I wish life was still simple enough to write someone and address it only as:
Mrs Will Larson
Great photo, thanks Jay.
Craig, in about 1953 my parents received a greeting card addressed simply to Glenn and Alene, Lithia, Fla. The mail carrier had known both my parents since they were kids so delivery was no problem. Ain't happening these days.
That house is a mirror image of the farm house on the old homestead in Pennsylvania. My Father-in-Laws Grandfather received a grant of 65 acres for fighting in the Civil War and started a farm and his house looked identical to that one. The back room on the house was the "summer kitchen" where they cooked during the summer to keep the heat out of the rest of the house. We also would use the out kitchen to render lard.
That might be a "Kit House" so your family's house could have been identical.
That house looks just like the home I grew up in.
I've work in construction most of my life and on one project we did restore a Sears "kit home". An old gentlemen came over to the house that we had gutted and told us he remembered as a young boy how the horse and wagons delivered the house from the rail yard. An old maid school teacher had ordered it from Sears. What was amazing was that all the studs were numbered and some of the fixtures were still being used including an old side arm water heater. We found lead pipes still hooked to the plumbing.
I don't believe the homestead was a kit home because it was built in 1866 and Sears didn't start into business until 1893.
Hmm, could be Dennis, although others sold Kit Homes. I was thinking it was because of the windows and the fancy columns on the porch. But even then, a lot of homes were built to mail-order plans too.
That's a typical/average Minnesota farmhouse from the era.
I highly doubt it was a kit.
If they actually used plans, they were most likely purchased from the the local lumber yard.
Mail-order house plans for homes designed for urban living with small kitchens and front lawns with front walks would typically not be practical for the average farm family.
For farmhouses, the kitchen was the most important part of the house due to all the activity and work that was done there in addition to food preparation. A porch off the kitchen door was also important. Folks typically entered and exited the home via the kitchen door, not the front door. In Minnesota, the kitchen was also the warmest part of the house during the winter.
Front parlors were reserved for special occasions and for a majority of the time were unused. On Minnesota farms, many times the furniture was covered and they were closed off during the winter.
Great pic Jay! Kit or no kit, this is a cool looking house. Would so love to go back in time and spend time with the family in it. Learn its history. Smell the smells. Listen to the laughter, cry with pain. If only the couple on the porch had any idea the gorgeous car, that they no doubt are so proud of, would/could become worth $30-$40K someday they wouldn't believe it for a minute!
I was born when we lived on a farm in Wisconsin.
We left there when I was five. I do not remember going in or out the front door more than a few times. I do not remember anybody that came to visit coming in the front door. We pretty much lived in the kitchen and dining room.
The next place we lived in until I was 17.
We never went in the front door when we came home or left out the front door, it was right by the driveway so most visitors came up on the porch and knocked or came in the front door. We mostly spent time in the dining room and kitchen until we got a TV in 1951.
The last farm my folks had until '84 had the front door facing the highway that went by.
Folks would have to walk half way around the house to use that door. NOBODY ever came or left through the front door.
I see old, old houses in Oakland that have a front door that would be very unhandy to use. Usually they use a kitchen/dining room combination room door to enter and chit chit etc.
I think that was the norm until after WW2.
Even then houses were built with the kitchen door closest to the garage.
Right now I can't even use my front door, my 'temporary" winter workbench blocks it. Doesn't matter, we don't get many visitors and the kitchen door is by the car parking area.
Some things don't change!
Almost all of the "old" farmhouses around here use the back door as a rule. Some of them have even had the front door closed off, as they haven't been used in over 50 years. Dave
Configurations vary but the principal is the same. Our farmhouse has two front doors. On the side closest to the barn is the kitchen and that would have been for daily work traffic (still the primary one we use today). On the other is the formal room for receiving guests for dinner and such. Seems odd as there's only three feet between them, but it's a very common layout for houses of this era in the region.