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The Sears Avondale - and There’s One Hiding in Greeley, Colorado!

Updated! To read the latest and see contemporary photos of the house, click here

There’s a Sears Avondale somewhere in Greeley, Colorado and that’s remarkable for two reasons.

One, Sears Homes aren’t that common in the “Far West” (as that area was known in the early 1900s), and two, of the 370 models offered by Sears Roebuck, the Avondale was one of their finest homes. The Avondale in Greeley was built by W. H. Senier, a member of one of the pioneer families of Greeley.

Scroll on down to see an actual photo (from 1916) of this Sears Avondale in Greeley.

To read more about Sears Homes, click here.

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Noothing like old photos

This photo first appeared in the 1912 Sears Modern Homes catalog. It's a great photo and you can see that - when built in 1910 or 1911, Mr. Senier's house had stained glass windows. This was an upgrade, and it's likely that the home's interior had some fancy upgrades as well.

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A clearer photo of the Avondale, from the 1919 Sears Modern Homes catalog

A clearer photo of the Avondale, from the 1919 Sears Modern Homes catalog

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This whouse

This "bungalow" was the Sears Avondale, replete with stained-glass windows.

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Nice inside, too.

Nice inside, too.

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And heres a real-life example in Effingham, IL.

And here's a real-life example in Effingham, IL.

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And one in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo is courtesy of Rachel Shoemaker, and can not be used or reproduced without written permission.)

And one in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo is courtesy of Rachel Shoemaker, and can not be used or reproduced without written permission.)

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The best of both worlds: Large antenna mounted on Sears Avondale in Litchfield, Illinois

And a very fine Avondale in Litchfield, Illinois.

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And a two-story Avondale in Elmhurst, Illinois. This was built as an Avondale (one-story) and enlarged in later years.  Thanks to Rebecca Hunter for showing me this house. I couldnt have found it on a bet.

And a two-story Avondale in Elmhurst, Illinois. This was built as an Avondale (one-story) and enlarged in later years. Thanks to Dr. Rebecca Hunter for finding this house and showing it to me. I would have never have found it on my own.

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Catalog picture of the Sears Avondale

Catalog picture of the Sears Avondale from 1919.

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And the Avon

The Avondale was a popular house for years. It's shown here in the 1910 catalog.


If you’ve any idea where our Greeley Avondale might be lurking, please leave a comment!

To learn more about how to identify kit homes, click here.

To read about the results of Addie’s autopsy, click here. (Addie’s sister - Anna Hoyt Whitmore - lived in Denver for 50 years.)

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  1. Cindy Catanzaro
    January 10th, 2012 at 09:59 | #1

    There’s an Avondale hiding here in my hometown of Springfield, Ohio, too, according to the 1920 catalog. The ones with the enclosed porches sure give it a different look. Those will help me in my search. Of course, if it’s had a second floor added I will never find it.

  2. Mark Hardin
    January 10th, 2012 at 11:14 | #2

    When I look for kit houses, I always look in the area of the railway lines first and work my way out from there. The older houses are often close to the rail lines. Most of these old towns grew up from the rail lines and expanded out as transportation methods improved.

  3. January 10th, 2012 at 11:32 | #3

    You’re exactly right, Mark. And I look for certain street names, such as tree names (Elm, Oak and Chestnut), names from the Great War (Pershing Street and Vimy Ridge) and pre-Great War presidential names (Roosevelt, Coolidge, Harding). Street names tell you a lot about when a neighborhood was developed.

    If you see curvilinear (curvy) streets and cul-de-sacs and girls’ names (Nancy Court), you’re in the wrong place!!

  4. Donna Bakke
    January 10th, 2012 at 21:35 | #4

    There’s one in Wyoming, Ohio too! I know, I know, Wyoming (Ohio) is the mecca of Sears kit homes!

  5. Sharon Van Meter
    July 25th, 2012 at 14:49 | #5

    My husband and I purchased an Avondale in about 6 years ago. It is located in Lewistown, Missouri and was originally built by my husband’s great grandfather in 1913. It was owned by the family until about 20 years ago. The majority of the woodwork and built ins are still intact and unpainted! The floor plan is very close to original. It is our plan to move it and bring it up to date as a retirement home. It looks exactly like the post card of the Avondale taken at the Illinois State Fair in 1910.

  6. Ryan
    August 9th, 2012 at 13:42 | #6

    I’m living in an Avondale located in Hagerstown, MD. Didn’t pay $2176 though!

  7. Janetta Schmidt
    October 21st, 2012 at 17:09 | #7

    My husband grew up in this unique home.

    We now own it 1910 Avondale #151.

    We just replaced all the windows in the home last year, but until they were all orginals. At one point about 20 years ago. When my mother in law owned the place. They had a tour of home from the Sears collection.

    Our was on the tour. I love this house and now that i see the original floor plans its so interesting..

  8. Rachel Shoemaker
    October 22nd, 2012 at 17:17 | #8

    I came across the Greeley Avondale owner’s name in a testimonial in one of my catalogs and could not find the house at all.

    I researched the owner like I always do and checked the addresses I found for him. I think it is gone and buildings are now in that area, if my memory serves me correctly.

  9. Lucy Austin
    November 5th, 2012 at 12:03 | #9

    I live in an Avondale in Coatesville, PA but it was built in 1906-07 - almost all original, only 3 windows replaced.

