Last week I did a quick search for Walker O. Lewis in Newspapers.com. I’ve done that before, and got a couple hundred hits in the Cincinnati Enquirer, which helped to document loads of the Sears Houses that had already been located, and, identified a bunch more. (Walker O Lewis was the Trustee who signed off on mortgages for Sears, Roebuck.)
But last week when I searched, I noticed a couple hits for Akron newspapers, and took a few minutes to check one out. It was a Sheriff’s Sale notice dated 15 Feb 1922 in the Akron Beacon Journal.
And while it wasn’t Sears, Roebuck who was foreclosing on the property, it does mention that the house was subject to a mortgage of $2532.00 given to Walker O. Lewis, Trustee. That’s our Sears connection!
And look! An Address! Sweet! Usually we just get a parcel number or some big old legal description. But an address really moves the whole process forward. Off to Google Maps I go. And what I spotted, trying really hard to hide behind some landscaping, is none other than a Sears Rockhurst.
I know, I know. It’s really hard to see the house. But I knew immediately what Sears model it was, because I have looked at the catalog images for this model over and over and over. This design is interesting because it had one floor plan, but several different exterior looks.
Here’s what Sears spotlighted in the Modern Home catalog for 1922.
Yeah, I know. That image doesn’t look like the house on Pondview Ave. But wait. The catalog goes on to show us the floor plan, details, AND three exterior options for this house.
The house above on Pondview has the triple window on the attic level and the hooded front porch roof. It also has the side porch.
Sears Rockhurst (No. 3077) at 1297 Pondview Ave., Akron (Google maps screenshot)
And what’s that I see? Is that a Sears five piece eave bracket? Yep, it is!
Fans, this location of a Sears Rockhurst was big news for my little group of researchers, because it’s the first Rockhurst on our Master List of Homes, which currently has close to 5500 addresses.
But! It didn’t remain the only Sears Rockhurst on the list for long, because, today, I went back to Newspapers.com and looked at another Walker O Lewis mention in an Akron newspaper, and guess what! I located another Sears Rockhurst!
Here’s the house!
Sears Rockhurst (No. 3075) at 269 Kryder Ave., Akron (Google Maps screenshot)
Well. Hmmmm…… Two Sheriff Sale notices nets two Sears Rockhurst models? I guess I better do a little more research. First thing’s first. I go back to Google Maps and “drive” down Pondview and Kryder. Hmmmmm. Lots of houses that look like the Sears Rockhurst. What’s up with that?
Then I had a look at those two notices again, and I see they both mention Provident Estates Co. Guess I better look them up.
Good thing I did!
If you read through the details, you see that all 20 houses being built on Pondview and Kryder are 22X26. The Sears Rockhurst is 22X26, too! Looks like Provident Estates Co was building Sears Rockhurst models.
Here’s another notice I found.
Provident Estates Co was building 20 more houses on Minerva Place and First Ave. Here’s what I spotted on Minerva Place, thanks again, to Google Maps.
And this one across the street from the three.
So now we know about a train load of Sears Rockhurst models in Akron. Of course, every single one of these is not individually documented. Heck, I haven’t even got the addresses nailed down yet. Guess I’d better get to work.