Readers’ Comments


  1. marty mann
    July 16th, 2011 at 14:58 | #1

    We have a 1926 Sears bungalow for sale in Ellicott City, Md. The model is the La Salle. We have been told it is the most historically intact Sears house in Howard County with many original fixtures, and built -ins. It is changed only in that is was originally a 2 family house and is now a one family.

    If anyone is interested in this house on an acre of land they can go Realtor.com and find it!

    Marty Mann

  2. August 5th, 2011 at 12:33 | #2

    Wow, love your site! I rented two houses that were exactly the same in a small Ohio town during college and fell in love with the style. I always wondered why there are so many of this style around the Midwest in particular - which I now believe to be Sears Glendale. Question: did builders copy these styles, and so could those houses have NOT been Sears kit homes? Or, did Sears copy popular home designs of the time?

    My other question is, do you think Sears could ever revive this business, and if so, what would the kits be worth today?

  3. August 7th, 2011 at 12:10 | #3

    I just wanted to tell you that in Marshfield, Wisconsin there is a home which I’ve stayed in several times while my husband was in the hospital. The lady would rent out rooms while you were visiting family. It’s not far from the hospital but I don’t remember the street. The lady might have passed on as it’s been about 10 years now. Enjoyed the article. Thanks.

  4. Stephani Franklin
    August 10th, 2011 at 22:42 | #4

    My husband and I are reviving a farmhouse in Conway County, AR. As a result of our investigations, we have determined the house was built in 1909, and one of the oldtimers insists that the plans and materials were ordered from Montgomery Ward and delivered to the Morrilton rail road station, 15 miles away. It is a four room square house, 1024 sq ft, with a pyramidal corrugated metal roof and a porch that wraps on two sides. It is built completely of pine, including the beaded board paneling on the walls and ceiling. As of yet we have not observed any markings on any of the components. Could this possibly be an early MW? I can send photos. Any suggestions on how we might determine its provenance would be appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Stephanie Frankin

  5. Sarah M
    August 13th, 2011 at 16:57 | #5

    I love your books and your website! I moved to the Town of Tonawanda, NY last year and a few people have said that my 1928 house is a Sears but I know that it is not. (and I know that it isn’t a Bennett Home out of North Tonawanda, it is actually closest to the Sterling Vernon style from 1917). I am actually writing because I passed a wonderful Alhambra on River Road in Niagara Falls, Ont. It is a Bed and Breakfast called River Road Manor. Here is the website.

    http://www.riverroadmanor.com/River%20Road%20Manor/Welcome.html

    So, next time you visit Niagara Falls, you know where to stay!

    Sarah

    Rose’s Reply: Wow, Sarah that house in Niagara Falls, Ontario is a beauty! I wonder if they know it’s a Sears Home? What a treasure!! Thanks for your note!

  6. John Lowe
    August 17th, 2011 at 08:56 | #6

    http://usahomeandgarden.com/architecture/sears-homes/sears-homes.html

    I have been following Sears Homes since the earlly 90s. My wife and I lived in one in 1954.

    The town we live in now was built during the oil boom in Oklahoma and has many Sears and I imagine other mail order homes. Enjoy these other Web Sites. One has links to the different sites with photos of the 5 basic time periods between 1908 and 1940.

  7. August 18th, 2011 at 11:57 | #7

    Friends of mine own a 1950s-era Sears home in Highland Park, IL. His great aunt and uncle built the home and it’s still in the family today. They even have the original advertisement featuring the rendering of the home and a few vintage photos as well.

    It’s a charming Cape Cod style home, still with the original wooden siding.

  8. Marian Clark
    August 20th, 2011 at 22:06 | #8

    @John Lowe
    I am a guardian at Tulsa Historical Society. Two of us are researching Tulsa (and surrounding) Sears homes. Any information you could share would be appreciated.

  9. Cliff Cooper
    August 21st, 2011 at 15:03 | #9

    Purchased a foreclosed home in Chelsea, Ok in 2006. Was told by locals it came from Montgomery Ward. 2700′ two story, can email some photos. Planning to sell within next year. Interested to know origin of home.
    Thanks

  10. August 29th, 2011 at 17:57 | #10

    I am the Realtor who is selling the Sear Home - Magnolia Style in Piedmont Alabama. It has been listed with the Alabama Historical Registry as the Fain-Webb House. Partially renovated with a beautiful fireplace, formal dining room and sunroom. The wonderful foyer is accented by a gorgeous staircase. This would make for a stunning home or bed and breakfast. Close to Chief Ladiga Trail. The Address is 311 N. Center Ave, Piedmont AL

    http://www.birminghamidx.com/listing.php?sid=1096938&mls=509721&site_id=5715&page_current=1

  11. john womeldorf
    August 29th, 2011 at 20:12 | #11
  12. August 30th, 2011 at 12:57 | #12

    Nope. Don’t recognize it to be a Sears Home.

