Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sears Walton in St. Charles, Missouri

sears walton
622 Jackson St., St. Charles, MO • authenticated Sears Walton • 1929
1929 sears catalog walton model
Sears Walton, as seen in the 1929 Modern Homes Catalog
You can see that the Jackson Street Walton's porch railings
match the style shown in this 1929 catalog image.
A different porch railings design is shown in the catalogs before 1925.
(Image courtesy of Cindy Catanzaro,
with thanks to Lauren Russell of Antique Home.org for scanning.)
sears walton catalog

Though I live in St. Louis, Missouri, I work near our state's first capitol, St. Charles, a historic town on the Missouri River. And, I have friends there, who live on tree-shaded streets with an old neighborhood feel... hydrangea bushes, forsythia, oak trees, and all kinds and sizes of character-rich old homes. It's a historic old town, that served as our first capitol from 1821-1826, and it was the starting off point of the Lewis & Clark expedition.

historic st charles missouri
Click here to visit the Historic Saint Charles website.
Most folks who visit St. Charles, make a point of spending an afternoon strolling along Main Street, seen here in this photo. It's a cobblestone street, lined with unique shops and restaurants, just a block up from the banks of the Missouri River.
More interesting info from
the Historic Saint Charles website.
So, this past summer, I decided that it might be worth my while to spend some time in the Saint Charles City Hall, to check out their mortgage deed books. I was planning to meet up for lunch (on Main Street!) with a good friend of mine,  a colleague in the Foreign Languages department (she teachers German, and I teach French and Spanish), who lives in a beautiful old Victorian house in St. Charles.  We had a nice lunch at Bradden's, a restaurant with its own historic background, and then I headed over to the modern building that houses the city offices. I was hoping to find pages worth of mortgage records, because the city offices there serve not just St. Charles City, but the whole of St. Charles County.  I was sure that there must be a good number of Sears houses out in the outskirts of the older communities of St. Charles County.

But... holy cow. I was wrong! And, so disappointed. I found only three mortgages -- and one of those was for a garage.  This Walton on Jackson Street, was my big hit for the day. 



In Missouri, mortgage records are filed as deeds (not the case in some other states).  When searching for the names of the Sears trustee, I have to look in the Inverted Index -- these white books in the photos to the left. Those books list the Grantees alphabetically -- the buyer is listed as the Grantor (I think this is the opposite in some other states' mortgage systems, because their mortgages are not deeds). If you had a buyer's name in mind, you'd look in the red books, where their names are listed alphabetically.


The system here is very neat, and easy to access.  The large books are on shelves with rollers, so the books slide in and out easily, and the pages of the books are heavy-weight paper, that are laminated. 

Once you find a listing in the index, you can go to another set of shelves, to pull out the actual deed books, to read the full deed. 







The Walton 
I love the Walton model. I have always thought it was a cool looking bungalow. I love its deep, wrap-around front porch-- kind of unusual on a bungalow. It's a really nice feature, and the split front gables, along with the porch, give the Walton a spacious feel. I stopped by one day later in the summer, and took photos of the house, as the Google map shots were pretty grainy, but I've included a few from from Bing maps, as well.  Let's take a look:

sears walton
622 Jackson Street
sears walton

sears walton
This double window that juts out a bit, on the front of the house, is the front bedroom that you see in one of the interior
photos.  It has a little window seat built in, that you can see shown on the floor plan from the catalog.
sears walton
This bump-out area here, is the dining room.

sears walton

sears walton
Original tongue-in-groove porch ceilings!

sears walton

sears walton

The original owner of 622 Jackson Street, was Charles Wiesinger, who was about 28 when he built his Walton.  He was born in Austria, and came to the U.S. in 1906, around the age of five.  German was his primary language, according to the 1930 census-- St. Charles and its neighboring towns, especially to the west, have a strong German background, as many Germans and Austrians came to live in this area, in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Two Waltons in Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, PA: Fellow researcher, Karen DeJeet, who lives in the Pittsburgh area, has found us a really nice-looking Walton, at 9643 Hilliard Road, in Pittsburgh.  She found it on her own, driving around Pittsburgh, but, fortunately, it also has a Zillow listing, that gives us two nice views of it. It's one that still retains its original cedar siding shingles... or... maybe not. That might be vinyl cedar-shingle-look siding. It does look nice, though!
9643 hilliard rd pittsburgh pa sears walton
Now that's a lovely Walton!
9643 Hilliard Road, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 
9643 hilliard rd pittsburgh pa sears walton
The real estate listing says that the house was built in 1926.  That jives with the look of the porch railings, which match the 1925-and-later catalog images.
Bethlehem, PA: One day, while perusing real estate listings, I found another Walton in Pennsylvania, this one in Bethlehem.  And, we're in luck with this one! It has some interior photos to show off the great interior woodwork. Its build year is given as 1924, and its porch railing matches the one shown in my 1922 and 1924  catalogs. Click any of the images to make them larger. 
933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton
933 Pennsylvania Avenue, Bethlehem, PA
(All images courtesy of the Trulia listing, here.)
sears walton
From the 1922 catalog -- the 1924 uses the same image.
Here's the Walton's floor plan, to give you an idea of what you'll be seeing for the layout of the rooms in the interior views.
sears walton floor plan catalog
Sears Walton, 1925 catalog.
sears walton porch railings 1922 catalog
Nice comparison of the porch railings on the house, and on the catalog image. 
933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton
Spacious porch.
933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton

933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton

933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton

933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton

933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton

933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton
It looks like they chose the "Inverted 2-Panel Door" for the interior doors.
From the 1929 building materials catalog, available here,
on Archive.org.
933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton
Beautiful woodwork and wood floors throughout the house.
933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton

933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton
This is the front bedroom, with its window seat windows,
as shown in the catalog image of the floor plan.
933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton
Nice craftsman-style trim around even the small windows
(and there's that inverted 2-panel door, again).
933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton
I love when there is nice trim around even the bathroom window!
933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton
Two nice, big windows, with great trim, and nice wood floors. 
933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton
It's not often that we get to see the back of the Walton
933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton

933 pennsylvania avenue bethlehem pa sears walton

Of course, these last two homes are not officially authenticated. But, they match pretty well spot-on the look of the exterior and the interior of the Sears Walton

Hope you enjoyed the Sears Walton!


3 comments:

  1. The Walton is a nice looking model! I would say the two that were found but not authenticated are pretty spot-on for a Walton. There's several distinctive features and both have them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And, there isn't really a lookalike, that we know of (although the Wardway Dresden is close).

      Delete
  2. The house looks interesting and comfortably

    ReplyDelete

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