Altered Examples of the Mayflower / Mount Vernon / Cabot / Stratford

Recently I spotted two more examples of a popular mail order house by the Gordon-Van Tine Company and also marketed through Montgomery Ward.  Called the “Cabot” and “Stratford” in different years by Gordon-Van Tine and the “Mayflower” or “Mount Vernon” by Montgomery Ward, these houses can be found throughout the country, though most have been altered over the years.

First, let’s start with an illustration from Montgomery Ward c. 1930 to show what the house was supposed to look like:


A Wardway advertisement c. 1930.



After roughly 80 years, this example has seen changes including replacement windows and door, replacement porch supports and vinyl siding.


This version appears to be a knock-off by a competitor as there are subtle differences in the proportion of the porch and windows.  This house has been altered with replacement windows, replacement door with sidelights and vinyl siding.


This house retains its original integrity as built.  The plan was marketed as the “Mayflower” and “Mount Vernon” by Wardway (Montgomery Ward’s answer to Sears’ houses) and the “Cabot” and “Stratford” by Gordon-Van Tine (which supplied Montgomery Ward with their kit houses).



6 Responses to Altered Examples of the Mayflower / Mount Vernon / Cabot / Stratford

  1. Very neat. It’s amazing how the last house has retained even the dentil blocks, as it doesn’t appear to be fastidiously maintained, as evidenced by the shabby replacement porch railings and cheap paint job covering all the way down onto the foundation. At least it doesn’t have ugly vinyl siding and pork-chop soffits added to the pediment. With some minor clean-up, it would look better than the modified ones.

    • Many historic preservationists have noted that the Great Depression of the 1930’s actually helped to save many historic structures. When people don’t have the money or inclination to “keep up with the Joneses”, houses have a much better chance of surviving intact! Our current economy may have a similar contribution in some areas of the country. Your term “pork-chop soffits” is a winner!

      • That is a good point. I’ve also noticed that homes in small-town and rural midwest seem to have fared better than those in prosperous urban centers. There are a surprising number of unmolested Victorians in Iowa, and many less in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. I imagine that more conservative tastes and less connection to the current trends and fashions in days before widespread digital media may have contributed as well.

  2. Hi, I agree with you that #2 has some problems. 🙂 If you’d like to send me the addresses to numbers 1 and 3, I will be happy to add them to the national database of GVT/Wards houses.

    Sears Homes of Chicagoland

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