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If you have a question about Sears Modern Homes, send us an email and we will post an answer as soon as possible. Your questions will be answered by volunteer staff so please be patient. Don’t forget to visit the contact a fellow enthusiast page where you can get in touch with others in your area who also may be able to help answer your questions.

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Melrose Park, Illinois Sears Home?? (4/29/03)
When I was a child, I was told that the house we lived in was a Sears catalog home. I grew up in Melrose Park, Illinois.—Kellen

There are a large number of Sears catalog homes in the Chicago area. To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floor plans of the houses. Remember that the original owner may have customized your home. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commission, landmark commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some insight into your house.

Catalog Home in Aurora, Illinois? (4/29/03)
I grew up in a Sears catalog home in Aurora, Illinois. My parents still live there and we would love to know more about the style of home they own.—Kristen (Adam) Jachim

Aurora, Illinois has a large number of Sears catalog homes. To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floor plans of the houses. Remember that the original owner may have customized your home. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commission, landmark commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some insight into your house.

Sears home in Elgin, Illinois? (4/28/03)
While watching the news on WGN TV, they did a special feature on Sears catalog homes. I believe that one of the homes featured in this broadcast was my parent’s home at 326 N. Worth in Elgin, Illinois.—Ken McDowell

The house featured in the April 28, 2003 broadcast of WGN news is a Sears catalog home. The current owners are diligently working to restore many of the unique features of this house.

Modern Homes workers (4/28/03)
I am interested in hearing about the people who actually worked in the factories that shipped the houses to their final destinations. My grandfather and uncle worked at the Sears lumberyard in Cairo, Illinois where the wood for the houses was cut and shipped out. My uncle is about to turn 100 years old and he talks about when he worked at the Sears lumberyard before the Second World War. He has some amazing stories bout these Sears houses. What do you know about the actual people who put the houses together at the lumber yard, then took them apart, and then sent them out to people all over the nation by rail and barge?—Ammon Goode

Unfortunately the Sears Archive does not have much information about the people who worked at the factories and lumberyards where all of the parts for the catalog homes came from.

Maybe some of our readers know of people who would be willing to share some of their stories about working at the lumberyards, mills and factories where Sears catalog homes were built.

Looking for another Hawthorne (4/27/03)
I own a 1930s version of “The Hawthorne.” I cannot find anyone else with this model of Sears home. The catalog picture and description are in the book “The Houses That Sears Built,” but there is no floor plan. I am really interested in finding someone who owns another “Hawthorne.” I live in a community 30 miles south of Richmond, Virginia. There are over forty Sears homes in this community. Many houses are duplicate models but none are like mine.—Allen Melton

Please understand that we do not have all of the catalog home images yet available in the Modern Homes databank. Currently we only have a representation of the over 500 different models Sears offered for sale.

We suggest that you talk with the owners of the other houses in your neighborhood to see if the homeowners have any information about their homes that might be useful to you.

To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floorplans of the houses. Remember that the original owner may have customized your home. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commission, landmark commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some insight into your house.

Maybe one of our readers who also own a Hawthorne would be willing to contact you.

The Kilbourne (4/26/03)
I would like to visit a Kilbourne No. 7013 model Sears home. I am interested in possibly building or buying one of these homes in the future. Does anyone know of one that I can visit? Does anyone have any blueprints I could get a copy of?—Teresa Cowie

Perhaps one of our readers can help Teresa out.

Sears Model 24? (4/21/03)
We just purchased a home and have yet to move into it. We were told that this is a Sears home. We have not found a picture that matches it on the web site. We found some indication that it might be a No. 24, built in 1911. Does anyone have a picture of the No. 24? We are going to buy the book with all of the pictures and floor plans, but until we get it we are excited to find out if this is the No. 24. We were told our home originally had a wrap around porch. Currently it has a screened in porch (which may have been an open porch originally) on the second floor. It has one attic dormer and a 3-window bow window on the front. The entrance to the living room is on the side of the house. We don’t know if the original entrance has been moved. It also has the built in shelving in one of the upstairs bedrooms. There are 4 bedrooms and one bath upstairs. I have photographs of the outside if anyone is interested in seeing to help me identify this house.—Lynn Persing

Please understand that we do not have all of the catalog home images yet available in the Modern Homes databank. Currently we only have a representation of the over 500 different models Sears offered for sale.

To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floorplans of the houses. Remember that the original owner may have customized your home. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commission, landmark commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some insight into your house.

In the meantime, maybe one of our readers would like to contact Lynn to help her in identifying her house.

Sears Catalog Home? (4/20/03)
My house appears to be a Starlight model of the Sears Modern Home. The house is located in Larimer, Pennsylvania. It is one of three Sears catalog homes on this block. Originally two brothers and a sister owned these homes. The Starlight model that my house resembles appears in the 1927 catalog. When we remodeled the dining room my wife and I found a wiring inspection certificate under the door trim that was dated 1922. The floor plan appears to be a mirror image of the Starlight, yet there is not a listing for 1922 that resembles my house. Any ideas on what house it would be if it were not a Starlight model?—Bob Pollock

We suggest that you talk with the owners of the other houses in your neighborhood to see if the homeowners have any information about their homes that might be useful to you.

Sears did sell the Starlight in 1922. We do not yet have that image up on the image bank.

To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floorplans of the houses. Remember that the original owner may have customized your home. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commission, landmark commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some insight into your house.

Sears Catalog Home? (4/20/03)
We recently purchased a 1929 bungalow in Ohio that we have been told is a Sears Modern Home. I have not been able to locate the model number in your image bank. Our home seems to resemble a version of the Vallonia (with some variations). I would like to verify whether or not we actually own a Sears Modern Home. Are there any markings of sorts somewhere in or on the home that is a telltale sign?—Dina Berger Koecher

Please understand that we do not have all of the catalog home images yet available in the Modern Homes databank. Currently we only have a representation of the over 500 different models Sears offered for sale.

To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floorplans of the houses. Remember that the original owner may have customized your home. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commission, landmark commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some insight into your house.

House Plans for Sale? (4/15/03)
Is it possible to purchase some of the old Sears house plans?—Bridgett Peterson

The Sears Archive does not have any Sears Modern Home plans for sale. Perhaps one of our readers has a set of plans they would be willing to copy and provide Bridgett?

Sears Home? (3/4/03)
I was told my 1912/1913 home is a Sears model home, but I really do not see any indication of this fact. It is a two-story house with a large bay window that runs all the way up on one side and a porch in front. I have not seen any Sears homes with bay windows like this. The front door is thought to be original and has a large oval beveled glass cutout. I have heard from the local people that this door is one of the indicators that this is a Sears home. I can not imagine how the long running rumor that this is a Sears home started. I have looked for markings and found none. The bottoms of the floorboards in the basement are stamped Kaul Ind. (I am assuming this stands for Kaul Industries). If you have any insight on any of this I would love to hear it.—Angie Piper

Your house could have come from Sears. Buyers could submit their own architectural plans to Sears and the Modern Homes division would create a house from that design and sell the materials for the house.

Keep in mind that Sears Modern Homes were not innovative house designs. Sometimes people think a house is a Sears Modern Home when in fact it is not.

Sears sold doors, windows, and other building materials through a variety of Sears catalogs including a building supplies catalog. It is possible that the door or other parts of your house was originally purchased from Sears.

Sears Home? (3/24/03)
I have been told that my house is a Sears catalog home. The interior size is 20x22 with an 8x20 porch included under the hip roof. Can you identify this house?—John Sawyer

We recommend that you ask the other homeowners of the houses you suspect are Sears Modern Homes to see if they have any insight on your house. We suggest that you research the local county records for land purchase information and home sales. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commissions; architectural review boards or town historians that might help you identify your house.

Sears Home? (3/24/03)
My house is in Newark, Ohio. I am sure it is a Sears Modern Home. There are several other homes in the neighborhood that also appears to be Sears Modern Homes. The previous owners said it was only 60 years hold. My research indicates that the house is much older, possibly built around 1910-1912. I believe it is the #52 in the 1908-1914 catalog.—Amy Rice

We recommend that you ask the other homeowners of the houses you suspect are Sears Modern Homes to see if they have any insight on your house. We suggest that you research the local county records for land purchase information and home sales. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commissions; architectural review boards or town historians that might help you identify your house.

Sears Modern Homes (3/19/03)
Why can’t you sell these types of homes today? I would love to buy and build a Sears catalog home.—Lisa

We are glad to hear that you love the timeless beauty of Sears Modern Homes.

Sears Home? (3/18/03)
I am currently searching for any and all information regarding my American Foursquare home. Many people have told me that my house is a Sears catalog home. I found beams in the home labeled with letters and numbers such as D19. My home is on this summer’s Tour of Homes put on by the Geneva Historical Society. If I could find some information on the history of my home it would be wonderful.—Carol Pitifer Noonen

To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. We suggest you also check with your local historic preservation commission to see if they have any information on your house.

The best way to identify your house is to check the floorplans of the houses. Remember that the original owner may have customized your home. Beams labeled with numbers such as you have are good indicators that the house might be a Sears Modern Home. Sears used a beam number system to help builders put the right pieces in the right place when building the house.

