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“The Betsy Ross,” by Sears

Of the 370 models that Sears offered, 107 Sears Homes were named after cities in Illinois. A few others were named after famous figures in American history, such as the Martha Washington and the Betsy Ross.

The Martha Washington was a massive two-story Dutch Colonial. The Betsy Ross was a diminutive bungalow with a single bedroom. Seems a little unfair for a widow woman who joined the “Fighting Quakers” and made our first flag during the American Revolutionary War.

In 1928, the Betsy Ross was an “Honor Bilt” home, but in prior years, it was a “Standard Bilt” house, meaning it not an especially sturdy house. To learn more about the differences between Honor-Bilt and Standard Bilt, click here.

The fact that it was offered for years as a Standard Bilt house may explain why it’s such a rare model. Standard Bilt homes were not likely to survive these many decades.

In my travels, I’ve only seen two examples of the Betsy Ross: One in Elgin (which Rebecca Hunter found), and one in Effingham, Illinois.

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

To learn how to identify Sears Homes, click here.

1928 Betsy

The Betsy Ross was a pretty modest little house, and as built, had only one bedroom (with a closet-less dining room that could be used as a second bedroom).

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Betsy Ross

Betsy Ross had a fairly complicated floorplan for such a little house. The dining room is oddly positioned for a "dining room." As a second bedroom, it made much more sense.

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house

Notice the cut-out shutters (with clover leaf) and details on the front porch gable.

Elgin, IL

Rebecca Hunter has authenticated this Betsy Ross in Elgin, Illinois. Notice the "spokes" in the front porch gable. This porch has gable returns, while the original Betsy Ross does not, and yet this house (in Elgin) is most certainly the real deal. Notice also the original shutters and flower boxes.

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Betsy Ross

Betsy Ross- the details

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To learn how to identify Sears Homes, click here.

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  1. Jessica
    September 21st, 2012 at 21:55 | #1

    I also have a Betsy Ross. Eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA. Original wood siding and shutters as well, but mine have a chalice shape cut-out.

  2. Jackie
    October 16th, 2012 at 00:29 | #2

    We also have a Betsy Ross in Southeast Michigan.

    Original floors, fireplace, flower boxes, woodwork, bath tub, windows and doors! I have found the kit number written on the joists in the basement and the previous owner found stamps.

    We have truly been enjoying learning all about it!

  3. Debbie & Tim
    March 16th, 2013 at 21:40 | #3

    We too have a Betsy Ross home in Phillipsburg, NJ.

    We bought the home almost 16 years ago from the son of the man who built her. We have the original blue prints for the house and garage too.

    She is a real cutie and we love her!

  4. October 17th, 2018 at 15:06 | #4

    I have a Betsy Ross in Elgin, IL. We are working on restoring what we can as the previous owner did renovations in bad taste. Does anyone have a picture of the Fireplace in their Betsy Ross??

  5. Kelly
    January 7th, 2019 at 18:51 | #5

    We also have a Betsy Ross in Sandy Hook, CT. It is one of three buildings on our lot.

    We have our main home and use the Betsy Ross for my office. We have kept the integrity of the exterior but have remodeled the interior structurally and to configure my office space.

    It is a joy to tell clients and friends the history of our Betsy Ross. The exterior is original and still has the clove shutters, window flower boxes, front porch (with tree branch post & railings), and the decorative medal cap on the top of the hip roof.

    Since we live on a lake, a rap around enclosed 3 season porch was added. It has a full block foundation and a warm air furnace. It does not have a fireplace but has a wood burning stove. Thank you all for sharing!

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