A Sears Fullerton in Dayton

And my quest continues……..to locate and identify houses purchased as kits through mail order catalogs.

About once a week, I hop onto Zillow and check out the new listings in various cities around Ohio, in the hopes of spotting one of the Sears Roebuck models I recognize.  (No, I don’t know them all.)

Several weeks ago, I saw a listing for a house in Dayton that I was pretty sure was a Sears Fullerton.

Sears Fullerton 1925

The Fullerton from the 1925 Sears Modern Homes catalog

And today, I was in Dayton, and decided to stop by for a closer look.  I knew from the photos on the real estate listing that the house was vacant, so I took the opportunity to get some close up pictures of the outside.  From my exterior examination, and the interior photos on the realtor website, I am now 99.9% sure this is a Fullerton, purchased as a kit from Sears Roebuck in 1924.  (Year of build is from the Montgomery Co Auditor)

Sears Fullerton in Dayton, OH

Sears Fullerton at 2837 Ferncliff Ave. in Dayton

Here are the documenting details of the exterior.

The front porch pillars of the Fullerton have large brick bases with square wooden posts above.  The posts have an inset.  At the base of the large brick bases is a smaller brick detail that accents the front stairs.  The original front door has ten window panes.

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See that back plate on the front door knob?  That’s the Stratford Design hardware that was included with the kit for the Fullerton.

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Here’s a close up of the Stratford Design front door assembly.  I’ve seen this door plate in person before, and am always surprised at how large it is.


Now, let’s move inside.  No…..I didn’t go inside….but I’m going to show you some of the pretty awesome pictures that the Realtor took.

First, let’s have a look at the additional catalog page that Sears showed in their 1925 Modern Homes catalog.

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Check out that living room view to the stairway.

58 Fullerton Interiors (2)

I have no idea why Sears would even suggest that you paint the woodwork white, when if you didn’t, it would look like this.


Photo from Realtor website

The realtor was kind enough to take this awesome photo of the stairway, too.


Photo from Realtor website

From the two photos above, you can see the quality of the lumber that Sears provided for their kit houses.  The lumber used for this house is 90 years old, and still in remarkable condition.  Sears was always promoting their quality.

I can hear the Modern Homes salesman YELLING at us about the quality of their lumber now.

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Here’s a photo showing the lovely two panel interior doors with the Stratford Design hardware.


Photo from Realtor website

Check out the bathroom!


Photo from Realtor website


Photo from Realtor website

Here’s the floor plan of The Fullerton as seen in the 1925 catalog.  I used this floor plan illustration to match up the window arrangement from the outside.  That is another way to determine if the house is from Sears.

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Windows match on the left side. There is an addition on the back of the house that is not original.


Windows and side entry on the right match.  From this angle, you can also see that the furnace chimney is in the right place.

 Another detail of The Fullerton that I didn’t mention before is the small single pane window in the dormer.  That also matches the catalog illustration.


The back of the house showing two upstairs windows that match the floor plan and the downstairs addition.


The house has a two car garage at the rear of the yard.  Sears sold kits for garages as well.  The garage has an entry door with the Stratford Design hardware as well.  It is possible, though, that the door came from the back of the house and was reused on the garage at some point.  The back door would have been removed from the house when the addition was put on, and there is a newer door there now.

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So if you are looking for a house with “good bones” that will last for another 90 years or so, here’s your chance!

Sears Fullerton

Sears Fullerton at 2837 Ferncliff Ave. in Dayton

7 comments on “A Sears Fullerton in Dayton

  1. I love your blog posts. They are so clear and informative. This is a great house, and you did a great job documenting it for us!
    I normally can’t stand pink-tile bathrooms (sorry, to those of you out there who love that vintage feature), but, this one, with that wonderful white bathtub and nice, simple skinny black tiles for accent, is nice 🙂

    Another excellent addition to our National Database of Sears Homes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Judith. The Fullerton is a tricky one to ID because it’s such a common design. You’ve got to look for the Sears components if you don’t have a mortgage record or can find marked lumber. I was lucky to spot this one. 🙂


  3. Check out the closet/wardrobe at the bottom of the stairs. Was that a Sears product? Never seen that.


    • From what I see in the Sears floor plans that was an original built in coat closet with a built in table next to the front door.


      • You’re right, Scott! Good eye. I assumed the coat closet was original, but for some reason totally missed that table. Wow! What a great old house. This Fullerton was also financed through Sears, Roebuck, so it is now completely documented. I found the record on file at the Montgomery County Recorder’s Office.


  4. Lara, I wondered about that, too, when I saw it. I’ll bet it’s original.


  5. The quality of the lumber used is awesome. I lived in a home with the old yellow pine and you were lucky if you could drive a nail into it today. After all of these years the pine is hard as steel.


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