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Tales from the old-timer

A Sears Roebuck House

Believe it or not, this old house, now located alongside US 141 in the City of Niagara at the far north end of Marinette County, was built back in the 1920’s from a kit sold through the Sears Catalog by mail order. Grandpa George Mogan, whose ancestors had come from Ireland, was a foreman on a railroad section gang, worked for the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad out of Channing, Mich., a village about 20 miles north of Iron Mountain, MI. Grandpa was well enough financially to send for a kit to build this house just outside of Channing. He also did a little marginal farming on his land, and they had a few chickens and a pig or two. The lumber and other elements of the mail order house arrived in Channing via the Milwaukee Road long, long ago.

Along came the Depression in 1929 along with the TB bug, which forced his placement in a TB sanatorium in Powers, MI., and with the discontinuance of family income, naturally. Grandma Mogan may have lost the house and did a lot of shuttling back and forth with her married children, and eventually acquired a tiny house, too. Grandpa Mogan died about 1933.

I imagine the house shown in the photo may have been lost, maybe repossessed by the State of Michigan for non-payment of real estate taxes. The new owners moved the house the 20 miles or so to Niagara, and it is located on the right side of US 141 where the highway climbs a hill on its way to the bridge over the Menominee River into Michigan and then north, ultimately reaching Ontonagan on Lake Superior.


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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