Sherman D. Wilson and Son was one of a handful of builders during the 1950s and 1960s building boom in Carmel. Sherman worked alongside his wife, Hilda, who served as a realtor for their firm, and his son, Thomas. Touted as “Builders and Developers,” Sherman D. Wilson and Son plotted the eastern half of Johnson Addition as early as 1955 and the western half in 1958.
Sherman D. Wilson and Son frequently advertised available lots and homes for sale in the local circular, the Carmel Booster. Advertisements for Johnson Addition appeared often during the late 1950s and align with most of the building activity in the development.
An advertisement for Johnson Addition from April 11, 1958 in the Carmel Booster highlighted the “concrete streets, city water and sewers,” with models costing $14,500. This same advertisement illustrated an early home in the development, with 4 bedrooms and a 1-car garage for $16,475.
A large majority of the homes in Johnson Addition date from 1959 and 1960, with the development predominately constructed by 1962. The development consists primarily of small, rectangular plan Ranch houses. Home developers during the 1950s and 1960s challenged to find ways to simplify home plans that met Federal Housing Administration (FHA) financing guidelines. FHA encouraged developers to build an entire neighborhood at once, so builders differentiated houses by rotating the house orientation, employing different roof forms, flipping plans, and using a variety of materials. The custom built homes by Sherman D. Wilson and Son feature similar designs, but may vary in placement of exterior building materials, roof shape, and garages. Wilson advertised charming house names for his standard plans, ranging from the Caroline, Harrison, Bently, Concordia, and Car-Mel.
After Wilson platted the second section in 1958, he advertised the affordability of a new home and the benefits of Johnson Addition’s location. This Carmel Booster advertisement from June 5, 1959 shows how Wilson worked to integrate both their real estate business with their construction of new homes, by offering to assist buyers in disposal of their “too-small home.”