Home > Uncategorized > The Amazing Collection of Sears Homes - in the Midwest!

The Amazing Collection of Sears Homes - in the Midwest!

Sears Homes were kit homes that were sold right out of the pages of the Sears Roebuck catalog in the early 1900s. More than 370 designs of kit homes were offered - everything ranging from Arts and Crafts bungalows to foursquares to Colonial Revivals. These homes came in 30,000-piece kits and were shipped to all 48 states. Sears promised that a man of average abilities could have these homes assembled in about 90 days.

Today, the only way to find these kit homes is literally one by one. And that’s what I do. When I decided that Sears Homes would be my career, I endeavored to memorize each of those 370 designs of Sears Homes. Now I can drive the streets of small town America and find the Sears Homes - one by one.

Not surprisingly, the Midwest has an amazing collection of Sears Homes in particular and kit homes in general. Below are a few pictures of the kit homes I’ve found during my travels in the Midwest.

In addition to Sears, there were other companies that sold kit homes, including Aladdin, Gordon Van Tine, Montgomery Ward, Harris Brothers and more.

To read about an Illinois ghost town that once had many Sears Homes, click here.

Did you know Buster Keaton built a kit home? Learn more about that here.

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Interested in old murder mysteries? Click here to read about my Aunt Addie!

The Sears Sherburne was not a very popular house, but it was a beauty!

The Sears Sherburne was not a very popular house, but it was a beauty!

Close-up of the catalog image

Close-up of the catalog image

Sears Sherburne in Peoria, IL

Sears Sherburne in Decatur, IL

Sears Willard, as seen in a 1928 promotional ad

Sears Willard, as seen in a 1928 promotional ad

Sears Willard in Peoria, Illinois

Sears Willard in Peoria, Illinois

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The Sears Ivanhoe was one of thir most magnificent homes.

The Sears Ivanhoe was one of their most magnificent homes.

And here it is, in Elmhurst, Illinois

And here it is, in Elmhurst, Illinois

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The Bandon was not a popular house for Sears.

The Bandon was not a popular house for Sears.

The only Bandon Ive ever seen was in Pulaski, Illinois (near Cairo, at the southern most end of Illinois).

The only "Bandon" I've ever seen was in Pulaski, Illinois (near Cairo, at the southern most end of Illinois). This Bandon is a perfect match to the catalog picture.

A pre-WW1 Sears Home: Modern Home #264P202

A pre-WW1 Sears Home: Modern Home #264P202

The Sears #264P202 in the flesh. This house is in Okawville, IL

The Sears #264P202 in the flesh. This house is in Okawville, IL

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From the Sears Modern Homes catalog, heres the Sears Glendale

From the Sears Modern Homes catalog, here's the Sears Glendale

Sears Glendale in Cairo, Illinois

Sears Glendale in Cairo, Illinois

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Sears Gladstone from the Modern Homes catalog

Sears Gladstone from the Modern Homes catalog

A Sears Gladstone in Carbondale, Illinois

A Sears Gladstone in Carbondale, Illinois

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Sears Fullerton

Sears Fullerton

This Fullerton is in Aurora, Illinois

This Fullerton is in Aurora, Illinois

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The Alhambra was a very popular model for Sears

The Alhambra was a very popular model for Sears

An Alhambra in Casey, Illinois

An Alhambra in Casey, Illinois

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The Sears Argyle was also a very popular house for Sears

The Sears Argyle was also a very popular house for Sears

Heres a Sears Argyle in New Baden, Illinois.

Here's a Sears Argyle in New Baden, Illinois.

Below is a perfect little Crescent in Bloomington, Illinois. Every detail is perfect!

To buy Rose’s book, click here.

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To see more pictures of Sears Homes, click here.

  1. Barry Hames
    October 13th, 2010 at 09:41 | #1

    I live in Vancouver, BC and we are inundated with Sears homes. Today many are being preserved as heritage sites, while a whole collection of them in the city’s West End Have been converted to social housing. Over the years I have lived in two of them and I can attest to their comfort and incredible ambiance. You really must come up here and see them for yourself. The homes still remaining are all in immaculate condition.

    I don’t know the email for the Mole Hill Society, the social housing people, but you can probably Google it and find them. There’s sure to be some photos of buildings you will easily recognize.

    And finally, thank you for putting up this web page. I truly appreciate it.

  2. James
    October 14th, 2010 at 10:11 | #2

    I worked for American Exteriors, canvassing neighborhoods & we found a Sears home in Iowa City, IA. Wish I could remember the street, but it was magnificent.

  3. Mat
    October 28th, 2010 at 22:40 | #3

    If you ever happen through Grand Forks, ND make sure to drive down Fenton Ave. It has a solid block of Argyle-esque little sears houses in wonderful condition. There’s plenty more in our other older neighborhoods as well.

  4. Craig Matherne
    February 25th, 2011 at 21:26 | #4

    My buddy lives in an Avondale in Eunice La. (p.11,000)

    Rose’s reply: Send me a picture! I didn’t think there were many Sears Homes in Louisiana!

  5. Jhonny Young
    November 19th, 2012 at 14:17 | #5

    I live in Fort Wayne, IN and there are literally streets and streets of these type of homes. It would be much more than coincidence if they are not Sears homes. Broadway, Creighton, Fairfield and Rudisill surround a large example of these homes.

  6. Sonia Ramsey
    February 3rd, 2013 at 08:21 | #6

    I live in State College, Pennsylvania (I think not a state known for having a lot of Sears homes).

    Most of this little college town was build after 1955, but there are a few “core” neighborhoods here that were built between 1900-1940, including what I think are several of the Sears homes built during the depression years.

    It could be a place for you to research, if you haven’t already done so.

  7. February 3rd, 2013 at 11:27 | #7

    Please send me some photos! Send them to Rosemary.ringer@gmail.com.

    Looking forward to seeing some pictures!

    BTW, Pennsylvania is loaded with kit homes.

    Rose

  8. Liz Berg
    February 11th, 2013 at 22:38 | #8

    A lot of these homes looked familiar to me. I do believe that there are quite a few in Parkersburg, WV.

  9. Sam
    March 11th, 2013 at 23:58 | #9

    Hi, I was born and raised in Springfield, MO, and I have seen all of these homes multiple times. They’re all OVER the place there.

  10. Laurie
    January 2nd, 2014 at 20:25 | #10

    My friend has one for sale in Wayland Michigan such a cute home!

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