Sears Home? (3/1/03)
I was told that I live in a Sears catalog home. However, the attic pull down steps has a label marked Montgomery Ward.—Katie Stratis

Sears was not the only company that sold catalog homes. Montgomery Ward, another large catalog company, also sold catalog homes. It is possible that your house is a Montgomery Ward catalog home.

Sears Home? (2/19/03)
We live in a 1911 foursquare house in Gaithersburg, MD. The house is less than 100 yards from the railroad tracks. If this is a Sears catalog home, what might the model numbers be?—Mary McArdle

To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floorplans of the houses. Remember that the original owner may have customized your home. The close proximity to the railroad tracks is a useful hint in your research. Sears generally shipped all of the building supplies to the homeowners by railroad.

The Hathaway (2/11/03)
I own a Hathaway, #3082 model Sears Modern Home. We were able to find this home on your web-site. Our house has extra rooms. Fortunately we have the original blue prints for our house. We are getting ready to put our house up for sale and I am wondering if Sears homes are worth more because of a certain collectors value? Please let me know any information that may be able to help me find this out.—Michele Labadie

We are glad to know that you found your house on our website. Having the original blueprints for the house is an added bonus. We suggest you talk with your real estate agent about your house’s origins. Many people are proud of the quality construction found in Sears Modern Homes, which can make them attractive to buyers.

Looking for blueprints (2/4/03)
I believe that my wife and I purchased a Sears catalog home, The Vallonia. We are looking for blueprints or the catalog for this house. The house was built in 1932. Do you know where we could obtain these items?—Jeremy Welch

Unfortunately the Sears Corporate Archive does not have copies of blueprints for this house. Maybe one of our readers has a copy of the 1932 Vallonia blueprints they would be willing to share.

Because of the delicate condition of our Sears Modern Homes catalogs, our policy is to not copy these catalogs. We suggest that you check with your local public library, college or university library or historical society to see if they may have copies of Sears Modern Homes catalogs that you can copy. Occasionally these catalogs show up on Internet auction sites and you can bid on them.

Sears Home? (1/28/03)
I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. I am looking for any information relating to Sears catalog homes in Salt Lake City. I have not been able to find anything locally and wonder if Sears has any shipping records that might shed some light on this question.—Jeanne McJoynt

Unfortunately, after the Sears Modern Homes program was discontinued around 1940, the records of home purchases were not kept.

The best suggestion we have to that you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading.

Many towns, cities and counties have local history commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some useful information to you.

Original Plans? (1/28/03)
My daughter purchased a 1912 Sears catalog home. I am looking for original plans to the house and the description of the land the house is located on. The deed was lost in a flood many years ago. I was told that Sears required a certain amount of land for the foundation of this house.—Adele

The only requirement Sears placed on the size of the lots was that the lot be big enough to accommodate the home. Unfortunately Sears does not have original plans for any of the Modern Homes. When the program was discontinued in the late 1930s the records of home purchases were not kept.

To find out if your daughter’s house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floorplans of the houses. Remember that the original owner may have customized your home. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some insight into your house.

Sears Home? (1/21/03)
I recently purchased an older home in the Dean Park subdivision, which was established around 1918 in Ft. Meyers, Florida. The Dean Park subdivision is a registered historic neighborhood. I think my house was built around 1920. This house is similar to other homes found in other parts of Florida. I am trying to figure out if my house is an Arcadia model Sears catalog home. The house was a lower end house and is very simple, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and a kitchen. An oak divider separates the living room and dining room. The house is square shaped with a porch in front.—James Cooper

To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floorplans of the houses. Remember that the original owner may have customized your home. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some insight into your house.

Fixture restoration (1/20/03)
I live in a half of a twin that was built in 1926. I am interested in restoring some of the old fixtures and want the house to look as authentic as possible. I would like to know what was common to a twin at that time. Any thoughts or references I should check out?—Tanya Borman-Voit

A good source of information for finding out what fixtures were common at any time period is the Sears catalog. In Pennsylvania there are several libraries that have microfilm copies of the Sears catalog. In Exton, the Newcomen Society of North America, in Philadelphia, the Free Library of Philadelphia, in Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh, Hillman Library all have microfilm copies of the Sears catalog.

Trestle type table (1/4/03)
I recently came across a trestle type table that appeared to be custom made. The stamp by the maker says “Curtis 1866.” When I referenced this information it took me to a website documenting the remodeling of a Sears Modern Home. Did Curtis Woodwork make furniture for these homes?—Christian Malosh

Unfortunately the Sears Corporate Archive collection does not have any information on who the manufacturer was for the furniture Sears sold during the first half of the twentieth century.

Sears House? (1/4/03)
I have been told that my house is a Sears Modern Home. I have no evidence for this claim. I need to sell the house and I would rather sell the house to someone who recognizes the house’s historical value. I live in Northern Virginia. How can I determine if I have a Sears house? Do you know of someone in my area that can help me out? I have looked in the basement and attic and cannot find any evidence to confirm my suspicions.—Matthew Komar

You have identified a key difficulty in verifying Sears Modern Homes. Not all Modern Homes were stamped with telltale numbers and sometime packing information and other markings are absent.

To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floorplans of the houses. Remember that the original owner may have customized your home. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some insight into your house.

Sears House? (1/13/03)
I have a house in New Castle, KY that neighbors tell me is a Sears house. One neighbor (now deceased) remembers the house being delivered by rail. The house was built around 1912. I have seen many features of the interior of this house in magazine articles on Sears homes. The design is much like the Hamilton (#102) but is much larger. Double front doors and the front upstairs have five windows (2-1-2). Do you have more information or could you direct me to where I can find information?—Connie Mueller

Buyers could customize practically any aspect of the house’s construction, which could render the original design almost unrecognizable. The nature of the Modern Home construction made it very easy for builders to modify the home.

To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floorplans of the houses. Remember that the original owner may have customized your home. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some insight into your house.

Model #158 (1/9/03)
If anyone knows where we might see #158 in person, please let us know.—Karyn and Kevin Pellatt

Perhaps some of our readers with knowledge of where a Modern Home model #158 is located could respond to Karyn and Kevin directly or to the SearsModernHomes.com question and answer section.

Sears or Aladdin? (1/8/03)
I am considering purchasing a home believed to be a Sears. Aladdin is on several pieces of hardware, would this be a Sears home or an Aladdin? Could it be both? Can I find out when it was purchased with a name I believe to be the original owner?—Patsy

Since the early records of the original customers who purchased Modern Homes were not kept, we do not have any information on particular houses. We suggest that you research the local county records for land purchases and home sales.

We do not have any records that indicate that Sears and Aladdin cooperated in building houses. Because you have found Aladdin on several pieces of hardware, your house is probably not a Sears Modern Home.

Rail delivery photographs (1/7/03)
I am looking for photographs of the rail delivery and delivery to a home site for Sears Catalog Homes. Also, I would like photographs of a house or houses under construction. Surely someone must have taken photographs, either still or movie of these houses over the years.—Bob

Unfortunately the Sears Corporate Archive does not have any of the photographs you described. Perhaps some of our readers might help.

Plans for the Avalon (1/4/03)
I am interested in building a new home based on the exact plans for The Avalon; (3048); designed in 1921. How can I get those plans, with a list of the exact building materials?—Jeremy Garrett

Unfortunately the Sears Corporate Archive does not have plans and building material specifications for the Avalon. Perhaps one of our readers might be able to help.

Sears Home? (1/4/03)
I am in the process of purchasing a 1925 home in St. Petersburg, FL that I believe may be a Sears modern Home. The bungalow matches almost every detail of the “Osborn” home with the major exception of the front porch entrance, which is located in the front center of the porch (with a similar flared staircase) on the right side. Also, the foundation and columns of the home are brick and less ornate, the woodwork at the top of the columns is solid, there are no beams in the dining room and there are no bookcases separating the living and dining room. Are these architectural details representative of ones the original owner/builder may have custom ordered? Or is there another model that meets these specs? Are you aware of any other Sears Homes in the St. Petersburg area?—Ed

Buyers could customize practically any aspect of the house’s construction, which could render the original design almost unrecognizable. Keep in mind the Sears Modern Home architects were not innovators in home design, so their houses reflected the fashionable styles of the day. A Sears home could just as likely have been modeled after another, anonymous architectural style.

To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floorplans of the houses. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some insight into your house.

Sears Home? (1/3/03)
We recently moved into a 1930s colonial house that had a package of original blueprints in a crawlspace. Most of the detailed blueprints are drawn from a local architect with a contract for the work to be performed. Included in this batch of blueprints were several stamped Sears, Roebuck and Co. with the date 6/21/33. These blueprints also match the layout of the house. I also found in the package a multipage list of building materials titled shipment 4 and containing Sears, Roebuck and Co. documents that indicated fixtures and detail of lumber etc. I did not see our house in your listings but it most closely resembles the Milford. The blueprints reference plan #1433. Could this be a Sears home even if a non Sears architect modified the final building?—J. Murphy

It was not uncommon for Sears Modern Homes architects to work directly with local architects to custom design a home for a buyer. Your house is probably a good example of a local architect working with the Sears Modern Home architects to custom build a home based on the architects drawings, and borrowing from the Milford and model number 1433. Sears then supplied all of part of the materials.

