because they are great!

Yes, it needs love, but it’s over 100 years old and still has the original leaded glass windows, interior doors, and non painted woodwork!

Here’s hoping it gets a new owner that will appreciate the quality of the lumber and building method, and brings it back to life.

Real estate listing link – https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/907-N-B-St_Richmond_IN_47374_M37040-88232?ex=2945820820

I am hoping to post more than once in August. The post that is rattling around in my head for one, and one with a lot of newly located homes, as the Sears House Hunters are getting back on the road!

Thanks for following along.

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