Sears offered 447 different models in their Modern Homes catalogs, according to information found on the Sears Archives website. http://www.searsarchives.com/homes/index.htm
Currently, there are 495 Sears Houses in Cincinnati listed on the National Database of Sears Houses, comprising of 95 of those 447 Sears models. But which one was the most popular? The Rodessa (No. 7041)
Coming in at 616 square feet, it was the tiny house of the day.
Sears had great things to say about it.
Here’s the tiny house floor plan.
The Rodessa was offered from 1919 until 1932, with a few modifications.
In 1925, if you wanted a bit more space in those bedrooms, you could order the house (No. 3203) without a bathroom!
Just kidding about that. The model without a bathroom was offered, most likely, for those wanting a hunting or vacation cottage, which would be built in an area with no modern services. Note that if you purchased the house without the bathroom, the actual model NUMBER was different. Even though Sears gave their homes cute little names after 1916, when you placed your order by mail, you would list the model number on the order blank, not the name.
In 1930, Sears updated the look of The Rodessa, but the floor plan remained the same. This plan was offered until 1932. It also was given a new model number, the No. 3317. This change in model numbers from year to year, due to exterior changes or slight modifications in the floor plan, might account for the large number of models that the Sears Archives has listed. We now know that the Rodessa was offered with three different model numbers. One researcher has spent considerable time reviewing this and has come up with a much smaller number of models offered by Sears, about 370.
Here’s the updated Rodessa (No. 3317) from the 1932 catalog.
So, how many Rodessa models are there in Cincinnati? Thirty-four. No, I don’t have pictures of all of them. Yet. But here are a few. And after you see these, maybe, just maybe, you might spot one of the others while you are driving around town. Look for the distinctive front porch with the three piece arch beneath the the standard gable, as that style is the one most commonly found.
Happy Rodessa hunting!