Generally speaking, I’m a lukewarm fan of Wikipedia but when it comes to kit houses, I really have grown weary of this online “encyclopedia.” So much of the information is just not accurate, and yet it’s trusted by too many people as a rock-solid resource.
One ongoing disappointment Wikipedia is the information on the “neighborhood of Sears Homes” in Bucksport, Maine. According to this page, “The entire town site of Bucksport consists of Sears Homes in the Belfast Model.”
I actually feel sorry for the poor soul who penned that. And I wish there was a way to correct such egregious information, but I’ve washed my hands of Wikipedia. Everytime I log in to make corrections to the wiki site, it’s edited away within hours by some “expert” who thinks he/she knows better.
So, scroll on down and take a look for yourself at one of these so-called “Belfast Models” in Bucksport.
Oh, and by the way, the build date for the “Belfasts” in that neighborhood is 1930. Ding, ding, ding: The Belfast was not offered for sale until 1934.
That single fact right there is pretty compelling evidence.
Secondly, the houses in Bucksport look nothing like the Belfast model. But hey - why let facts get in the way of a good story?
How is it that this is such a common mistake? Click here to see the answer.
To read more about how to identify Sears Homes, click here.
The Belfast was not offered until 1934. The houses in Bucksport were built in 1930.
Darling little house with a good floor plan, too.
Upstairs, it had three bedrooms and one teeny tiny bath.
Maybe this is where that nutty rumor started? A bit of The Belfast was patterend after The Perkins House, built in Costine, Maine in 1769 (second parargraph in text above).
When comparing houses, the details are vital. I can't stress this enough. Sears was not an innovated in anything, most of all, housing design. They looked at what was popular and copied those housing styles.
Here's a real life Belfast in Elkins, West Virginia. It's been through some major renovations including new windows, aluminum siding and those pediments added to the top of the door and windows, but the proportions are spot on. I've not been inside this house, but I'd say there's a 98% chance that this is a Sears Belfast.
This house in Bucksport is NOT a Sears Belfast. The Belfast is a mere 24-feet wide. This house is probably 32-feet wide (or more). The proportions are also way off. And look at the space between the 2nd floor windows and the first floor windows. This house probably has nine or ten foot first floor ceilings. The Belfast has eight foot ceilings. The Sears Belfast and the Bucksport Houses are wildly different from one another.
To learn more about the many Sears Homes in Elkins, West Virginia, click here.
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