Occasionally I pull out my copy of Rebecca Hunter’s book “Putting Sears Homes on the Map”, and scan the entries for Ohio. I did that this week, and noticed two older numbered models listed for “Martinville”, Ohio.
By “numbered models” I mean the homes that were listed in Sears Modern Homes catalogs before 1917, when Sears started giving their house designs names instead of numbers. In essence, older models.
“Martinville” caught my eye this time for 2 reasons. First, I had never heard of Martinville, and second, because I wasn’t familiar with either of the 2 models listed, the No 170 and the No 179.
A quick Google map search for “Martinville, Ohio” told me that there was no “Martinville” in Ohio, but there was a “MartinSville”. And….it was only about an hour drive south of me. I also learned that Martinsville was a pretty small village, so if there were 2 older Sears models there, they should be easy to find. Right?
But first, I had to look up the models.
Here’s the illustration of the No. 170 from the 1914 Sears Modern Home catalog. A pretty typical looking house design for the early 1900’s.
The Google Map guy hadn’t been to Martinsville since 2012, but I did take a bit of time “driving” around the town, and sure enough, I spotted a house I thought might be the No. 170.
I know. It doesn’t look that great, right? Hard to tell from Google Maps street view. I can fix that! Today, I hopped in the car, picked up my friend Gretchen, and off we went to scout it out.
What I really wanted to see was the right side of the house, since the catalog shows a bump out with an interesting architectural feature over the windows on the diagonal.
You couldn’t see that side of the house in Martinsville on Google Maps due to a small privacy fence and an evergreen tree.
Guess what! The house has them! It IS the Sears No. 170 listed in Rebecca’s book.
Overall the house needed some TLC, but since it’s still standing, it’s all good.
Here’s a closeup of that detail on the side.
Here’s a few more photos from today.
The Sears No. 170 was first offered as the No. 34 in the very first year Sears sold house designs. In 1913, the model number was changed to No. 170. The last year this house was in the catalogs was 1916 or 1917.
Here’s the full page catalog listing for this model from 1914.
For those of you who are paying attention to updates on our database of Sears Homes, (which currently has over 8100 houses), this is the first No. 170 on our list. Hooray!
We didn’t spot the No. 179, after a bit of a drive around town. Too bad, since that model is much more unique.
That’s all for today. Thanks for following along.