1908 Catalog (1/3/03)
Is it possible to purchase a copy of the 1908 Sears Modern Homes catalog?—Chuck Dupier

Because of the delicate condition of our Sears Modern Homes catalogs, our policy is to not copy these catalogs. We suggest that you check with your local public library, college or university library or historical society to see if they may have copies of Sears Modern Homes catalogs that you can copy. Occasionally these catalogs show up on Internet auction sites and you can bid on them.

Sears House? (1/2/03)
I have done extensive research trying to find our what model Sears home I own. I am sure that it is a Sears Modern Home because my next door neighbor’s brother was the original owner and he confirms this. I have photos of the home. It has 2 bedrooms, a bath, kitchen, and living room and an attic. It was built in 1935. The original siding appears to be wood and the attic has a cedar look to it on the inside.—Jennifer M. Brennan

To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floorplans of the houses. Remember that the original owner may have customized your home. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some insight into your house.

Sears House? (12/26/02)
I am looking for information on a house we recently purchased. The house is a 1919 Bungalow originally built in Signal Hill, Long Beach, California. The house is now located in Bixby Knolls, California.—Thomas Crowder

To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floorplans of the houses. Remember that the original owner may have customized your home. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some insight into your house.

Sears Home? (12/22/02)
I recently purchased a bungalow home in San Diego, California as a “fixer” project. From my initial research the home looks very similar to the “Wellington” 5-room bungalow. I have identified this from many of the details shown in the catalog homes, except my home has an inset porch/french door entrance in the dining room and the home is flat across the front—the bedroom on the left front side does not advance past the front of the living room. Another difference is the breakfast nook in the kitchen area.—Jerry Linney

Buyers could customize practically any aspect of the house’s construction, which could render the original design almost unrecognizable.

To find out if your house is a Sears Modern Home we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. The best way to identify your house is to check the floorplans of the houses. Many towns, cities, and counties have local history commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians that might provide some insight into your house.

Architectural Replicas (8/01/02)
I live in a 1920s foursquare home that I don’t think is a Sears house, but much of the trim and woodwork does resemble items in the Sears catalogs. I am interested in finding more information on some of the architectural features Sears offered in kit form, such as colonnades, kitchen cabinets, and built-in sideboards, etc., as I am interested in building replicas of these pieces. Does anyone know where I can find diagrams and information.—Gary Gray

Actual blueprints and physical renderings of the architectural designs in prefabricated houses that you are searching for are rare for the pre-World War II era. There are two books we can recommend that may have substantial information on house designs and elements of the era. Look for The Comfortable House: North American Suburban Architecture, 1890–1930, by Alan Gowans; and America’s Favorite Homes: Mail-Order Catalogues as a Guide to Popular Early 20th-Century Houses, by Robert Schweitzer and Michael W. R. Davis.

If our readers have any ideas for books on Modern Homes architectural elements, please submit them, and we’ll post your responses.

Why No Complete Catalogs? (7/29/02)
Why don’t you have the complete catalogs from front to back on your site? I am considering purchasing a home in Historic Kenwood, in St. Petersburg, Fla., which I highly suspect is a Lewiston. Of course, I have no confirmation of this, but it had some very interesting light fixtures in the attic, which would be telltale signs of this. It’s been difficult at best getting specific information regarding fixtures, and it would be great if there were an online archive of such material.—Stu Fulford

You are absolutely correct, Stu. It would be great if there were a complete online archive of the Sears Modern Homes catalogs. The unfortunate reality is that, in order to do so, we would have to digitally scan and upload every single page to each catalog, including the specialty catalogs, Sears produced between 1908 and 1940. The time and financial resources required to do so are simply too great to undertake such a project at this time. We share your desire to post all pages to all catalogs, but we sincerely appreciate your—and all of our site’s visitors’—continued support.

Good luck confirming your potential Modern Homes purchase. We suggest reviewing the Reference Guide section of the website. These resources may not all be online, but they have proven to be very useful.

Mobile Modern Home? (7/09/02)
My landlord told me that my house is a Sears catalog home that was moved to its current location in the 1920s. I can neither match it to the pictures on this site nor to the information given on this site. Is there a way I could find out what year and model it is? The adjacent four houses to me are also the same [model] house.—Cristina Torres

We recommend you first ask the owners or residents of the four neighboring homes if they know anything about their houses being Sears Modern Homes. Usually, the homeowners are the best resource, as information gets passed from homeowner to homeowner (much as your landlord did to you). If they don’t know, you could consult the book Houses By Mail (see the Reference Guide within this Reference page). Otherwise, you may want to consult your local historical society to see if any experts on your neighborhood’s history may know how four houses of the same design came to reside on the same block.

Maybe Maytown? (7/12/02)
I own a Maytown model (No. 167) in Greene County (southwestern Pennsylvania). My deed says the house was built in 1932; however, your records show that the home was offered in catalogs from 1911 to 1918 and reappeared in 1922. Why the discrepancy in years? Also, my home is somewhat modified, with an additional room to the left of the reception hall on the first floor and an enlarged hall and bedroom on the second floor. Was this actually another model that isn’t featured on your site, or was it a customized design?—Dennis Pozviak

There are two parts to address in your question. First, the gaps that appear in the dates for house models represent just that—gaps of time, when the model was not offered, then was re-offered through the catalogs for one reason or another. Second, it is interesting that you say your house, built in 1932, resembles the Maytown, because a check of the 1931 and 1932 Modern Homes catalogs has not revealed any designs that are similar to the Maytown, which features a distinctive conical, gabled portion of the roof, over the right side of the house.

Houses By Rail (7/02/02)
Most references to the Sears Modern Homes mention railroad shipments. Do you have any specific information or knowledge of references materials on the shipping of the homes by rail, such as which railroads or rail routes were used, what type of cars were used to ship the homes, destinations, etc.?—John Fryar

There is little documentation in the Sears Archives to lend insight into your question. The few freight receipts we have do include railroad names: Texas & Pacific Railway Company, Santa Fe Railroad, St. Louis Southwestern Railway Co. of Texas, and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. That’s all we have, however.

Individual receipts of shipments would be the best, most accurate pieces of evidence for the railroad lines used for Modern Homes shipments. We can tell you, however, that by the 1930s, the Modern Homes department had shipped major lumber and millwork from plants in Mansfield, La., Newark, N.J., Norwood, Ohio, and Cairo, Ill. So all shipments of lumber would have fanned out throughout the United States from those three locations. As for the destinations of the shipments, the best evidence is again the catalogs, which mention in the text which cities already featured the advertised house models. Many of the images in our Imagebank feature such text.

Brazil (Indiana) Brick Bungalow (7/15/02)
I have been told by the grandson of the original owner of my house that it is a Sears Modern Home. However, in looking at the images on this site, I cannot find a similar outside appearance. The house is a two-bedroom bungalow with arches between the living room and dining room, and the kitchen does have the built-in cabinetry for the ironing board. The house was built in 1932. The outside veneer is brick and has 6-over-1 windows. The outside brick is stamped from Brazil, Ind. Did Sears use this brick manufacturer? Is there any other way to identify the house?—Dennis Smith

We don’t have any records of the brick manufacturers Sears used to supply its Modern Homes. According to a 1909 history of Clay County, Ind., however, Brazil was active in brick manufacturing since at least the mid-19th century. (See History of Clay County, Indiana, Vol. I, by William Travis.). We are not certain whether there was a manufacturer by the name of "Brazil," but it does seem that the bricks were at least manufactured in Brazil, Ind. Unfortunately, the only other way to identify your house would be to use a resource such as the book Houses By Mail (by Katherine Cole Stevenson and H. Ward Jandl) or find a copy of a 1932 Modern Homes catalog and search its pages.

The Write Stuff (7/18/02)
As a technical writer, I would love to see an example of the instruction manual for construction of a kit home. Are any available online?—C.B. Casper

We know of no Modern Homes construction or instruction manuals that are available online at this time.

1911 Modern Home? (7/25/02)
I am a remodeling contractor, and recently purchased a beautiful two-story house that will be moved. The home has been in the same family since it was built in 1911. The story is that the house was purchased for $950, shipped by rail, and built by neighbors. I was wondering if perhaps this could be a Sears house. It has unique diagonal doorway leading to the parlor area, off a wrap-around porch. The porch originally had a small balcony off the bedroom above it. Ring any bells?—Arthur Green

After checking both the 1910 and 1911 Modern Homes catalogs, we have been unable to find a house that adequately matches your description. There are numerous homes that featured wrap-around porches, including many with balconies above them; however, the diagonal doorway has us stumped. It is possible that the original design was altered by the owner for practical or personal reasons.

