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A Very Pretty Sears Kit Home in Lake Mills, Wisconsin

July 16th, 2011 Sears Homes No comments

In early September, I’ll travel to Lake Mills, Wisconsin to do research on my Aunt Addie’s alleged murder. In the meantime, I’ve learned that there are a few kit homes in Lake Mills, and a myriad of kind souls have taken photos of these kit homes and sent them along to me!

One of my favorite finds in Lake Mills is the Sears Newbury. During my virtual drive through Lake Mills (via Google), I didn’t see this one, but my friend Rebecca Hunter found it and then shared its address with me. And it’s a treasure!

In all my travels, I’ve seen only two Newburys and one was in Elmhurst, IL (near Rebecca’s home in Elgin), and Rebecca found that one, too!

To learn more about the other kit homes we’ve found in Lake Mills, click here.

Thanks to Sandra Spann for arising with the sun and getting these photos for me!

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Sears Newbury, as it appeared in the 1936 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

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This classic Dutch Colonial was really not that spacious.

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Notice the swoop in the roof as it extends over the wide front porch. On the rear, there's a small cornice return, and it's on a different plane that the front roof.

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The Newbury in Lake Mills is hard to see due to the mature vegetation, but that bellcast (swooping) roof is easy to spot. And you can see the small cornice return on the rear. Sears kit homes came with 12,000 pieces and the Newbury was "Ready Cut" meaning that all framing members were pre-cut and ready to nail into place. However, masonry was not part of the kit and was obtained locally. The catalog page shows a stone chimney but this Newbury has a brick chimney. That's an inconsequential difference. (This photograph is courtesy of Sandra Spann and can not be used or reproduced without written permission. Copyright 2011, Sandra Spann.)

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Sometimes, it's hard to get a good photo because of the trees. (This photograph is courtesy of Sandra Spann and can not be used or reproduced without written permission. Copyright 2011, Sandra Spann.)

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The Sears Newbury from the side. This angle really shows off that bellcast roof (on the front) and the little cornice return on the rear. (This photograph is courtesy of Sandra Spann and can not be used or reproduced without written permission. Copyright 2011, Sandra Spann.)

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Close-up on that cornice return. (This photograph is courtesy of Sandra Spann and can not be used or reproduced without written permission. Copyright 2011, Sandra Spann.)

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What an awesome house! Notice the swoop! (This photograph is courtesy of Sandra Spann and can not be used or reproduced without written permission. Copyright 2011, Sandra Spann.)

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The original catalog page with those two elements (cornice return and bellcast) highlighted.

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Here's a Newbury in Elmhurt, Illinois.

Amongst the pictures that Sandy sent me, I saw a picture of the garage. For a moment, I thought it might be a Sears garage, so I got out my early 1920s Sears Modern Garage catalog (true story), and saw a garage that was close…

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Oooh, could it be?

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Okay, so it's not a Sears garage, but whomever built this little jewel really showed a sensitivity to the period of the house and created a garage that really reflects the style of the Sears Newbury. In addition to the clipped gable, the roof pitch and eaves and soffit are also a good match. Very nicely done! (This photograph is courtesy of Sandra Spann and can not be used or reproduced without written permission. Copyright 2011, Sandra Spann.)

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The existing garage in Lake Mills looks a lot like this Sears kit garage, but it's enlarged a bit.

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

To learn about Aunt Addie’s unfortunate demise in Lake Mills, click here.

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