The Oscar Kiebel Farm

In an earlier Tidbit, I mentioned there were nine farms located on the Bertram Lakes property that were acquired, over time, by the Y.M.C.A.  One of the last that was purchased was located on the east side of Briarwood Avenue a quarter mile north of 90th Street, and was known as the Oscar Kiebel Farm.

The house itself has an interesting history because it was an early version of the “pre-fab” houses, although in today’s terms it really wasn’t.

80 to 90 years ago, Sears and other companies were creating what was referred to as “Railroad Houses”. There were several designs to choose from but the basic concept was the same.  All of the pieces of the house were pre-cut and marked to indicate what it was and where it went.  For example, boards were marked as joists, rafters, studs, etc., and were numbered to show their position.  A master plan showed where each board went and the carpenters or home owner simply followed the diagram.

At the factory after each house was cut and marked, it was packaged and sent by the railroad to the town nearest the final location of the home. In this case, it was shipped to the Monticello Railroad Depot to be picked up by the owner.

This house, in particular, served as the primary residence for the Oscar Kiebel family. This house is currently located near 90th Street, approximately one mile west of its original location.

CABIN 1995

Sears House in 1995

CABIN 2015

Sears House in 2015


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