Pre-Modern Homes (7/23/02)
I have been told that our 1904 home in Seattle, Wash., is a Sears catalog home. Could this be true? If so, would it be possible to purchase a copy of the Modern Homes section from the 1903 and 1904 catalogs?—Rhian Lombard

Sears opened its Modern Homes department in 1908, which postdates your home by four years. However, Sears began its Building Materials department in 1895, which allowed customers to purchase the materials to build their own houses. Sears did not offer house designs in this period, 1895 to 1908. Your house could properly be called a "Sears" house if it were built using all Sears materials, but it is not a Modern Home.

Alhambras in Nebraska (7/29/02)
Our home is the Alhambra model and still has many of the original fixtures and features. Are there any other Alhambras in Nebraska? How many Alhambra models were sold?—Ellen Lierk

We don’t know of any Alhambras in your state, but keep checking our updated Registry to see if any homeowners add one to the growing list of homes. Unfortunately, we have no records of how many homes were sold for any particular model.

The Windsor (7/30/02)
I think I have a Windsor model Sears home. Do you have any information about this style of house?—Craig Higgs

The Windsor was offered by Sears throughout most of the 1920s. The two-story, five-room home was described in catalog pages as being "in the popular semi-bungalow architecture." Its front porch spanned 22 feet by 6 feet, with a balcony emerging from the two upstairs bedrooms. For $1,521 (in the 1926 catalog), the Windsor came with red cedar shingles, cypress siding, yellow pine flooring, and fir wood for the porch floorboards.

Looking Up Model Numbers (7/30/02)
I have a "one-floor-plan bungalow" that has been listed as significant to the history of my area. I am curious as to the name of the house. We have the original bath cabinets, with a model number. Is there anywhere I can look those model numbers up to obtain more information?—Tabatha

It will be very difficult to trace your house on the basis of the bathroom cabinet model numbers. The numbers could indicate any number of things, but probably will not get you closer to identifying your house, as the same kinds of bathroom cabinets could easily have been built into two completely different styles of homes, years apart. Your best bet would be to search our Imagebank of Modern Homes images and see if your home, floor plan and room dimensions match any of the images provided. You may also be able to check out a copy of the book Houses By Mail, which features renderings and descriptions of most of the Modern Homes designs.

Funding for Modern Homes Repairs (7/05/02)
I have an old Sears home. I am trying to restore it, but funding the project is difficult. Do you know about any funding available for repairing historic Sears homes?—Ronald Douglas

We recommend approaching local historical groups—city, county, and state historical societies and preservation agencies. You should gather as much information as you can about your house and the repairs needed. For example, you may help your own case if you can identify the year and model of your house.

Banned in Richmond, Va.? (6/20/02)
I talked to a local historian here in Richmond, Va., about Sears homes, and was told that there weren’t any [Sears homes] within the city limits because the kits did not meet local building codes at the time. Is this possible? Were there cities that did not allow the building of any Sears homes due to codes?—Jennifer

There are no records in the archives of the Modern Homes division that indicate Sears’ homes did not meet local building codes in certain cities. If they did not meet local codes, it must have been a very short list of codes, judging from the vast number of cities from coast to coast represented in the catalog pages. In fact, at least one popular Modern Homes model was built in Richmond, Va. "The Hazelton," which appeared in the 1911-13, 1916-18, and 1921-22 catalogs was advertised as having been built in Richmond.

If anyone has further light to shed on this topic, please send us a note.

The Belmont (6/15/02)
We have purchased "The Belmont" (a 1921 model), and we want to restore the home to original condition. We need to know what original colors, stains, etc. go with this home. Please help us figure this out!—Donna Gomillion

We’ll help you to the best of our abilities, Donna. Page 75 of the spring 1916 Modern Homes catalog advertised the Belmont model (then known as model no. C237) with the following description: "A good color scheme is golden brown for the body of the house, which is sided with shingles, with white trim and green for the roof." There is no mention of the interior stains that could have been used. We hope this gives you a good start on coloring your house’s exterior, though.

I’ve Got a House in Kalamazoo (6/14/02)
I am sure my house is a Sears house. All the trim is stamped with the name of Sears on the back. It is in Kalamazoo, Mich. I think it was built in the late 1930s. It is of panelized construction. Where can I find the original ad for it?—Wayne Howard

We suggest trying your local public libraries, or any nearby college or university libraries, to see if they have collections of the Modern Homes catalogs on hand. Try searching the catalogs for the mid- to late 1930s and see if any of the homes match closely the style of your house.

Can I Prove That My House Is a Sears House? (6/14/02)
Last year, when I bought my house I was told it was a Sears house. I did find a Sears shipping label on the back of a piece of baseboard. This two-story house has two bedrooms, with a bath upstairs, kitchen and parlor downstairs, and an inverted dormer that provides the two bedrooms’ front windows. Where can I find proof of this not only being a Sears house, but the type of model it was, too? I could not match my home with any on this Web site.—Ron Roney, Jr.

Unfortunately, without an original bill of sale, you probably won’t be able to obtain irrefutable evidence that your house is a Sears Modern Home. However, just because you could not find your style house on our Web site does not mean that it was not a Sears home, either. We have included only a small selection of images among the total number of Sears homes offered throughout the program (1908-1940). The shipping label is a good hint that your home may be a Sears Modern Home, but your best chance for evidence would be to locate the date on the shipping label (if it still exists) and then track down a couple of Modern Homes catalogs—one from that year, and perhaps the previous two years, as well—and scan the pages for your style of house. Local public libraries, plus college and university libraries, may have collections of the old catalogs either bound or on microfilm.

Concrete-Built Modern Homes (6/14/02)
Are you familiar with any Sears Modern Homes plans designed to be built out of concrete block? Some say that my house is a Sears home, but I have no documentation. I am guessing that my house was built around 1910. It has three rooms and a bath on one side, with a dining room, living room and kitchen on the other half, plus enclosed stairs leading to the attic and a vestibule in the middle. The porch goes all the way across the front. The back of the house is slightly narrower than the front. There is a dormer on the front, with three windows up high. There are also double window dormers on each side.—Ed Hayden

Several Modern Homes designs were described as being constructed of concrete blocks, particularly in the earlier years of the department. A glance at the 1911 Modern Homes catalog reveals five homes made of concrete blocks. None of the descriptions for these homes much resembles the description of your house, however. For example, Modern Home No. 52 was described as having "nine conveniently arranged rooms. Open stairway in the hall with closet underneath. Doors between stair hall and living room and between stair hall and bedroom. Double sliding doors between dining room and living room. Grade entrance opening to a landing with steps to the kitchen; closet in bedroom. On second floor are four bedrooms, four closets and bathroom." Remember, though, that any house could have been modified to the original owner’s tastes. Modern Home No. 52 sold for $782 and could have been built for about $2,200, according to the catalog.

Cover Model (6/13/02)
We believe our house graces the cover of 1929’s Modern Homes catalog. We would like to know the name or number of our model.—Bruce Erik Brauer

Unfortunately, we are missing the cover for our copy of the spring 1929 catalog, so we cannot give you the name or model number of that home. However, we do have the fall 1929 Honor Bilt Modern Homes catalog, and that cover’s model was "The Mitchell." According to the house’s description, it was "a very good example of a new type bungalow that [was] fast becoming popular in this country. Due to the high pitched roof, casement sash, batten doors and shutters and general rustic appearance of the exterior, it is classified as an English type bungalow."

Sears Barns (5/09/2002)
I just recently discovered that Sears also made marvelous barn kits. I’m interested in finding original or reproduction plans, pictures and any information about these structures.— Darcia Daglow

As far as we can determine, Sears offered pre-cut barns and other farm buildings through special catalogs from 1911 through 1932. From 1911 through 1917, a few barns were offered each year in the back pages of Sears Modern Homes catalogs. Beginning in 1918, Sears issued separate barn or farm building catalogs. The Sears Archives has a few of these catalogs on file for research. Copies or reproductions of the catalogs are not available. Unfortunately, because the early records of barn sales and construction were not kept, we cannot verify original purchases and we have no blueprints.

Sears—Deep in the Heart of Texas (5/06/2002)
My uncle, B. G. Lyons, ordered a Sears home in the early 1900s and it is located in Marysville, Texas. I spent many a night there when I was a girl, and it still sits on top of the hill and is in excellent shape. My dad helped build it and went to the train station to help pick the house up. I was wondering if you had a record when this particular home was built. My dad is gone now, and I can’t seem to find anyone who knows the year it was built.—Lana J. Moody

Since the early records of the original customers who purchased these barns or other buildings were not kept, we are not able to verify any as being purchased from Sears. We suggest that you research the local county records for land purchases and home sales. Also, you could research the style of house using the original catalog images in the Imagebank. Knowing what model of house your uncle built will give you some estimate of the date.

No. 229 Reconstruction (5/03/2002)
I recently purchased a No. 229 (built as a two-story home) that was originally built in 1916. In 1984, there was a major fire in the house (check for rafter clearance next to your chimneys!) that destroyed the top floor. The reconstruction was very well done, but I’ve been told that it didn’t follow the original design. I haven’t been able to locate any living relatives of the original owner to find a picture, and I was wondering if anyone out there who has a 1-1/2 or 2-story No. 229 would send me a picture of it, so I know what it looked like when it was first built.—Theresa Peterson

If any Modernhomes.com visitors can help out Theresa, you can e-mail her directly at the address given above. Good luck!

