Aladdin home for sale!
I am obsessed with old houses, and I watch constantly for signs going up in front of my favorites. I’ve spent the past four years studying early 20th century kit homes in Clawson, where I work at the historical museum, and was excited last year when this house went up for sale, since I knew a little of its history.
I didn’t buy it, but now, here is it again! It was built by Oswald M Fisher, who developed several Clawson properties during the 1920s, including the one that houses our historical museum.
Although the ad says the house was built in 1924, we have evidence it was ordered in 1919 from Aladdin Homes of Bay City, Michigan. I have a copy of the sales receipt, and a piece of the packing crate used to ship the parts of the home via rail.
A link to the new listing is here.
The 1919 sales catalog offered two models of the Georgia.
Aladdin was one of several companies that sold precut homes. The most well known was Sears, but at least seven companies got on the kit home band wagon during the 1920s. Aladdin was the earliest, beginning in 1908. Their archives can be found online at the Clarke Historical Library here.
One of the reasons I find this particular house so interesting is because of Mr. Fisher and his family. He emigrated from Canada in 1912 with his wife Deborah and young son, Ross. Within two years, he was able to buy five acres of land in Clawson, and set about subdividing it, putting in a road (Fisher Court), and building homes. Deborah gave a Christmas party for all the children in the village each year, and was recalled by some as “the lady with all the diamonds.” They eventually had three children, and moved Oswald’s parents and adult sisters to Clawson. By 1924, they had moved on to Florida, presumably to get involved in the land boom there, although census records list him as a citrus grower. He must have done well for himself, since his oldest son, Ross, attended several prestigious colleges. Tragically, Ross died of pneumonia at the age of 24. I haven’t been able to trace either of his other two children.
If you want more information on kit homes, you can visit the Clawson Historical Society website (click here) for a small gallery of homes, or contact me at the museum. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope you enjoy the history!