For most of my years, I’ve dreamt of living in the Blue Ridge Mountains. And I will get there one day. In the meantime, I’ll spend my spare time driving around in the hills, looking for Sears Homes. Do you know what a Sears Home is? These were true kits, 12,000 pieces of house, sold out of the Sears Roebuck catalog. Sears promised that “a man of average abilities” could have one of these kits built in 90 days. Click here for more info on Sears kit homes.
Here are a few of the Sears kit homes I’ve found in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. First, my favorite find in Shenandoah, Virginia.
To read more about how to identify Sears kit homes, click here.
Original image from 1916 catalog
Sears Maytown - original catalog image
Sears Home in Shenandoah, Virginia
This next house is currently in use as a B&B. It’s the only Sears Milton I’ve ever seen, and it’s in Stanley, Virginia. It’s quite a magnificent house! Note the tall columns and flanking pergola on the front porch. The Milton was one of Sears’ biggest and best homes. Probably the only house that was fancier was the Sears Magnolia.
Sears Vallonia, from the 1923 Sears Modern Homes catalog. This was a very popular house.
A beautiful Sears Vallonia in Lewisburg, WV
The Sears Altona, as shown in the 1916 Sears Modern Homes catalog
Sears Altona in the tiny town of Ronceverte, West Virginia.
Sears Lynnhaven, as seen in the 1929 catalog
Sears Lynnhaven in Rainelle, WV
Sears Marina, Model #2024
Although significantly remodeled, this is clearly a Sears Marina, #2024. This house is in Lewisburg, WV. Note how the shed dormer still retains its three little windows.
Aladdin was another prominent kit home company, with a large lumberyard and mill in Greensboro, NC. There were many Aladdin Kit Homes in WV, too. Here, you can see the Aladdin Genie going back into his bottle (presumably on the back porch) after building a house for his master in a day (I'm guessing here).
The Aladdin Pasadena was one of Aladdin's most popular homes.
As a point of comparison, this is a PERFECT Pasadena in Lynchburg, Virginia. Note, the side porch is still in original condition.
Here's a nice Aladdin Pasadena in a small town just outside of Rainelle, WV. To the uninformed, this may look like a grove of trees, but there is an Aladdin House there. Sometimes, it's hard to identify these kit homes because of surrounding landscaping. This house called my name from the highway, and once you hear the sound of an Aladdin Pasadena, you never forget it. :)
Aladdin Virginia from the 1919 Aladdin catalog
An Aladdin Virginian in White Sulphur Springs, not too far from the famous hotel, The Greenbriar.
Gordon Van Tine was yet another popular kit home company of the early 1900s. Here's the GVT "Durant," a fairly popular little bungalow.
The Durant, in Lewisburg, WV.
To buy Rose’s book on Sears Homes, click here.
To read another article on Sears Homes, click here.
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