Sunday, August 9, 2020

Sears Houses In High Bridge, NJ: Winona On Prospect Street

color photo of front and side of early Sears Winona with five-piece brackets, at 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
Early Sears Winona model • 3 Prospect Street, High Bridge, New Jersey

black and white image of early Sears Winona with five piece brackets, from the 1921 Sears Modern Homes catalog
Sears Winona in the 1921 catalogue
The Sears Winona was offered beginning in 1913, and its look, and floor plans, went through a few changes over the years. The model we ran across on Prospect Street (and there's another on Thomas Street) is the larger version (40' deep) of the second floor plan offered. The second floor plan option was first available in 1916, but the larger version of that plan, wasn't available until 1918. Clear? No? Okay, I'll show you!

You often hear about how Sears houses were made of pre-cut framing lumber, with all of those pieces stamped with a letter/number combo (like A25, or C236), to help identify the size and placement of the piece, during construction. But, that pre-cut system did not begin until the 1916 catalogue. Until then, the kits were shipped with standard length lumber that you still had to cut to fit your plan, either on the job site, or at a lumber yard with a planing mill. So, since this model was first offered in 1913, the first three years that it was available, it was only available as a standard-lengths, not pre-cut package. Beginning in late 1916, you could opt for buying either pre-cut or not, and after that, it was only offered as a pre-cut model. It was first referred to as the No. 205, in 1913, but in 1914, most models were given a number that started with "264P...", so this became the No. 264P205. In some editions of the 1916 catalogue, it was the No. C205 (though it had 4 numbers, because it now had two floorplans, and each was offered either "not cut and fitted" or "already cut and fitted") , and in 1917, it was called the No. 264B205. Beginning in 1918, it was marketed with a word name: the Winona (however, throughout the rest of the years of the catalogues, though each model had a word name, it also had a number to refer to its floorplan[s]). The Winona remained in the Sears Modern Homes catalogues until the last issue, in 1940.  There were seven different versions of the floor plan offered throughout those years... though sometimes the only difference was the length/depth of the house, to allow for a staircase in the back, to go up to a full attic. Also, some years shared the same floor plan, except for the front porch look. 

Already-Cut Houses
Let's start by taking a look at three pages from an early edition of the 1916 catalogue, where the new "already cut" option is described (these pages are from a catalogue online, offered by Daily Bungalow/Antique Home, and used with permission):
1916 catalog page describing Sears already cut house kits, pre-cut house construction

1916 catalog page describing Sears already cut house kits, pre-cut house construction

1916 catalog page describing Sears already cut house kits, pre-cut house construction
You can really see how these detailed cuts, being already measured and cut, would save an enormous amount of thought and time.
Exterior Looks 
Next, let's examine the exterior look of this model. That, too, changed over the years, and had three different versions. 

First, beginning in 1913, when it was the No. 205 model, it had two chunky front porch columns, and a series of seven brackets supporting the eaves of the roof, in front. Those brackets, at least going by the look shown in the catalog image, were 3-part brackets... like an open triangle, with all three lengths being solid pieces. This was the look that was shown in the catalogues through 1917:
black and white catalog image of Sears Winona
Sears Winona model • 1913 through 1917
Beginning in 1918, and continuing through 1926, the look is very similar, still with chunky porch columns, but the number of front eave brackets is reduced to five, and the brackets are now the trademark Sears 5-piece brackets (we usually only see these on Sears houses). The 5-piece bracket is still made in a triangular shape, but the front of the bracket system is actually two parallel pieces, making it look like the front of the brackets is open (and, you can see a center stabilizing piece poking out into the center of the bracket). The side windows are shown differently, because an additional floor plan option was added, in 1916, and this is that plan's window configuration. It's the pattern we see on the house on Prospect Street.
black and white catalog image of Sears Winona
Sears Winona model • 1918-1926 

Here's a close-up view of a Sears five-piece bracket, as described in a blog post of mine about a Sears Sunbeam model in Pennsylvania:
eave bracket image Sears house 5 piece bracket
Sears five-piece bracket

And, the final look of the Winona, as shown from 1927 through 1940, is a much more modern look (for that era), with a more sleek feel to the front porch columns, and with a change from brackets to purlins, to support the front eaves of the roof. This catalogue image shows the final floor plan, which included a side bump-out (for the dining room), and two windows (on either side of the front door) on the first floor front of the house (however, even during the years when this look was offered, there was still an optional floor plan without a side bump-out, and with a pair of windows to the left of the front door ):
black and white catalog image of Sears Winona
Sears Winona model • 1927 - 1940
Catalogue Pages Over The Years
Finally, let's see how the catalogue pages looked throughout the first years-- actually seeing them gives you a better sense for the differences. I'll pull out the floor plans in a more organized way a bit further down. If you're not interested in analyzing the catalogue images and the various floor plans, feel free to scroll on down to the pictures of the interior of the house.