Modern Homes in Jupiter, Florida (5/02/2002)
I own a Sears home that was built in 1926 in Jupiter, Florida. I am told the kit for my house arrived by the Florida East Coast Railroad, which had a stop just over a mile down the road from my house. (My house is on a street that was Jupiter’s main street in the 1920s, and the nearby train station was the source for all incoming goods because it was next to the town’s general store and the Loxahatchee River, which empties into the Jupiter Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean.) I’m also told that five other Sears homes arrived in Jupiter by kit at the same time. I’m unable to find the exact model of my home from the images shown on this Web site and am convinced that the house was modified to better suit the Florida climate (e.g., no basement). I’m eager to hear from other Florida Sears home owners, especially anyone from the eastern coast, or from anyone who could provide more information on my home. Thanks!—Laura Bandy

Thanks for providing a glimpse into 1920s Jupiter, Florida, a scene that was likely common across the country from 1908 to 1940 as people picked up their recently purchased Modern Homes. We have only provided a small selection of images from the Modern Homes catalogs on this site. You may want to see if local libraries (public and university) may have Sears Modern Homes catalogs on microfilm. Also, the book Houses by Mail (see our "Reference Guide" for further information) has a great number of Modern Homes designs and layouts.

Modern Homes in Chattanooga, Tennessee? (5/01/2002)
I would like to find a Sears Modern Home in the Chattanooga, Tennessee, metropolitan area. This area is noted for its railroad heritage, so it seems reasonable that a few Sears home kits would have made their way here. Also, does anyone think it would be possible to build one of the homes to conform to modern codes if the building instruction manual was available?—William Killeffer

The Modern Homes catalogs frequently mentioned which cities certain homes had already been built in, but Chattanooga has not appeared in our preliminary search. Other Tennessee cities, such as Huntland, Mount Pleasant, and La Follette, have been mentioned, but no city in the Chattanooga metropolitan area. Nevertheless, that is no indication whatsoever that Chattanooga did not have its share of Sears homes. Your mention of the strong railroad heritage in Chattanooga is an indication that it would have been easier to deliver and receive Sears homes there than in other cities around Tennessee.

Perhaps some of our readers with knowledge of Chattanooga-area Sears homes could offer what they know.

Regarding your second question, it does seem that, given the number of Sears homes still standing and that continue to be bought and sold as-is, that several of the Sears home design could, with licensed and trained guidance, be built to conform to modern codes.

Chicago World’s Fair (4/28/2002)
An old family story told of my home being in the Chicago World’s Fair. It claimed that it was one of two Sears homes on display at the Fair. After the Fair, the two houses were moved by rail and built in Mineral, Illinois. The dates do not match the Modern Home timeline, but the style does. The addition in Mineral where the homes are was opened in 1894. Any information or directions?—David Hartley

Well, it depends on which Chicago World’s Fair you’re referring to—1893 ("Columbian Exposition") or 1933-34 ("Century of Progress"). We assume since you mentioned that the Mineral addition opened in 1894 you are referring to the 1893 World’s Fair. That would pre-date the Modern Homes program by 15 years, and at that time Sears did not even sell the products to produce homes on the scale of a Modern Home. However, by 1933, of course, the Modern Homes program was 25 years old and was even winding down in the face of the Great Depression and an unmanageable number of homeowners defaulting on their payments.

In 1934, Sears erected an "Honor Bilt" Modern Home at the Century of Progress exhibition in Chicago. "Honor Bilt" referred to the program’s highest-quality and premier line of Modern Homes. According to a May 13, 1934, Chicago Tribune article the home was a two-story, steel-framed and air-conditioned structure that would feature two bedroms (13 x 12 feet and 11 x 11 feet), a 23- x 13-foot living room, 10- x 11-foot dining room, and a 12- x 9-foot kitchen among other rooms.

We are unable to substantiate a second Modern Home, however. Both the Tribune article and a Modern Homes booklet distributed at the Fair mention only a single Sears house at the site of the Fair.

A Pre-Starlight "Starlight"? (4/21/2002)
According to our mortgage papers, our home was built in 1912. I believe it to be very similar to the model of the Starlight model, which was available in 1913. Was there anything similar to the Starlight that was built in 1912, and if so, how can I see prints, or how can I find out any information? I can’t seem to locate any catalogs printed in 1912.—Mary Jones

We first went to Houses by Mail, which said that the first year that Modern Homes offered the "Starlight" (known originally by the simple name "No. 217") was 1913. After that, we searched our Modern Homes catalogs, and indeed couldn’t find No. 217 appearing in the 1912 catalog. However, we found another home that resembled No. 217, but the original page was missing, and all our catalog contains now is a very poor reproduction. While the blurry appearance in our catalog seems to resemble closely No. 217, we found better evidence for No. 401 being the home you are looking for.

The dimensions and floor plans were exactly the same for each home, and even the catalog descriptions were borrowed. In 1913, page 12 read, "This tasty design of bungalow …," and page 98 of the 1912 catalog introduced the No. 401 as "A bungalow of tasty design." Further, while the description of No. 217 never mentions the previous model by name or number, the text does say that "over one hundred homes of this design [have been] built from our plans and our materials." No. 401 sold for $483.

We think that the No. 401 was, in fact, a predecessor of the No. 217.

Other Houses by Mail? (4/20/2002)
I read an article online that mentioned 10 other homes not included in the mail-order homes reference book Houses by Mail [see our "Reference Guide" for further information—ed.]. Were there other houses along the same lines as the Sears homes or were they different?

We recommend Houses by Mail as the best resource we know of for researching Sears Modern Homes architectural designs, but we cannot vouch for its statistics regarding the total number of Modern Home designs for the simple reason that we cannot be certain how many designs there actually were. We do not have a complete set of the Modern Homes catalogs, so we are unable to tally the number ourselves.

Northern Exposure?
Les Henry, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (4/19/2002)
Were Sears houses marketed in Canada? If so, where was the Canadian office, and what years did it operate? Did Sears have mills in Canada.—Les Henry, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

There are no records indicating that Sears ever marketed Modern Homes in Canada. Nevertheless, Modern Homes catalogs reported sales from New Hampshire to North Dakota and on up to Alaska. Theoretically, anyone in Canada who received a Modern Homes catalog and could pick up their lumber at a railroad station—Modern Homes’ standard method of delivery for shipments over 40 miles from a mill was by train—could have purchased homes from Sears.

Aladdin Company (4/19/2002)
I have a Marshfield A, and I was told that it was a Sears home. I have the original plans and blueprints, but they say that it is an Aladdin Company blueprint. Was Aladdin part of Sears Modern Homes or is my home not really a Sears home?—Heather Zynda

Aladdin was not part of Sears, Roebuck and Co. It was, however, one of several companies such as Sears existing before that Great Depression that sold "kit" homes through catalogs. For additional information about Aladdin homes, you can visit the Web site of Central Michigan University’s Clarke Historical Library, which hosts a special page devoted to the Aladdin Company. (The Aladdin Company’s records were donated to the library in the 1950s.)

The Elsmore Interior (3/16/02)
I'm doing a paper on the Elsmore House (interior) and am looking for any info. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank You—Gretchen

The Elsmore was a single story, five bedroom, one bath bungalow-style home. It was offered through the Modern Homes catalogs from 1916 through 1926 in two floor plans. Is anyone aware of an Elsmore that Gretchen might be able to reference for her research?

Doors for a Martha Washington (3/16/02)
My family and I have lived in a wonderful 1921 Martha Washington for 15 years. Sadly, when we moved in we discovered that the doors between the living room and the dining room had been removed. In addition, decorative glass in the doors of two small cabinets under a living room window seat had also been removed. I'd like to know if anyone has any of these doors stored anywhere or could send me pictures. I'd love to restore those missing items.—David Bliss

Customers who purchased Sears Modern Homes were able to select doors, fixtures and cabinetry from a large selection of styles and materials. This makes it extremely difficult to identify cabinets and doors precisely. Nevertheless, are there any Modern Homes homeowners who could help (name) by providing photos or information?

Home Purchase Records (3/11/02)
Is it possible to discover what type of house a deceased relative may have purchased from sears records? The name would be Josef Anton Meusburger, purchased from 1910-1930?—John Benedict

Unfortunately, after the Sears Modern Homes program was dismantled around 1940, the records of home purchases were not kept. You can, however, review our Reference Guide page for additional sources of information about identifying Modern Homes.