  13. Mary
    September 13th, 2011 at 21:10 | #13

    Hi, My father sold Sears homes before World War II. He loved the business and could recognize a Sears home no matter what modifications had been made to it! Love your website. Mary

  14. Dawn Ricketts
    September 14th, 2011 at 19:12 | #14

    My parents had a Jim Walter’s home built in 1977. It was the ‘Madison’ model. I loved living there and I am preparing to move back into it and remodel it! I have a good picture of it, I’m just not sure how to send it to you. Thanks! Dawn

  15. Jane H.
    September 19th, 2011 at 08:46 | #15

    Anyone looking for window sashes with the original glass from a Sears house can contact me. DH says we need new ones.

  16. Mandie Brewer
    November 5th, 2011 at 17:13 | #16

    Dear Addie, it may have taken people over 100 years to try to solve your death but they are all here for you now. Although without your decision to make and send that photo album, and then to choose to include that haunting photo of yourself and what he had done to you, none of this would be happening.

    Your murder would have been forever covered up. How hard it must of been to look at yourself in that photo, and what fear you must have been feeling. I hope your courage can inspire others in this modern time suffering the same fate to get help.

    You dear Addie were a brave woman. Hopefully your case will be solved swiftly, and you can be laid to rest with the love and respect you deserve as it is long overdue. ♥

  17. Paige
    November 8th, 2011 at 15:12 | #17

    I was wondering if you could help me in figuring out if my home was a kit home or not.
    Here are some details/images

    It was built in 1923 in Cincinnati Ohio
    front
    http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5230/5686643407_34558c56dc.jpg
    molding around all doors, windows, and pass through s
    http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6003/5991827526_b35357dc23.jpg
    rear door and door knob
    http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6021/5948204208_9e3c29a2f5.jpg
    built in pantry
    http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6021/5947683359_f8060813fb.jpg
    rough layout
    http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lj21lvHi9G1qi0vu8o1_500.png

  18. November 8th, 2011 at 16:41 | #18

    @Paige
    Nope, doesn’t look like a kit home to me! Sorry I couldn’t offer better news!

  19. Brad
    November 13th, 2011 at 00:24 | #19

    Hi! I’m wondering if you have any Sears homes documented in Warren, Illinois (in Jo Daviess county). The house I grew up in, and where my parents live, was a Sears home by everything we had ever been told. My wife and I are trying to determine the model, etc. to put together some old advertisements, brochures, etc….

    Thanks!

  20. Ricardo
    November 22nd, 2011 at 23:47 | #20

    I was told by my neighbor that the house I purchased in 2009, is a Sears kit home. What’s the best way to identify the history. It is listed as a 1926 colonial and resembles some images I found online of the Verona, the Puritan, or Martha Washington. Are there any distinguishing marks I can start looking for before I start investigating my local city hall records? Thanks for any info you can offer.

    Rose’s reply: Send me a photo. You can send it to thorntonrose@hotmail.com.

  21. Shawn
    December 2nd, 2011 at 15:29 | #21

    This is a Sears home, and it is a beauty to see. It is located in my hometown of Kaplan, La.

    http://www.kaplantoday.com/view/full_story/15867244/article-Kaplan-family-living-in-a-100-year-old-Sears-built-home?

  22. December 2nd, 2011 at 15:34 | #22

    @Shawn
    I took a look at that photo. I don’t think that’s a Sears House!

  23. Catarina Bannier
    December 6th, 2011 at 21:38 | #23

    Hi Rose,

    I am a big fan of your books and thrilled to contact you now! I’m a real estate agent in Washington DC. At a listing appointment last week, our potential seller mentioned she was told her home was a kit home. She knew it wasn’t SEARS but didn’t remember anything else. I now believe to have identified the house as a Lewis Cheltenham, with very little alteration in the past 90 years. Would love to send you some pictures. Also, how can I find out if there are (known) others of this model, in the DC area or elsewhere? Do you now of anybody who maintains a list of Lewis homes and/or might be interested in knowing about it?

    Thanks so much,
    Catarina

  24. E. Renz
    December 13th, 2011 at 19:48 | #24

    I am watching a television special on Sears Kit Homes. I was a drywall contractor in Rye, New York and worked on a home remodel back in the 1970s next to Playland Amusement Park. This street had small cottage homes. When replacing a ceiling we pulled some old material off with a Sears Roebuck label stating it was “PlasterBoard” or “PlasterRock”and a patent which I remember as being dated 1919. Upon further investigation we were told it was originally a Sears Kit Home. Just in case anyone is still looking for historic Sears Homes, I bet this neighborhood would provide more than just this one. Interestingly, two decades later I worked for 15 years for Sears in their commercial division providing appliances to the new home and remodel market in Florida during another construction boom. Rose Thornton should feel free to contact me for more information regarding this area of the country if she is not already aware of it.