black and white catalog image of Sears Winona

black and white catalog image of Sears Winona

black and white catalog image of Sears Winona 1916, from Daily Bungalow
source: Daily Bungalow / Antique Home

black and white catalog image of Sears Winona
source: Dale Haynes upload on Archive.org

black and white catalog image of Sears Winona 1917 Daily Bungalow
source: Daily Bungalow/Antique Home 1917 catalogue

black and white catalog image of Sears Winona
1918-- The first year with the reduced number of brackets, and the change to the 5-piece bracket.
Source: 1918 Sears Modern Homes catalogue -- larger floor plan is on the next page that year

black and white catalog image of Sears Winona floor plan and dining room
This is actually from my own 1920 catalogue, but you can see the same Winona pages in the 1921 catalogue, here.
black and white catalog image of Sears Winona
1923 has the first bump-out version shown (source ).
black and white catalog image of Sears Winona floor plans from 1932 catalog

black and white catalog image of Sears Winona 1932
Here it is in the new version, with a change to the front porch and the brackets changed to purlins, as presented in the 1932 Sears Modern Homes catalogue, here, on Archive.org. This look was first introduced in 1927.
The Winona Floor Plans
Here is the evolution of the floor plans. We pay close attention to the layout of the windows and doors, when we're trying to identify a Sears model.

The Chunky Front-column Years
First, the floor plans when this model had those chunky front porch columns, and triangular brackets (1913-1926):
catalog image of Sears Winona floor plan
This earliest floor plan has a center front door, with a window on each side.
In 1918, CL Bowes plan books offered an almost identical floor plan, but reversed!

catalog image of Sears Winona floor plan
This option was added in 1916, and replaced the original floor plan completely, in 1918
(when an additional, larger version was also introduced).

catalog image of Sears Winona floor plan
In 1918, this deeper version of the floor plan was introduced, to allow for a staircase in the back of the house, to lead up to a full attic. This is the floor plan that the Prospect Street house appears to have.

catalog image of Sears Winona floor plan
In 1923, the deeper, 40' plan is completely re-imagined, adding a bump-out in the dining room.
From this point on, the 40' plan always has a bump out.
Front Porch Changed To 3 Slimmer Columns
The bump-out version from 1927-1938/39, is the same layout as the bump-out version that was introduced in 1923, with chunky columns... only the front porch is changed, and the roof brackets are replaced with purlins (see images earlier in the blog post).

catalog image of Sears Winona floor plan
So, essentially, this floor plan, behind the front porch, is the bump-out version on all of the Winonas from 1923 onward.

catalog image of Sears Winona floor plan
This no-bump-out floor plan is new in 1927. From the outside, we'd only be seeing the windows, and they have changed.

catalog image of Sears Winona floor plan
Here are the two non-bump-out, 36' deep versions of the Winona (post 1917), side by side.
(Click to enlarge)
In the final catalogue, the Winona has the same two floor plans it has had since 1927, but the bump-out version was widened by a foot and a half!
catalog image of Sears Winona floor plan
Who knew!? In 1940, Sears added a foot and a half to the width of the larger floor plan for the Winona!
white house with side bumpout and front purlins Sears Winona 1940 catalog iimage
The 1940 Sears Winona (see it in the catalogue)
Lookalike Models To The Sears Winona
We often find that there are similar-looking models to Sears models, offered by other kit companies, or by plan book companies. Sometimes, you can barely tell the difference, and you have to pay attention, on the outside, to things like the type of brackets used, or purlins vs brackets, or porch columns, or the placement of the furnace vent chimney. We always carefully check out the number and location of windows and doors. Here are a few lookalikes that we're aware of, for versions of the Sears Winona:

Wardway Venice
On first glance, the Wardway Venice looks like a dead ringer for the earliest versions of the Sears Winona. However, one big difference to note, is the decorative strip along the top of the sides of the house. Its stripe pattern is different than that on the Sears model, and the Sears model also has that strip on the bottom, whereas the Venice does not. This feature might be missing, on a house in the wild, that has had vinyl siding added, though. Also, though the earliest floor plan of the Winona, with chunky porch columns, did have two windows on either side of the front door, it never had that layout AND 5-piece brackets... at least, not according to what was shown in the catalogues. 
catalog image of Wardway Venice, lookalike to Sears Winona
The Wardway Venice model, offered beginning in 1917. This image is from the 1925 catalogue, on AntiqueHome.org.
side by side comparison early Sear Winona next to Sears Winona lookalike-- Wardway Venice
Early Sears Winona vs Wardway Venice (click to enlarge)
Bennett Dover
Bennett Homes of upper New York State, also had a chunky-columns lookalike to the early Winona. However, it also had a little bump-out on the left, that is smaller than the eventual bump-out of the Winona. Also, it is missing the decorative striping on the upper and lower edges of the sides, and the brackets aren't a match to the era of Winona that had a bump-out. The size differs from the Winona, as well.
catalog image of Bennett Dover Sears Winona lookalike
Bennett Homes Dover, see it in the 1925 catalogue here, on Daily Bungalow.

