The Garlinghouse Company, founded by home builder Lewis F. Garlinghouse, has been providing stock house plans for new home construction since before World War I. For over 100 years, the wildly-popular Garlinghouse construction blueprints have been used to build homes more than any other source in the world. You may be living in a Garlinghouse home right now!
In 1950, Harrison Foster Barns finished building his family home using what is now a vintage blueprint: Garlinghouse Home Plan No. 6625. His story is shared by his daughter Sydney (Barns) Shepherd.
Sydney wrote the following on May 15, 2020:
It is interesting that something as awful as a world-wide pandemic can inspire one to stop and count their blessings. I have wanted to share the story of my parents’ home with your company for several years.
I left my home in Kansas City in mid-March to work remotely and shelter in place with my dad. Because of these two opportunities that were products of the Covid19 pandemic, I am finally getting that done.
When my dad, Harrison Foster Barns, was released from active duty with the US Army after World War II, he returned to Dodge City, Kansas, to live with my mother in her parents’ house in a basement apartment.
My dad was employed by Scheufler Supply Company in Dodge City, which is where he worked during high school and junior college before leaving for the service.
Within a few years, he and my mother bought a double lot on the north end of town, just inside the city limits, which was to be the site of their future home. There was no development beyond that point, just prairie.
My dad bought a building that was one of the barracks at the Air Base on the west side of Dodge City. He disassembled the building and moved the wood to his property at 1915 6th Avenue.
He bought the blue prints for Plan No. 6625 from Garlinghouse Plan Service in Topeka Kansas and began to build the home he still lives in today.
He hired someone to dig the basement and foundation and build the roof. With the help of friends and family, he built the entire house. He did this after he left work at 5 PM and on weekends.
The foundation is made of solid concrete blocks that my dad and uncle made, one at a time with an electric cement mixer and block maker. The blocks are so hard that they have provided a rock-solid foundation that never has leaked and defies drilling by utility workers.
My mother painted the interior and did the decorating, and in the fall of 1950, my parents hosted the wedding reception for my mother’s sister and her husband in their new home.
I was not even two years old when they moved in, so this is the place I will always consider “home.”
I thought you would like to know that the design of this Garlinghouse home plan has made it possible for my dad to live comfortably by himself with very little assistance all these years.
He will celebrate his 99th birthday on August 19th. He says he is going for 100. He is a man of his word, so I believe he certainly will. We will renegotiate once he makes it there.
I hope you understand how much it means to me that my dad can continue to be in the place he loves and how grateful I am for his Garlinghouse.