Wayne Ave. is a busy four lane thoroughfare in Dayton. Loads of cars zoom down the part of Wayne that connects Downtown to it’s closest southern neighborhoods of South Park and Walnut Hills. A good bit of Wayne Ave. in that area is older business and multi-family buildings, but there are some single family homes scattered up and down the blocks..
Some are good. Some are not so good.
And one of the not so good houses is a Sears Winona.
I’ve known about this Sears House for several years. I glance at it every time I drive down Wayne Ave., which doesn’t happen as much as it used to, since my daughter moved out of South Park. But I was in Dayton a couple of weeks ago, and while driving down Wayne, on my usual glance over, I noticed PAPERS!
Yep. You know. Papers. On the front door. That is never a good thing. I didn’t stop that day, but made a return trip just this past week to see what I could see.
And sure enough, the papers are bad news.
It’s always a sad day when a Sears House bites the dust, and it looks like this one will sometime in the near future. I took the opportunity to walk around as much of it as I could, to document the details before it’s gone. I couldn’t get all the way around, due to trash and debris, but did get some pretty decent pictures of what I could.
The house itself is sandwiched in between two other good houses, so I’m sure those neighbors will be pleased that this one is being addressed by the city. While I am a preservationist at heart, I know that sometimes just saying farewell to a home that has deteriorated beyond hope, is a blessing for a neighborhood.
Here’s some pictures to remember it by.
The Winona was one of the models that had these distinctive five piece eave brackets. If you spot them on a house, there’s a possibility it’s from Sears.
As I went around to the back of the house, I noticed there was one place on the side where the house framing was missing. Just inside that open area was some exposed wood. I could just barely make out some stenciled lumber on the framing. Sears marked their kit houses that way, using letters and numbers that would correspond to the 75 page instruction book that came with the kit.
I have seen stenciled lumber in Sears Houses before, but it has always been one letter and three numbers. This piece has two letters and three numbers, so that is a bit confusing.
Here’s where I need to mention that Montgomery Ward also offered this exact same house design in their Wardway catalogs. The way researchers tell them apart is by the way the lumber is stenciled.
My mentor, Rebecca Hunter, gives good information on how the different catalog companies marked their kits. Here’s a link to her website, if you are interested in more details on that.
I’ll continue to look for this Sears Winona when I’m in Dayton, but one day, it will just be gone without a trace. I’m glad I was able to tell it goodbye.