C. L. Bowes Plan Book Model
C.L. Bowes was a publisher of plan books, of the type that a contractor or lumber yard might carry. So, they were in competition with the kit companies, and just sold plans, not building supplies. A 1918 C. L. Bowes plan book offers this model, which is very close to the earliest Sears (No. 205) version. Its floor plan is the reverse floor plan of the Sears No. 205 (the first Winona floor plan), but... the front porch roof is supported by straight purlins, not by triangular brackets. There is a decorative bottom strip along the sides, but it's not quite the same as Sears offered, and there is not visible decorative strip along the top of the sides.
catalog image of Sears Winona lookalike plan book model by C. L. Bowes

catalog image of floor plan of Sears Winona lookalike plan book model by C. L. Bowes
Here are the two floor plans side by side:
side by side comparison of floor plans of Sears Winona and lookalike plan book model by C. L. Bowes
Window patterns are the same, but the C. L. Bowes model is supposedly 9 feet deeper than the Sears model... but, the room dimensions on the floor plan don't add up to 45!
Bump-Out Lookalikes
Both Wardway and Gordon-Van Tine offered a lookalike to the final version of the Winona, the one with the bump-out and the front porch with purlins and two windows and slimmer porch columns. In fact, the Wardway and GVT models are the same as each other, because of the working relationship between the two companies (GVT was subcontracted to provide the pre-cut lumber for the Wardway kits, so both companies offered almost all of the same models, once that relationship began).

The Wardway and GVT bump-out lookalike has two obvious differences: 
  • A bump-out on both sides of the house (DR and bathroom)
  • A single window in the side section of the house, between the DR bump-out and the front of the house (Sears has a widely separated pair of windows there)

black and white catalog image of Montgomery Ward lookalike to bump out version of Sears Winona
Brackets, instead of purlins, and an additional side bump-out. (Source)

black and white catalog image of Gordon-Van Tine lookalike to bump out version of Sears Winona
No brackets or purlins shown, but additional small side bump-out, like the Wardway offering. (Source)

Back To The High Bridge Winona On Prospect Street
Here's where we take a closer look at the Sears Winona on Prospect Street. Thanks to a real estate listing, we have interior photos. I believe that it follows the 40' deep 2nd floor plan, because that one allows for stairs in the back of the house, off of the kitchen, to lead up to a full-length attic, which this house appears to have. The one change we can see, is that the built-in dining room hutch that Sears shows, was placed (smartly) in the kitchen, instead, on the back wall, where there would have been a window. Also, the Prospect Street Winona has half of the front porch enclosed. Click on any of the real estate photos, to get a much larger version.

color photo of dining room Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
Here is that dining room area, shown in the catalogue image, above. The door leads into the kitchen.

color photo of dining room Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
Here are the French doors to the side, that lead into the center hallway.
color photo of dining room and living room Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
Looking now from the back wall of the DR, into the living room, in the front of the house. At the far end, on the left wall of the living room, you see the doorway that leads to the entry vestibule in the front of the house.

color photo of living room Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
Here is the living room, looking back into the dining room. One window in LR, two windows in DR.
color photo of kitchen Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
So, here is that built-in hutch, placed on the back wall of the kitchen-- there should be a staircase on the other side of that wall, leading up to the attic, if you access it from the left side of the kitchen, and down to the basement, if you access it from the door that we see here. 

color photo of kitchen Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
Looking at the floor plan, this door would normally be leading into a large pantry, and an exit door, leading to the basement steps and back porch, would normally be in that corner to the right of where the hutch is. They must have re-configured things a little bit here. That clearly looks like an entry door, and not just a pantry door.
color photo of kitchen Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ

color photo of kitchen Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
This is the left side wall of the house. To the right of the refrigerator is an opening that must lead to the staircase that takes you up to the attic level. The floor plan shows a window there, on the back wall of the house... we can't see the window, but we can see the sunlight coming in, so it must be there. The larger version of the second floor plan, shows the opening off of the kitchen, to be in the corner there.
color photo of attic Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
Here's the attic. There is some kind of finishing element over the rafters, and a carpet on the floor, so it must have been finished off well enough to use as living space.  The larger version of the second floor plan, specifically mentions there being a useable attic space that runs the length of the house, which is why I think that's the floor plan that we have.
color photo of bedroom with two windows Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
This looks to be the front bedroom -- they are both on the right side of the house. We see the pair of windows -- there is a set in each of the two bedrooms. Sears five-part interior Craftsman style doors, and wide Craftsman trim!

