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The Sears Roebuck House in Urbanna, Virginia

October 28th, 2010 Sears Homes 2 comments

In early 2000, I was often on the road, traveling throughout the Midwest and giving lectures on Sears Homes (and selling books!).  At least a dozen times, kind-hearted Midwesterners would saunter up to me after the talk and ask, “Do you know about the Sears Roebuck house in Urbanna, Virginia?”

Seems like knowledge about this little house has spread far and wide.

A few years ago, I made the 75-minute drive to Urbanna to check out this “Sears Roebuck House.” It wasn’t hard to find, as Urbanna is a tiny fishing town and home of Virginia’s annual Oyster Festival.  (BTW, the Oyster Festival is THIS weekend!!)

Within ten minutes of driving up and town the few streets, I found my Sears Home. Here’s a photo of my little pretty.

I later learned that local folks didn’t realize that Sears had 370 designs, but thought there was just the one model, hence the name, Sears Roebuck House. In fact, this is a Sears Rodessa, one of Sears most popular models.

Sears Rodessa in Urbana

Sears Rodessa in Urbana

Sears catalog image

Sears catalog image

Sears Rodessa

Sears Rodessa

Sears Rodessa

Sears Rodessa

Sears Rodessa

Sears Rodessa

Do you have a Sears House? Learn how to identify Sears Homes by clicking here.

Sears Rodessa - A Pretty Little House

Sears Rodessa - A Pretty Little House

West Point, Virginia: Sears Homes - Yes, Military Academy - No.

September 26th, 2010 Sears Homes No comments

Recently I made the 90-minute drive to West Point, Virginia, looking for Sears Homes. Thanks to Rebecca Hunter’s book, “Putting Sears Homes on the Map,” I knew there were at least four Sears Homes in West Point. Her book is a compilation of testimonials from old Sears catalogs, organized by city and state.

Her book listed one testimonial in Norfolk, Virginia and yet I’ve found more than 50 Sears Homes here in Norfolk. “Putting Sears Homes on the Map” listed four Sears Homes in West Point. Proportionately speaking, that meant there should be at least 200 Sears Homes in the tiny town!

I’m saddened to report that I couldn’t even find the four that were listed. Her book listed the Whitehall, the Greenview, the Ivanhoe and the Avoca. I found the Ivanhoe, but couldn’t get close enough to take a photo. It sat on a supersized lot, bordering the water. Unfortunately, it faced the water, making it especially difficult to get a photo! However, I did find (and photograph) the Avoca.

An aside:  Despite the fact that I’ve lived in the Hampton Roads area for more than three decades, I didn’t realize that Virginia was not home to the famous Military Academy of West Point! Only recently did I learn that it’s in New York. Who knew? Not me, obviously.

So, where’s the Whitehall and the Greenview? More than likely, the Whitehall has been torn down. I went up and down those streets in West Point many times and if there was a Whitehall to be found, I would have seen it. The Greenview was such a simple little house that it could have been remodeled beyond recognition. Below are catalog images of these two houses. If you find them in West Point, drop me a note.

Here are the Sears Homes that I found in West Point, Virginia.

To read more about Sears Homes, click here.

Sears Avoca has seen in the 1916 Sears Modern Homes catalog

Sears Avoca has seen in the 1916 Sears Modern Homes catalog

Sears Crescent

Sears Avoca in West Point.

Sears Crescent from the 1921 Sears Modern Homes catalog

Sears Crescent from the 1921 Sears Modern Homes catalog

Sears Crescent

Perfect Sears Crescent in West Point. This is in wonderfully original condition!

Sears Cranmore

Sears Cranmore. Kind of a crummy picture, but it was surrounded by trees and bushes and more trees and more bushes. Nonetheless, I am confident that this is a Sears Cranmore.

The Sears Homes of West Point probably rode into town on these very railroad tracks!

The Sears Homes of West Point probably rode into town on these very railroad tracks!

Sears Greenview from the Sears Modern Homes catalog. We know one of these was built in West Point, but where?

Sears Greenview from the Sears Modern Homes catalog. We know one of these was built in West Point, but where?

Sears Whitehall. We know there was a Sears Whitehall built in West Point, but I suspect its been torn down.

Sears Whitehall. We know there was a Sears Whitehall built in West Point, but I suspect it's been torn down.

Sears Ivanhoe from the 1919 Modern Homes catalog

Sears Ivanhoe from the 1920 Modern Homes catalog. There's one of these on the waterfront of West Point, but no one was home at the house. I'd love to get a photo!

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

To buy Rose’s book, click here.

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