The Clyde (3/5/2002)
I have a Clyde, and I think it is a No. 7030 because it looks like the bathroom was added at a later date. The cabinets are the ones shown for the 9030. Is there any way to find out more information and to prove my home is of historical value? The city is extending a road easement and the house is in the way! We have room to move it back out of harm’s way, and I would like to preserve it as a historical site for the city.—Betty Nolting

To identify the home, we suggest you review the suggestions for identifying a Modern Home provided on this site and visit the Reference Guide in our Reference section for additional reading. For assistance with preservation, many towns, cities and counties have local history commissions, architectural review boards, and even town historians who serve as advocates for preservation of historical buildings

Old Is New? (4/18/01)
I would like to know if there is a catalog of fixtures, kitchen cabinets, trim and other things that furnished the houses of the "older" Sears catalog homes. (1910–1930). What I am seeking is a company that makes these things to the same specifications today as Sears did originally. I thought I read somewhere that a place in Kansas City made replica Sears furnishings. Can anyone help me?—Scott Hale

A quick Internet search for replica Sears furnishings turned up a wealth of individuals and stores that sell replica Modern Homes-era Sears furnishings. You may want to scan the Internet for the nearest dealer, and those dealers may tell you who manufactures their furnishings.

If any readers know of the Kansas City manufacturer Scott is looking for—or if you know of other manufacturers of Modern Home-era replica fixtures and furnishings—let him know.

"Avenue" Restoration (4/18/01)
I am looking to restore "The Avenue" (No. 55P33) frame garage and the "perfect garage doors." If anyone has any drawings/prints, I would be very interested in getting copies of them.—Bob Disch

Reasons to Register (4/12/01)
I’ve had quite a bit of luck researching my home—the Hamilton—on the Internet and figured maybe it could help to register. We have been in this home for about 3 years. What makes it unique is that in 1977 an addition was "added" to the home without much of a change. Whereas, in 1996 another change took place in the very front of home, and the front dormer was removed. The interior in the "Hamilton" part of the house is still very much original … and I'd like to keep it that way!—WA2LAN$$$aol.com

Your letter is a great reminder why visitors to searsmodernhomes.com should sign up in our Registry. Other Modern Home owners are ideal for discovering the quirks and nuances of Sears designs and construction and what to do when you are renovating or furnishing your own Modern Home.

By entering your name, house, area and e-mail address, you are building a unique resource—a nationwide community of Modern Home owners who can share information, swap stories and learn from each other.

The House That Sears Built (4/11/01)
I live in the Riverside Modern Home model (No. 3324). I was so excited to see my home on this web page. I just read about this site in our newspaper today. We have been slowly remodeling our house and have noticed that everything says Sears, so we often joked that this is the house that Sears built. And so it is true! Can I get a copy of any paperwork you may have on this house?—Sharon

We’re glad to know that you were able to find your house so easily. And we wish we could provide you with copies of paperwork for the Riverside, but there just isn’t any available. Perhaps another reader, though, has the paperwork to his or her Riverside home and will contact you. Readers?

Oak Park, Illinois (4/11/01)
We have been told by the previous owners that our house is a Sears home. I have found a very close match in the 1908–1914 section of the Imagebank. Is anyone aware of Sears homes in Oak Park, Illinois? We have no other hints to go on.—Melissa Colombo

I suppose it would be too easy to hope that your house is the Oak Park, which was a Modern Home model that Sears offered beginning in 1926. Unfortunately, 1926 is many years later than the period in which you’re looking.

There are many towns and neighborhoods dotting the Chicago area that proudly claim Sears Modern Homes as being among their historic houses, so it is likely that not only were Sears homes built in Oak Park, but that Sears homes still stand in your town. If any readers know of Sears homes still standing in Oak Park, please e-mail Melissa.

The Sherburne (4/10/01)
I would like to hear from any Sears homeowners regarding The Sherburne. I believe my home is the No. 187, and I think it was built in 1918 or so. It is located in Superior, Wisconsin. If anyone has any information to share about The Sherburne, please e-mail me.— loviestark$$$aol.com

While you’re waiting for readers to respond to your request, click on the thumbnail image to see The Sherburne (also sold as No. 187) as it appeared in the 1913 Modern Homes catalog. The Sherburne appeared in Sears Modern Homes catalogs in 1913, 1916–1918, 1921 and 1922.

Do You Have Any Plans? (3/26/01)
I am looking for plans to any Sears Modern Homes. If anyone has original plans, I would like to get a copy mailed to me—it doesn't matter what model home it is. I would be willing to pay for any copying or postage fees. If anyone has plans, please e-mail me.—Renae Brown

The Stovall (3/19/01)
In the early 1900s, my great-grandfather built a Sears Modern Home on his farm in Erath County, Texas. The model was The Stovall. I'm trying to find a photo and a floor plan of this model, and I would appreciate any help.—Judy Strangfeld

None of our records indicate that Sears ever sold a home by the model name of "Stovall." Perhaps another searsmodernhomes.com reader has heard of this model names. If you have heard of a home model by the name of "Stovall," please e-mail us using the form on the left of this page.

Looks Like a Valonia—Sort of (3/16/01)
We have a Sears home that was built in 1929, but we cannot identify the model or the original floor plan. It is very close in style to the Valonia, but the front door opens into the living room, and an elaborate, wide doorway with built-in cabinets in the living room opens into the dining room on the left. There are stairs going to the second level out of the dining room. The big difference from the Valonia in the outside appearance is a window on the landing of the stairs going up to the second level. There are three bedrooms and a bathroom on that level and an odd feature in the bathroom behind the medicine cabinet (a closet-type thing that is about three feet off the floor and runs behind the cabinet).

Does this ring a bell to anyone? I would really like to know what the original floor plan was for the house. Are there any other resources to determine the model of our home?—Amanda Bunning

Your best chance to identify your house would be to check the floor plans of other, same-era homes that are listed in our Imagebank. Remember that, if you are certain your house is a Sears Modern Home, the original owner could have customized a Valonia in any number of ways.

If Amanda’s house sounds familiar to any of our faithful readers, please write us and we’ll post your response. Otherwise, you can e-mail her directly.

Two-Story Starlight (3/16/01)
We've owned a piece of property on Cape Cod since 1988. We believe it is a Sears Modern Home. Looking through the Imagebank, we found that the Starlight Model 7009 floor plan is almost a mirror image of our house, although it is reversed. Our house also has a second story that appears to be part of the original construction. It has two bedrooms and a bathroom, with dormers (4 of them) facing each direction. Do you know if there was a two-story Starlight that goes by a different name?—Merrill Kruse

There is no indication of a particular house that a two-story version of the Starlight. The Modern Homes program included many homes that were slight variations of similar architectural designs, making it very difficult to pick one model that was a variation of another, specific model.

Nevertheless, try viewing the Winona. The image appears in the Imagebank for the year 1932 but was sold for most of the years from 1916-1939. It has a similar floor plan to the Starlight, and their dimensions are relatively similar for the first level.

Keep in mind that Sears Modern Home architects were not innovators in home design, so their homes reflected the fashionable styles of the day. A Sears home could just as likely have been modeled after another, anonymous architectural style.

Barn Blueprints/Manuals (3/05/01)
I am looking for drawings or manuals for a Sears Springfield Modern Barn No. 3023 or an Honor Bilt Gothic Arch Barn No. 2061. They were both sold in the Modern Farm Building and Barn catalogs from 1923 to 1929.—Rob Goodrich

Unfortunately, no complete archive exists for Sears farm buildings, barns, or Modern Homes. However, it is possible that a searsmodernhomes.com visitor may still have the drawings and instruction manuals for their Sears barns. If anyone has or knows where Rob can find the manual and drawings for a Springfield Modern Barn No. 3023 or an Honor Bilt Gothic Arch Barn No. 2061, please e-mail us, or you can e-mail Rob directly — Rob Goodrich.

A Call for No. 165 Photos (2/28/01)
We are building a replica of Modern Home No. 165 as a visitor center (to open in 2002) at Ushers Ferry Historic Village in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Does anyone have any information about this particular house? We would like to find someone who is living in this house and request exterior and interior photos from him or her. Any help would be greatly appreciated.—Vicki Hughes

Your choice of Modern Home should be an attractive one. Click on the thumbnail image to see Modern Homes Model No. 165 as it appeared in the 1911 catalog. The catalog page gives a sense of No. 165’s beauty. It featured "plenty of room, light and ventilation … a large front porch with massive colonial columns and a spacious rear porch," according to the description.

If anyone lives in a Modern Home No. 165, please contact Vicki at her e-mail address above.

Sears Lumber Stamps (2/23/01)
I understand that if a home has the Sears stamp on the lumber it may or may not be a Modern Home. If there is no stamp on any of the lumber, does that mean that the house definitely is not a Sears Modern Home?—a reader from Branchburg, New Jersey

You’ve identified a key difficulty in verifying Sears Modern Homes. Not all Modern Homes had Sears stamps.

Sears actually encouraged builders of Modern Homes to save money by ordering their lumber from local lumber mills. Sears wanted Modern Homes to be cost-effective for buyers, which often meant purchasing materials locally and not from the few and geographically distant Sears lumber mills.

Modern Homes Reprints (2/20/01)
Am I correct in assuming there has been no re-creation or reprinting of the original Modern Homes catalogs?—Elaine Marshall

Only two catalogs related to the Modern Homes program have been reprinted. Dover Publications has reprinted the Sears, Roebuck Catalog of Houses, 1926 and the Sears, Roebuck Home Builders Catalog: The Complete Illustrated 1910 Edition, which lists some homes and prices but generally features building supplies.

