Archive

Posts Tagged ‘blue skies in wisconsin’

“A Conveniently Arranged Home of Eight Rooms at Low Cost”

January 6th, 2013 Sears Homes 8 comments

The Chelsea (Modern Home #111) was first offered in the 1908 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

This spacious foursquare endured until the early 1920s, when the more modern Colonial Revivals and Tudor Revivals bumped it out of the catalogs.

As is seen by the photos below, Modern Home #111 changed a bit as the years rolled by. In my travels, I’ve found only two examples of this house. The first was in Mattoon, Illinois (Central Illinois) and Colonial Heights, Virginia (near Richmond).

And yet I see there’s also one in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Anyone in Wisconsin willing to get a photo? :)

To learn more about the Sears Homes in Wisconsin, click here.

To read more about how to identify Sears Homes, click here.

The Sears Chelsea appeared in the first Modern Homes catalog (1908).

The Sears Chelsea appeared in the first Modern Homes catalog (1908). In the floorplan for the 1908 "Chelsea," the bathroom was an optional upgrade.

*

By 1916,

By 1916, the price had dropped by almost half. It was not offered as a pre-cut home until late 1917. Notice that the house now has a slightly different appearance with that center closet window (front), broader windows and more substantial woodwork around the front porch.

*

By 1919

By 1919, the price was back to 1908 levels. This was probably due to some post-war inflation. In 1919, the Chelsea was offered as a pre-cut kit home.

*

This testimonial (and photo) appeared on the back cover of the 1916 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

This testimonial (and photo) appeared on the back cover of the 1916 Sears Modern Homes catalog. The porch columns and lack of a closet window suggest it was the earlier (1908) model Chelsea.

*

Accompanying testimonial.

The accompanying testimonial explains that the house was built in Ossining, NY.

*

Heres a picture-perfect Chelsea in Colonial Heights, VA.

Here's a picture-perfect Chelsea in Colonial Heights, VA. The owner has done a thorough, meticulous and painstakingly perfect job of restoring this 100+ year old house to its original grandeur.

*

This later-model Chelsea is in Mattoon, IL.

This later-model Chelsea is in Mattoon, IL. Lots of sidings there.

*

house

A comparison of the Chelsea in New York (1916) and the Chelsea in Virginia (2010).

*

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

*   *   *

Beautiful Sears Homes in Oconomowoc!

September 5th, 2011 Sears Homes 4 comments

Today, I left Addie’s house to drive out to Oconomowoc, WI to hunt for Sears Homes. And not only did I find several, but they’re real beauties!!

Based on my research, more than 90% of the people living in Sears houses did not realize what they had until I knocked on their door and told them (or they read about it here). I’d suspect most of these homeowners (whose houses are shown below), don’t realize they have a kit home.

And what is a Sears House? These were 12,000-piece kits, ordered out of the Sears Roebuck catalog, that were shipped by train to wanna-be homeowners. Each kit came with a 75-page instruction book that told the homeowner how all those pieces and parts went together. Sears promised that a “man of average abilities” could have the house ready for occupancy in 90 days!

Sears offered these homes from 1908-1940, and there are fewer than 70,000 still standing today.

To read about why I was in Wisconsin, click here.

To learn how to identify a kit home, click here.

Sears Mitchell as seen in the 1936 Sears Modern Homes catalog. This was one of their most popular home.

Sears Mitchell as seen in the 1936 Sears Modern Homes catalog. This was one of their most popular home. And it's a real cutie!

What a beauty! And its in pristine condition.

What a beauty! And it's in pristine condition. And a perfect match to the catalog picture above.

P

Sears Lewiston (1928 catalog)

Sears

Like the Mitchell above, this Sears Lewiston is in perfect condition. I wonder if these Sears homeowners in Oconomowoc realize what a treasure they have?

Sears

Sears Arlington from the 1919 catalog.

Sears

Unfortunately, I photographed this from the wrong angle but the other side (not visible here) has the gabled bay, just as it does in the catalog picture.

Sears Berwyn - 1929

Sears Berwyn - 1929

This Berwyn has had some changes, and the small double arch on the front, but...this is most certainly a Berwyn.

This Berwyn has had some changes, and the small double arch on the front has been enclosed and encased in aluminum siding, but...this is most certainly a Berwyn.

And if you look in through the storm door, youll see that the original wooden door is in its right place - for the Sears Berwyn.

And if you look in through the storm door, you'll see that the original wooden door is in its right place - for the Sears Berwyn.

J

Aladdin Pasadena from the 1919 catalog. Aladdin was a bigger company than Sears, but is not as well known these many years later.

And what a pretty, pretty Pasadena it is!

And what a pretty, pretty Pasadena it is!

Despite a whole lot of driving around throughout Watertown, Wisconsin, I found only one Sears Home in the entire city. That was a surprise. I spent more than two hours driving around the early 20th Century neighborhoods and saw many beautiful (and well-maintained) homes on spacious and attractive lots (so it was a fun two hours!).

In addition to Sears, I was on the lookout for Aladdin (based in Bay City, MI), and Lewis Manufacturing (Chicago) and Gordon Van Tine (Davenport, Iowa) and Montgomery Ward and Sterling (Bay City) but found only this one lone kit home.

However, it’s a real beauty!

j

The Strathmore was one of my favorite Sears Homes, and it was not that popular a model (based on the number I've found). And yet, there's one in Watertown, Wisconsin.

The Strathmore in Watertown had a small dormer added to the second floor. Other than this one minor change, its a darn good match!

The Strathmore in Watertown had a small dormer added to the second floor. Other than this one minor change, it's a darn good match!

Pretty much every meal Ive had in Wisconsin has involved cheese of some form - and I LIKE IT!  Wisconsin is full of beautiful landscapes such as this dairy farm just outside of Oconomowoc.

Pretty much every meal I've had in Wisconsin has involved cheese of some form - and I LIKE IT! Wisconsin is full of beautiful landscapes such as this dairy farm just outside of Oconomowoc.

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

To read more about Addie, click here.

*   *   *