  25. MAG
    December 23rd, 2011 at 16:57 | #25

    I have some similar interests -Sears homes and correcting family history. I was wondering how to contact you directly. Would there be any interest in some guest posts on either topic? Or maybe a separate blog to crusade for correcting family history?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

  26. Nicole
    January 5th, 2012 at 22:23 | #26

    @E. Renz
    I am a big fan of kit homes in the NY area would you tell me where the block of bungalows are? I would love to go photograph them. I have found homes in Hastinds, Dobbs, Tarrytown , assigning and Yonkers .
    Thanks,
    Nicole

  27. Kim Wolf
    January 7th, 2012 at 16:54 | #27

    My husband and I own what we believe to be the original Aladdin Villa in Bay City, MI and are interested in visiting the handful of others that were built. We have the address of one in Lorraine, OH, but would appreciate any specific information you have on other locations (including Atlanta).

    Best regards,
    Kim

  28. Rita W
    January 11th, 2012 at 16:25 | #28

    Rosemary … have you seen the Magnolia (Sears?) in Como, Mississippi. I don’t see it mentioned on your Magnolia page. Here’s the link:

    http://southernmemoriesandupdates.com/2011/mississippi/was-most-magnificent-home-in-como-a-sears-roebuck-mail-order-mansion/

    Rose’s reply: Yes Rita, someone else sent me that. It is most definitely not a Magnolia. Wish I knew how these rumors got started. :(

  29. taylor
    March 5th, 2012 at 20:41 | #29

    Hi, I was wondering if you knew what home this was. I’ve been searching the internet for the past couple of hours and am getting discouraged. It’s completely gutted inside and my girlfriend and I were maybe thinking about fixing it up. I was wondering what it should or did originally look like. Thank you.
    http://imgur.com/h4sQk

  30. Charlotte Carver
    March 6th, 2012 at 22:10 | #30

    My great grandparents home in Butler, IL was a Sears Home. I recreated it in Second Life (3D virtual model). Here is a link to a quick video tour of it http://youtu.be/gTe0fFN4_hQ . Hope you enjoy!

  31. Mary
    March 28th, 2012 at 22:39 | #31

    I am 14 and have done a national history day exhibit on kit homes and how they revolutionized home building. I won second place in the Junior Exhibit category and will be going to the Florida state competition in May. I am focusing on how kit home brought together numerous advances in construction methods and materials which are still being used today. Would it be possible to interview you by email and include you in my exhibit?

    Thank you very much!

  32. Jillian
    April 4th, 2012 at 01:59 | #32

    I suspected that my home in Selah, WA was a Sears home. The assessor’s records stated the home was built prior to 1930. The house was not in good condition when I purchased it almost two years ago. Some projects needed a contractor. This week my contractor removed the old vinyl siding to install hardy board. The exterior immediately stepped back in time revealing what certainly appeared to be the Rodessa model. The floor plan matched already but the new reveal confirmed my suspicions. Pretty cool.

    I suspect the other homes in my neighborhood could also be Sears homes. Since I purchased the home others have been purchased and the owners working hard to fix these neglected homes up.

  33. Andrew Mutch
    April 9th, 2012 at 11:32 | #33

    I spotted what I’m sure is a Hamilton in the Miller Beach area of Gary, IN. I was riding the Amtrak train from Chicago so I only glimpsed in for a few seconds. But since I own a Hamilton, I am pretty sure that it is one. Here’s the view from street side (house on the right). The porch has been enclosed. But otherwise, the roof line and windows that are visible on this side and the 3rd Ave side are a match for a Hamilton. If anyone is from the area, it shouldn’t be hard to find.

    http://g.co/maps/ebz2h

  34. Richard Bates
    May 1st, 2012 at 18:06 | #34

    I live in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, 15 miles up the Ohio River from Pittsburgh and I was recently told that I may have just purchased a Sears Kit home. (It may be that the person who said this is saying Sears to include all sorts of pre-fab homes, too.) Would you be interested in looking at a picture or two and telling me if this might be a kit home?

    I love your site.

  35. May 1st, 2012 at 18:39 | #35

    Absolutely!! Send me a photo!!!

  36. David VanNostrand
    May 11th, 2012 at 17:49 | #36

    I currently live in Bay City Michigan which was home to the Aladdin, and Lewis companies. The street block I live on was Aladdin’s showroom. The president of the Aladdin company lived a few houses down from me and our block has several examples of the houses they sold. The research I’ve done shows that we live in a Lewis House.

  37. May 12th, 2012 at 09:32 | #37

    I found your blog while researching Sears homes and I’m really impressed! I recently discovered that our neighborhood has at least four confirmed Sears homes, including a tiny one that is just 680-ish square feet!