color photo of bedroom Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
The back bedroom-- they each have a closet door in the corner, next to the pair of windows on the side wall, and a door leading in, from the short center hallway (where we are standing, here, looking in).
color photo of sitting room Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
This, I'm guessing, is the little room created by enclosing half of the front porch. 
And, another look at the window layout, from the exterior views:
color photo of Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
Behind the now-enclosed porch, we have the 2-1-2 window pattern.
Also, notice the decorative striped band along the top and bottom of the sides of the house.

front and left side window pattern Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
Chunky porch columns, and the 1-2-1 window pattern, with the back porch behind.

front view Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
Looking up at the brackets, we see the open space, showing us this is a 5-piece Sears bracket.

side window pattern Sears Winona 3 Prospect St High Bridge NJ
The 2-1-2 window pattern, seen from the back, and, enough of a view of the back, to see that the back porch is closer to the center of the back of the house, which is correct for the larger version of the second floor plan.
A Few Other Winonas Around The Country
Here are photos of some of the other Winonas we've found around the country, of various floor plans.
front and side view of grey and white Sears Winona in Harrison OH
Here's a beautiful early bump-out version, that Cindy Catanzaro blogged about, here, at Sears Houses In Ohio.
Here's a beauty that is gone now. It was a very early Winona with an early bump-out, that did not have a pop-up roof over it. Despite its peeling paint, it's a great example of a Winona. Cindy wrote two blog posts about it, and you can access them both, from this one.
front and side view of grey Sears Winona Dayton OH
Now-gone early Sears Winona, in Dayton, Ohio. (larger version available if you click)
Here's a real beauty, in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was authenticated through mortgage records, and was originally bought by Oscar L. Davis and his wife, Ida May Davis, for $6,800. The placement of the two back windows in the rear view, shows us that this is the smaller version of the second floor plan.
front view of grey and white Sears Winona Raleigh NC

side view of grey and white Sears Winona Raleigh NC
Early Sears Winona in Raleigh, North Carolina
Marie Vore located this one in Akron, Ohio -- smaller size of the second floor plan, with a Sears two-car Bartlett garage!
front and side view of brown and white Sears Winona Akron OH

rear view of brown and white Sears Winona Akron OH

front view of brown and white Sears Bartlett garage Akron OH
Sears Bartlett garage -- it was available as a one-car or two-car garage.
A very early one, in Columbus, Ohio
front view of brown and white Sears Winona Columbus OH

front view of brown and white Sears Winona Columbus OH

And, finally, one of the later model, an authenticated Sears Winona in Affton, Missouri, that had a mortgage through Sears. This is the version with the side bump-out. You can see lots of nice interior photos in this blog post about the house.
front view of white Sears Winona Affton MO
1930 Sears Winona, in Affton, Missouri
This beauty in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is an authenticated example of the no-bump-out final version of the Winona. It's perfect, and in fabulous condition! All of the windows and doors and rooms are in just the spot where they should be... just one big side dormer added. There's even a Sears Bartlett garage. The photos are from this real estate listing.
color photo of exterior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI

color photo of exterior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI
There should be one pair of windows like this, on this version of the floor plan; this is one of the front entry doors that Sears offered in the Craftsman style.
Here is that front entry door, as shown in the 1930 Sears building materials catalogue.

color photo of exterior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI


color photo of exterior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI



color photo of exterior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI
That big upper dormer jutting out of the roof, is a later add-on.

The Sears Winona's smaller, no-bump-out floor plan, in the 1940 Sears Modern Homes catalog.
And, inside:
color photo of interior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI

color photo of interior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI

color photo of interior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI


color photo of interior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI

color photo of interior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI

color photo of interior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI
Here's the two-panel door with Sears Stratford hardware.

color photo of interior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI


color photo of interior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI

color photo of interior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI

color photo of interior of non-bump-out later floor plan of Sears Winona, 507 Berkley Ave Ann Arbor MI

4 comments:

  1. Great job as always! I loved seeing that documented over the years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I usually end up using my blog for my own reference, so I wanted to get this all down in one place!

      Delete
  2. This is awesome! I will use this post for quick reference, for sure. I will have to go back through my own photos now and compare. There are lots of Winonas in Ohio!

    ReplyDelete

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