  10. Rachel Shoemaker
    November 5th, 2012 at 17:32 | #10

    It can’t be an Avondale then. The Avondale wasn’t offered until 1911. It made its big debut at the 1911 Illinois State Fair. You can find the postcards of it all the time. Sears didn’t even offer homes until 1908.

  11. Rachel
    December 3rd, 2012 at 12:04 | #11

    The Avondales with the second floor dormers, like the Greeley testimonial house for example, are probably #201’s aka the Hawthorne. What do you think?

    The Greeley house in particular, look at that wall below the eaves, it runs around the entire house.

    It raises the height of the house which I assume makes room for the second floor. The Avondale doesn’t have that.

  12. Rachel
    December 4th, 2012 at 01:38 | #12

    Rosemary, I’m back. I’m trying so hard to find that testimonial house above, the Hawthorne. And have been for awhile. HOWEVER, it is not in Greeley.

    That particular house was built by August M Schiller in West McHenry, Ill. according to his tetimony in the 1912 and 1913 catalogs. That same not quite finished house.

    So frustrating :(

    The only addresses I can find are “farm.”

    In 1920 the enumerator was at North Johnsburg Road and Wilmot Road in McHenry prior to his stop. I went to that area and looked around. It is still somewhat rural so maybe the house is still there.

    Then, there is an Avondale testimonial in 1913 for W. H. Senier of Greeley Co., I believe his name might be Winfred Howell.

    His house was also a farm. Once again no luck. I have been searching for it as well on more than one occasion. With this information, names and location, hopefully someone else can find them.

  13. Mark
    December 5th, 2012 at 05:42 | #13

    Rachel, I sent Rose a couple emails to pass on to you.

    Using the info you had I found an obituary for W. H. Senier of Greeley Co.

    The obituary states that he had a farm on the east side of Greeley at the end of 5th Street and 4th Street road. I believe strongly - based on the satellite views - that the house is there.

  14. Mark Hardin
    December 7th, 2012 at 07:43 | #14

    August M. Schiller’s farm was called “The Schiller View Farm”. He bought 93 acres on Lake McCullum in 1912. The House is facing the Lake at 4707 W Shore Dr. McHenry, IL 60050.

  15. Rachel
    December 7th, 2012 at 18:07 | #15

    I checked the assessor info. No photos :( http://www.mchenrytownship.com/property_search/property2012.cfm?pin=09-07-155-021
    Darn! Sometimes assessors have photos.

    You can get a good aerial view here http://www.mchenrycountygis.org/Athena/ enter the address or parcel number 09-07-155-021

    Thanks Mark! I have some others I should message you info for.

  16. Mark
    December 7th, 2012 at 22:19 | #16

    Rachel, the 4707 W. Shore Dr. address puts you at the mailbox when you search using Google. The real address may be 4702 but its hard to tell.

    I would be glad to share info with you.

    Ask Rose to give you my email address. I have found a couple other testimonial houses but I haven’t saved much of the info.

    If you let me know what you are looking for I may be able to point you to the house or tell you if I have looked for it before.
    I don’t know as much as you and Rose about the details of the houses or have the luxury of having the catalog images on hand.

    I rely on the pictures you and Rose share to do most of the searches. I love the old houses but I enjoy taking the trip back in time and finding out about the people that built the homes and their way of life just as much.

  17. Rachel
    December 8th, 2012 at 03:34 | #17

    @Rachel Shoemaker
    Correction! 1909 it appears, according to a postcard of the Avondale I have from the fair .
    I think HBM says 1911. :(

  18. Sarah
    December 30th, 2012 at 00:12 | #18

    The Avondale house IS still standing in Greeley, Co.

    I just went to look at it last week. The owners do not want the address to be published. The house is in quite a state of disrepair. There is no stained glass.

  19. sarah
    January 2nd, 2013 at 04:21 | #19

    I live in Greeley, just want to find out where it is though.

  20. January 3rd, 2013 at 11:23 | #20

    @sarah
    Sarah, the newspaper printed an article a few weeks ago. I posted the link here for you but my comment was not posted.

  21. January 3rd, 2013 at 16:32 | #21

    Rachel, I don’t know what happened to your comment. The only comments I don’t post are the ones filled with bad words or spam.

    I wish I knew what happened to your comment! :(

  22. sarah
    January 10th, 2013 at 04:14 | #23

    Thanks, I already read that article, it’s how I found out about the house.

    Can the other Sarah tell me the address or maybe the general direction by chance?

    I’m just really curious..

  23. January 11th, 2013 at 13:48 | #24

    @sarah
    It’s approximately 118 East 4th Street Road, back in an industrial area in a cul-de-sac. I never could peg and exact address. Not that I see in my notes anyway.

  24. sarah
    January 17th, 2013 at 16:17 | #25

    Awesome, thanks so much!

  25. Diane DeWitt Bockhausen
    October 10th, 2013 at 10:47 | #26

    We have an Avondale with some upgrades in Harrison Township, Michigan. 39285 Winkler. How do I post the pictures of our home?

  26. October 10th, 2013 at 12:50 | #27

    Diane, you should join us on Facebook and post some photos there! Just look for “Sears Homes.”

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