Looking for a No. 158 (2/14/01)
We would like to see a No. 158 in person. Can you help us?—Karyn & Kevin Pellatt, Madison, WI

If any readers own or know of a Sears Modern Home No. 158 that Karyn and Kevin can visit, please e-mail them. Click on the link for a view of No. 158, which appeared in the 1911, 1912, and 1913 catalogs.

Calling All Lakelands (2/08/01)
I have a Lakeland, which is a double-townhouse structure [sold from 1911-1913, 1916-1918, 1921-1922, 1928, ed.]. The exterior is very standard, from what I know of this model. However, the interior has been divided into 4 one-bedroom apartments. Does anyone know of any other Lakelands, and, if so, where are they? This house is in Alton, IL, which is next to Wood River, IL, and near Carlinville, IL, both of which have a high density of Sears Modern Homes.—Philip Bear

Can anyone help Philip locate any more Lakelands? You can either respond to searsmodernhomes.com or e-mail Philip directly.

Standard Oil/Carlinville, IL, Homes: Part II
I am the Carlinville, Illinois, Sears Modern Home historian whose house is featured in the BBC Documentary. (They spent three days filming every nook and cranny of my home.) Our home has also been featured in many magazines and newspaper articles. Right now, it is featured on the show "Dream Builders" airing on the Home & Garden Television channel.

Regarding the question about the lone house still standing in Standard City [see "Standard Oil/Carlinville, IL, Homes"], as far as I know, that home was moved to Route 108, just east of Carlinville. It is the Langston model and is currently home to a dairy-farming family. The house has been added onto and changed considerably, but through careful research I was able to determine that it is the last house to have been moved from Standard City.

I have an entire room in my home dedicated to Sears Modern Homes, including shelves of catalogs and related materials. I also have the original book How To Build Your Ready Cut Honor Built Home, which tells step-by-step how to build everything from the foundation to the chimney.

If any readers would like to get information on their homes or just chat about Modern Homes, please feel free to e-mail me. As soon as I get my 20 years of Sears data organized, I will be writing a book on the homes. Anything else I find from other readers will be helpful.—Laurie Flori

Thanks so much for your letter, Laurie. We’re certainly glad to hear that the remaining Standard City home is still standing and that you’re doing your part to preserve and share your knowledge of Modern Homes.

A Sears Modern Home or Just a Sears Home?
We've found a Sears Home—we think. It has the five-piece eave brackets that were typical of Sears homes, we've identified Sears homes on either side of it and we've found the imprint on exposed lumber inside the house, but we can't find the style anywhere in any book.

Is it possible the house was so customized (by the original owner) that it just doesn't match anything in the catalogs? The house is in mostly original condition—a rare find in Wood River [Illinois].

It's a simple 1.5 story bungalow, with the one, big-gabled dormer centered on the front of the roof. It looks like a hybrid Carlin/Vallonia/Bandon/Sheridan.— Rose Thornton

One of the charms of Modern Homes has become the bane of the historian’s task: Buyers could alter practically any aspect of the house’s construction, which could render the original design unrecognizable. Fixtures, siding, flooring, room placement, dormers and an infinite number of other features could be—and were—customized.

Buyers could indicate these changes right on the order form included in Modern Homes catalogs or visit a sales office and work with Sears associates to build the home of their dreams, according to their specifications. Remember, too, that buyers could submit their own architectural plans to Sears, and the Modern Homes division would sell the materials and provide the builders to build the house.

So, it is quite possible that you have identified all of the above: a Sears home, a Modern Homes hybrid and a home customized beyond identification.

Ad Space
Can Modern Homes and related items be advertised for sale on this site?

Searsmodernhomes.com is intended solely for informational purposes, so we will not post either Modern Homes for sale or related merchandise sales.

Archives
Can I obtain a list of Sears homes that were shipped to Joliet, Illinois, the addresses where they were shipped and the approximate dates they were shipped? Is there an archive or library that may have that kind of information?—Barb Newberg

No archive of all Sears Modern Home purchases exists. Local historical societies are often good sources of information on the presence of Modern Homes.

Model 13333: The Marion
I was thrilled to find our house on this site. It has been modified but is Model 13333 "Marion." Our house has cedar shingles, and a dormer was added on the rear to match the front. My question is whether the original catalog information is available regarding fixtures, options, etc. If anyone knows where I can get a reprint I would appreciate it.—Lois Berenyi

The Marion, was an attractive five-room bungalow offered in the 1933-1935, 1937, and 1937 Modern Home catalogs. The original catalogs would have included a full listing of the fixtures and options available to buyers in the price lists.

You can try searching local libraries to see if they have Modern Home catalogs. Otherwise, The Marion, like all Modern Homes, was designed in a style that was typical of the era, so you could also look for Sears general merchandise and specialty catalogs from the mid-to-late-1930s to get an idea of the furnishing possibilities.

Can’t Identify 1918 House
We have a Sears home that was built in 1918. My great-grandfather ordered it, so I'm not sure if the house would have been in either the 1918 or the 1917 catalog. Are all Modern Home pictures on your web site? I cannot seem to find one even similar to ours.—Sheila Olsen

Our Imagebank and Home Listing contain only a sampling of images from the Modern Home catalogs. Throughout this year, however, we will be adding more images from the catalog pages, so check back frequently.

Chicago Sears Home?
When remodeling my home (built in 1928) I found a shipping label. It had no name, but the address was 925 Homan Ave., Chicago. The order number is 5915 and the invoice reads "933138 Rail Rd CRI&P." Could it be a Sears Modern Home?—W. Searfoss

Unless you can find specific documentation, such as the blueprints or Modern Homes building plans, it will be difficult to positively identify your house as a Sears Modern Home. I suggest you go to our Imagebank and search through some of the pictures, floor plans and descriptions from 1928 and a few years preceding it. You may find your house’s design in the Imagebank right away.

You may have a clue, however, in the shipping label. Modern Homes building materials were shipped by train, and, while I am uncertain what "933138 Rail Rd" refers to exactly, I know that the CRI&P (Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific) was a busy Midwestern train line in 1928. Its stops included dozens throughout Illinois, and the Cairo, Illinois, plant was perhaps the largest lumber manufacturer for Modern Homes. A quick search of online maps shows that the address of 925 Homan Ave. is very near a current train line.

What does all this mean? It means that your house could be a Sears house, but you should search our Imagebank to try and identify the model.

Restoration on a 1927 Home
I just bought a house that I was told was a Sears Modern Home built in 1927. I am trying to find some plans for it so I can do some restoration work and add on but keep the original look of the Sears home. Is there somewhere I can look?—Linda Dungey

We’re glad to know that you want to preserve the original look of your Sears home. No archive of Sears Modern Homes blueprints or building plans exists. However, there are several steps you can take to facilitate the proper restoration of the house.

First, you may want to contact your state governor’s office to obtain a copy of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation so that your renovation meets their standards. Second, check your local libraries and bookstores, which have a wealth of books on period restoration. And, while you are on searsmodernhomes.com, you can check our Imagebank to see the floor plans and detailed descriptions of 1927-era Modern Homes.

Last, if you are interested in decorating your home with period furnishings, many public and university libraries have Sears catalogs on microfilm. These catalogs may provide you with some great ideas to make your house an attractive and accurate window to the past. Good luck!

Standard Oil/Carlinville, IL, Houses
I am doing research on a large cluster of Sears homes in Wood River, Illinois. Standard Oil of Indiana bought 192 Sears Modern Homes in 1919 for workers at the refinery; of those 192, 156 were erected in Carlinville. Of that number, 3 have since burned and 1 was moved to a new location. 152 are still standing.

However, 36 of that 192-home order were erected in nearby Wood River. We've found 24 of the houses, all lined up in a row, and we've found another 7 scattered around town, but we suspect those 7 were built after 1919. We can't find the other 12 houses Standard Oil purchased! We're using "houses by mail" [ed. Houses by Mail: A Guide to Houses From Sears, Roebuck and Co., by Katherine Cole Stevenson and H. Ward Jandl] as our reference guide, but I know there are housing styles not featured in that book.

How can we find the "missing" houses? How can we identify Sears Homes if we don't know what they looked like? Any suggestions? Please send any ideas for helping us solve this mystery!

P.S. Wood River's 24 homes in a row are featured in the 1925 Sears Modern Homes catalog. Wood River, we're learning, is a treasure trove of Sears Homes. If only we could find them all!—Rose Thornton, Wood River, Illinois

You’ve certainly done your homework, Rose. In fact, your historic sleuthing has opened up a fascinating slice of not just Modern Homes, but American history, too. The Standard Oil homes have been the subject of countless newspaper and magazine articles, including one in Smithsonian, as well as a BBC documentary. Fortunately, there is an answer to your mystery.

In 1918, Standard Oil of Indiana opened two new mines, employing about 700 workers at Berry and Schoper mines. Standard Oil paid $1 million for 192 houses to be built in three nearby towns: Carlinville, Wood River, and—here’s your missing town—Schoper, according to a letter of appreciation from Standard Oil that was reproduced in the 1921 Modern Homes catalog.

