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!
Close-up of the catalog image
Sears Sherburne in Decatur, IL
Sears Willard, as seen in a 1928 promotional ad
Sears Willard in Peoria, Illinois
The Sears Ivanhoe was one of their most magnificent homes.
And here it is, in Elmhurst, Illinois
The Bandon was not a popular house for Sears.
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
The Sears #264P202 in the flesh. This house is in Okawville, IL
From the Sears Modern Homes catalog, here's the Sears Glendale
Sears Glendale in Cairo, Illinois
Sears Gladstone from the Modern Homes catalog
A Sears Gladstone in Carbondale, Illinois
This Fullerton is in Aurora, Illinois
The Alhambra was a very popular model for Sears
An Alhambra in Casey, Illinois
The Sears Argyle was also a very popular house for Sears
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.