    After wandering around the neighborhood a bit more, I suspect that there are in fact many more kit-built homes in this neighborhood and was wondering if you would like me to link you to some photos of the homes, to see what you think.

    I live in what is now the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia (near Washington DC), though at the time most of the houses were built, the area was known as the town of Potomac, Virginia. Would you be interested in seeing some photos of the neighborhood to see if you can ID anything?

  38. Joshua Dittmer
    May 14th, 2012 at 07:58 | #38

    Rose - Any idea where I could get a reproduction of the Aladdin Shadowland print ad?

  39. May 14th, 2012 at 08:23 | #39

    Check your email!! :)

  40. Jill Barber
    May 17th, 2012 at 23:01 | #40

    My grandmother still lives in the kit house she and my grandfather built in southern Ohio after he got back from WWII. I thought it was a Sears, but it sounds like those were only available until 1940. They built the house in 1952, if I remember correctly. I know she still has the instruction book, I will have to check it out when I visit. I hope I can see your talk this Saturday in Raleigh!

  41. Kathrine Gathro
    May 20th, 2012 at 09:58 | #41

    Hello. I live in Arlington, VA, and I have been trying to trace my Sears house and can’t seem to find it. It seems closest to an Aladdin or maybe a Winona 12010B. We are the second owners of this wonderful bungalow and the lady we bought it from in 1983 said that they built it in 1937. It was a 6 room, 3 on each side, (with the dining room bay) and with a bath along the back. It had a full basement which had been a side entry garage as it was built into a sloping piece of property. It also had a rough, walk-up attic where you could only stand up straight at the center as it was gabled in the front and one slanted plane in the back. Could you please help me try to find out what model it is? I have looked on the web and also at the Building Museum’s bookstore in DC. I would really appreciate it. I can even send a picture if that helps. Thank you so much.

  42. S.T. Feuerherm
    May 20th, 2012 at 16:27 | #42

    I grew up in a Sears and Robuck “Winsor” house in New Jersey in a little town called Kenilworth. The front porch was inclosed, and the inside walls opened up, but when I saw the picture of the house in Ohio, it was like looking at its twin. I have looked at the old house on Google maps, and it is still there with a little bit of remodeling. Thanks for posting the pictures with their original catalog pictures.

  43. Rebecca
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:04 | #43

    Hi! I stumbled across your site because I’m trying to build my own “Sear Home.” Do you know of any companies that continue Sears’ work in prefab homes in the Craftsman style? I’d love to keep it prefab for cost reasons. Does anyone still do this?

  44. Kenn Thomas
    May 23rd, 2012 at 11:18 | #44

    Hi, Rose!

    “)

  45. May 23rd, 2012 at 15:17 | #45

    Hello #23! How are you!! :)

  46. elizabeth boyce
    May 24th, 2012 at 19:06 | #46

    Hi Rose. I’m interested in getting info on how to confirm and register my sears Vallonia. I live in Yonkers, New York.

  47. Bernie Sheahan
    May 25th, 2012 at 18:03 | #47

    I failed to tell you–I’m just your 2nd best friend here in OHV. I’ll tell you about the real go-to gal when you get in touch with me. You’ll hit the mega-jackpot with Kris.

  48. Jackie Payne
    June 4th, 2012 at 19:40 | #48

    Hi, I was looking for paint scheme ideas for the exterior of our house, and suddenly landed on a page for sears kit homes, and found a picture of our house!

    We are in Sterling, IL, and I’m wondering if you have researched any Sears homes in Sterling?

    Our floor plan matches up to the inch to the Ridgeland! I was so overwhelmed and intrigued! And to boot, after reading thru info on these houses, we have an explanation for our unique walls. We’ve always wondered why our walls look like they’re in 4 x 4 squares! Lol

  49. Becky Jo
    June 4th, 2012 at 21:29 | #49

    I’m taking a trip to Illinois for the first time. I’m interested in looking around Elgin, as I’m staying in Schaumberg.

    Any ideas for some good walking tours to see some Sears home?

    I’m from Pennsylvania, and willing to barter for this information with a picture of a gorgeous, nearly untouched Osborn in Pottstown, PA!

  50. June 9th, 2012 at 11:25 | #50

    I have so enjoyed this site! The Magnolia is a superior example of the fine elegance of yesterday.

    I live in Searcy, Arkansas. We have several Sears homes here.

    One is a big two story white house that recently sold on West Arch Avenue by Downtown occupied by a doctor’s widow that recently passed away at 99. I believe they built the house new.

    It is very stately with an upstairs sun porch typical of the era surrounded by ancient towering oak and pecan trees.

    I wish Sears would create a new house plan book centered around the historic designs with modern amenities to appeal too the masses. I hope more people will post their homes for everyone too enjoy.

    Jeff Pledger

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