Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Startup of Wildwood Builders

2908 Shawnee Dr. Shawnee Place

Since the death of Judge Ninde, Joel and Lee were now free to sell lots from the Wildwood estate. Property was abundantly available.[i] Nationally the building trade was gaining momentum and the country was in an economic boom. [ii]Because of all these factors, the Ninde’s business skyrocketed Grace Crosby, architect was hired to collaborate and assist Joel in the design of houses.

The Nindes made a substantial profit with the sale of each house; however, their expenses were low because they didn’t have to purchase the land.

Lee Ninde utilized his time promoting and selling Joel and Grace’s house designs. Lee’s brother Dan’s role in the company involved negotiating and buying property. One of these land purchases was eventually developed into a neighborhood called Shawnee Place. These lots sold quickly at approximately $400 each because of Wildwood Builder’s established reputation for excellence.

 Within three years of the first sale, these same lots were selling for around $1,000 due to Wildwood Builder’s prestigious reputation. Upon completion of houses these properties sold for between $4,000 and $5,000 [iii]. Compared nationally, similar houses sold for twice that amount.
[i] Harold Lopshire, ARCH, interview by Corinne Toth, Friday, April 7, 1998. Judge Ninde died in 1902 leaving his estate to his three children, Daniel, Harry and Lee.[ii] Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, February 8, 1914, n.p. (ARCH files).[iii] The Wildwood Magazine, Autumn 1913, 14..

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