Sears Homes were sold right out of the pages of the Sears Roebuck catalog in the early 1900s. These homes came in 30,000-piece kits and were shipped to all 48 states. Sears promised that a man of average abilities could have these homes assembled in about 90 days. More than 370 designs of kit homes were offered - everything ranging from Arts and Crafts bungalows to foursquares to Colonial Revivals.
Today, the only way to find these kit homes is literally one by one. And that’s what I do. When I decided that Sears Homes would be my career, I endeavored to memorize each of those 370 designs of Sears Homes. Now I can drive the streets of small town America and find the Sears Homes - one by one.
Here are a few of the kit homes I’ve found in the Lynchburg and Roanoke area (and Bedford, too!).
(Special thanks to Dale Patrick Wolicki for accompanying me on the trip to Roanoke, Bedford and Lynchburg to help with the treasure hunt!)
To read more about Sears Homes, click here.
To buy Rose’s books, click here.
The Sears Alhambra was one of the most popular Sears Homes
The Sears Alhambra in Roanoke, Virginia
Another Sears Alhambra - with some modifications - in Lynchburg
Best described as a trailing-edge Victorian, the #306 was surprisingly popular
And here's the #306 in Christianburg, Virginia
The Martha Washington was a spacious and fine home. Here is a Martha Washington in Bedford, Virginia.
This is a kit home offered by Montgomery Ward. Like Sears, Montgomery Ward also sold kit homes. This one is in Bedford, next door to the D-Day monument.
Harris Brothers was another kit home company (based in Chicago). This is the HB Ardmore, just outside of Roanoke (in Salem).
Here's a pair of Aladdin Georgias in Roanoke
Another Wardway house, this one is in Roanoke.
And the creme de la creme of our trip: A Wardway #101 in a tiny town just outside of Roanoke. And Dale Wolicki was the one who made this discovery! Without him, I would have passed it by!
This is an Aladdin Detroit, which we found in Lynchburg.
To look at more pictures of Virginia’s Sears Homes, click here: