The Sears Bandon is a rare bird indeed. The only one I’ve ever found was in Pulaski, Illinois, not far from the Sears Lumber Mill in Cairo, Illinois. That mill was the site of a 40-acre mill where Sears created and produced up to 250 pre-cut kit homes per month. It was a tremendous operation with more than 100 employees at its peak, and 20 acres of outbuildings.
It was also the site of “The Experiment.” Click here to see the only remnant of the Sears Mill in Cairo.
In 2001, whilst doing research on Sears Homes at the Cairo Public Library, I stumbled across a little item in their vertical file about a Sears Bandon built in nearby Pulaski. Later that day, I hopped into the car and drove out to Pulaski and found my Bandon on the main drag through town. It was perfect in every way.
In March 2010, when I traveled to Illinois to do research for my newest book (”The Sears Homes of Illinois“), I went back to Pulaski to get newer/better photos. While standing on this main drag in this tiny town, I had three people stop and ask me if I needed help.
Speaking as a former long-time resident of Illinois, I don’t miss those long, cold Illinois winters, but I surely do miss the kind, generous, hard-working folks of small-town Midwestern America. They’re truly the crème de la crème of our country.
Below is the information I found in the vertical files at the Cairo Public Library;
The house (identified specifically as the Sears Bandon) was built in 1921. According to this document, the lumber for this kit home was shipped from the Sears mill in Cairo. It gave the following costs:
Cost of The Bandon $2794.00
Plaster (extra) $133.00
Material to finish attic rooms $241.00
Complete hot water heating system $403.66
Wire and light fixtures $133.66
Labor for carpenter (including masonry work) $1600.00
This document also stated that, in 1924, a Sears Cyclone Barn (shipped from Cairo, IL) was built on the property. The kit barn cost $943.00.
Is there a Sears Home in your neck of the woods? Please send photos to Magnolia2047@gmail.com.
Enjoy the photos!
The Sears Bandon was a beauty, but why wasn't it more popular? I've only seen one - ever - and that was just outside of Cairo, Illinois (image is from 1921 catalog).
It had a very busy floor plan, and it's the only house I've ever seen with a "dining porch." This room - which jutted out from the rest of the house - had ventilation on three sides, and seven windows.
Close-up of the floorplan shows how busy this house is! Look at the kitchen! The ice box was in the staircase landing. And the kitchen was oh-so tiny!
And it was a fine-looking house!
And here is the real-life beauty in Pulaski!
Nice, isn't it? :)
The 1921 catalog image included this thumbnail from straight--on.
Pretty, pretty house! While southern Illinois does have some of the nicest people, it also some of the worst, mean, loud and scary-looking dogs! These dogs never did stop barking!
The Sears Bandon is perfect in every way!
It's perfect! Down to the details!!
And it's in a beautiful, bucolic setting!
From this angle, you can get a better view of the Dining Porch.
As a nice bonus, the old barn (built 1924) is still standing, and in beautiful condition.
The Cyclone Barn was a very popular item for Sears (shown here in the 1920 catalog).
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To learn more about how to identify these homes, click here.
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