Left PanelMail Order Houses
Buildings ordered from Sears, Roebuck and Company came as a complete set of pre-cut lumber for assembly on-site. The company's "Honor-Bilt" system allowed buyers to erect homes at relatively low cost. People could select from a variety of standard floor plans or develop their own custom plan. Outbuildings, furnaces, and interior features were also available. Mail order houses are found in many communities across the United States. They remained popular until the 1930's when economic depression reduced consumer demand.Center Panel
This house was ordered by mail and delivered in pieces by railroad to Delaware City and then brought to Port Penn by wagon. Houses could be ordered from Sears, Roebuck and Company, Montgomery Ward, and other sources. During the growth of mass manufacturing and the mail order business during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, purchasing a home by this method often proved less expensive than using local designers and construction. This house was erected around 1915.
Unlike most dwellings in Port Penn that would be considered typical of the era, the design details of the Hubbs House add to its aesthetic appearance. While working and middle class families were mainly concerned with the cost and function of a house, this home's original owners, the Quillen family, could afford to add details not common on other homes in the village. For example, the second story overhang sometimes called a "Dutch porch," emphasizes the height of the house and is sometimes considered a statement of status or wealth.Photo and Caption
The Hubbs House as it appeared in the 1920's. The property was purchased by the Division of Parks and Recreation from L. Thelma Quillen Hubbs in 1995.