As Rose wrote, 156 of the houses were built in Carlinville, which named the new cluster of houses "Standard Addition." Another 24 homes were built in Wood River. The other 12 houses were built in Schoper, Illinois.

Unfortunately, whereas almost all of the Carlinville and Wood River Sears homes survive to this day, as of 1985, only 1 of the Schoper houses still stood. It seems that when Schoper mine closed in 1925, its workers left to find other work. The town never recovered. Schoper was renamed "Standard City" in 1978, and, today, little remains of what was once a thriving mining community. According to recent Macoupin County statistics, Standard City’s population stands at 135.

If anyone knows whether that lone house is still standing in Standard City, e-mail us so we can let Rose know.

Frank W. Kushel
I would also like more information about Frank W. Kushel, the man responsible for the Modern Homes division turnaround.—Rob Mackle

Just when we were about to give up and tell you we could find no information on Frank W. Kushel, we found a history of the Sears Modern Homes program—written, signed and dated by Mr. Kushel himself. The letter is dated October 1943 and was written to Mr. Louis E. Asher, cousin of former Sears President Julius Rosenwald and the author of Send No Money, an early history of Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Briefly, Frank Kushel, the man responsible for starting the Modern Homes program, joined Sears in February of 1904. Ironically, Sears was Kushel’s second choice for employment. He wrote in the letter to Asher that he originally wanted to work for Marshall Field & Co., which at that time "enjoyed the reputation as the World’s great merchandisers [sic]." However, a conversation with Richard Sears was so inspirational to Kushel that he changed his mind and started working as a buyer of china.

We’ll let Kushel describe what happened in 1906: "Mr. Sears offered me the temporary job of disposing of the millwork merchandise [homebuilding materials, mostly wood and glass] that was being discontinued because of the fact that it was unprofitable. The thought kept coming to me that a million dollars of sales per year was being scrapped, because it was unprofitable, and this business could be made profitable if the warehousing costs could be eliminated. The solution was to ship this merchandise direct from the factory to the customer."

Richard Sears loved Kushel’s idea and the Modern Homes program was born. Within two years, the two men had consulted with an architect and actual farmers and homeowners as to what kind of houses they wanted, and the first house designs were sold in a catalogue. (See the History section for more program details and a Timeline).

Modern Homes Testimonial
The Sears house that is in our family was built in 1936 by my father and is still owned by the family. It was first used as a summer home. In the early ‘60's, central heat was added. It was rented to college students during the school year and was available to the family during the summer. Many Cornell students rented the home over the years.

It has had tender, loving care and is still in good condition. Dormers were added during the early years, along with a fireplace. To the best of my recollection, Dad said it cost $300. (I would be interested in finding whether that price is correct.) In the 1940s, a basement was built next to the house and, after completion, the house was moved over on top of it.

It has been the gathering spot for the family through the years and a part of our family treasure. This summer we will celebrate the house’s 62nd anniversary.

Thanks for such an eloquent remembrance of your Sears home. I’m sure many of you have similar stories to tell about your Sears homes. Please send us your Sears Modern Home testimonials—building the house, a favorite memory, move-in day, etc.—and we will post them to this site. We want to hear your stories, so send them in.

"The Hollywood"
I have a home in historic Riverside, California, that is very similar to "The Hollywood" (1916, 1917, 1918, 1921, 1922), but mine is a few years older. Can anyone identify a model from 1908-1912 that is similar to "The Hollywood"?—Doug Buckmaster, Riverside, CA

Well, Doug, you have us stumped. The full-width brick-and-stucco porch of "The Hollywood" makes for a unique design among Sears Modern Homes. "The Elmwood" and "No. 225" are perhaps the closest matches to the gabled construction of "The Hollywood" that were made between 1908 and 1912. Even those houses do not look much like "The Hollywood."

Can anyone help Doug identify a Modern Homes model that is similar to "The Hollywood" but was built between 1908 and 1912? In the meantime, Doug, you can go to our Imagebank to look at house models from 1908-1914 to see if you can identify one of those homes as yours.

I would like to build a model of "The Hollywood"—H. Ocala, Florida

You’ve set your sights high by choosing to build "The Hollywood." This bungalow-style home featured some unique design aspects, and, according to the Modern Homes catalog, was honored by architectural magazines.

We don’t have any blueprints available to help you with building your Modern Home, but you can see "The Hollywood" as it was featured in the Modern Homes catalog by visiting the 1915-1920 image bank.

If any ModernHomes.com visitors have any suggestions for the reader from Ocala, Florida, please submit them and we will post them to this site.

Modern Home No. 158
I'm looking for any information you have on Modern Home No. 158. I would also like a set of blueprints.—Kevin, Madison, WI 

No. 158 was offered in the 1911, 1912 and 1913 Modern Home catalogs, at prices ranging from $1,548 to $1,845. Unfortunately, there are no blueprints available for Modern Homes.

It was indeed a modern-looking home, with its square design, large porch and a 24-foot x 10-foot pergola opposite the servant’s quarters. The standard house design featured 8 rooms, 1.5 baths, a shed dormer and beamed ceilings in the living and dining rooms. According to the catalog, "The first story is covered with narrow bevel edge cypress siding, the second story with cedar shingles and has a cedar shingle roof."

Remember that owners could alter and reverse floor plans and designs in any number of ways, so a No. 158 today may not look exactly like what was originally advertised by Sears. For the 1911 catalog image and full a description of No. 158, click on this link (No. 158).

1900 Sears Home?
I was told that my house is a Sears kit home. It is a cottage that was built on the grounds of the Mizpah Country Club in Sheffield Lake, Ohio. My deed shows the house being built in 1900. Did Sears build any homes prior to 1908?—John Bacan

That’s a good question, John. Sears did not open the Modern Homes department until 1908, and it did not sell home designs before that time. So, your cottage is not a Sears "kit home."

However, Sears sold building materials beginning in 1895, five years before the date of your house’s deed. That means you could have a "Sears home" in the sense that it was built from Sears materials.

Modern Homes Sales Offices
Was the only way to buy a Sears Modern Home by ordering out of the catalog?

Actually, many customers bought their homes in person from Modern Home Sales Offices. This was a convenient way for people to work closely with trained Sears representatives to customize their homes. Buyers could choose such items as the kind of wood used for flooring and the style of their fixtures.

The first Modern Homes Sales office opened in 1919 in Akron, Ohio. By 1930, Sears had 350 employees working with homeowners in 48 sales offices across the country.

Blueprints
Can someone find any of the old Sears Modern Homes catalogs and build one of those homes today?—Irene Wright

Unfortunately, the Sears, Roebuck and Co. Archives have no file of blueprints for the Modern Homes program. The catalogs do not have the blueprints printed in them, either. Each house’s materials were shipped to the buyer with an elaborate packet that included construction manuals and the blueprints.

However, you can click on the Images of Homes link to see sample floor plans and dimensions for the homes. Thanks for your question!

Modern Homes in Rochester, New York?
Does anyone know of any Modern Homes in the Rochester, New York, area?—Ruth, Rochester, NY

Can any searsmodernhomes.com visitors help Ruth? If you know of or own a Modern Home in or around Rochester, NY, please respond using the form on the left side of this screen and we will post the responses when they come in. If you own a Modern Home in the Rochester area, be sure to register it in the Registry.

How do I know if my house is a Sears house?
The short answer is you can’t. Not absolutely, that is. No registry of houses from the Modern Homes program exists. Documentary evidence such as a bill of sale, blueprints, an instruction manual, and stamped and labeled beams that correspond to the instruction manuals can help verify your house is a Sears house. The presence of Sears-stamped materials, however, is not enough as people often bought Sears’s homebuilding materials without buying the entire house, or they could have even constructed the house entirely of Sears materials beginning in 1895, before the Modern Homes program was implemented. The best way to identify a potential Sears house is to find when the house was built (and hopefully the name or catalog number) and then to search our Images of Homes link by year and number or name for the appropriate house. Remember that a Sears house could have been modified in numerous ways, including a reversed floor plan.

How many different styles of homes did Sears design?
Sears advertised 447 different house designs through its Modern Homes program from 1908 to 1940. To see images and floor plans of the house designs click on the Images of Homes link.

How can I furnish my house to resemble the era of its construction?
Once you know the year or the era of your house, then go to the Images of Homes and click on the house’s link. This will lead you to an image of the house and floor plan as appeared in the catalog. Often Sears included illustrations and photographs of the interior of their homes so customers could furnish and decorate according to the day’s fashion. If you don’t know the year or even the exact house, then scan several houses on the Images of Homes page from the era to get a general idea of typical interior designs.

Are blueprints available from Sears for their designs?
Unfortunately, no file of blueprints exists for Modern Homes.

How can I contact other Sears Modern Home owners or enthusiasts?
Visit our Registry by clicking on the link above, where you can leave any contact information you wish as well as a specific question or interest. The Registry will be constantly updated and we encourage you to visit it often.

 
  Copyright © 2014. Sears Brands, LLC. All rights reserved.  Contact   Updated: Mar 21, 2012