A couple of years ago, I spent several months going through digitized copies of The Cincinnati Enquirer, available through my Newspapers.com subscription, looking for information about Sears Houses that had been built there. I found loads of good stuff. Ads, articles, mortgage and deed references, building permit notices….. many of which led to locating one or more of the train loads of Sears Houses that were built in the Cincinnati area.
One of the best finds from my newspaper research was a A Sears Jefferson in Wyoming (Cincinnati)
Only one other Sears Jefferson had ever been located, so it was a thrill to identify such a rare model.
So what am I doing now, to continue my hunt for Sears Houses in Ohio? I’m spending months going through digitized copies of Hamilton County deed and mortgage record index books. You would think after all the research already done in Hamilton County, first by Beatrice Lask in the 1990’s, then followed up by other serious researchers over the next 20 some years, we would be running out of Sears Houses to find in Cincinnati.
Every once in a while, we find something new. And today was one of those days, because I found something new. And to add to the joy of this Holiday Season, it was the very first one of this model ever to be located! (At least, the very first one among my group of researchers.)
A Sears Carrington
According to Houses by Mail, the preferred field guide of most Sears Houses researchers, The Carrington was only available for three years, 1931, 1932 and 1933.
1933 was the last year that Sears offered financing plans, and the house I located today, was indeed, mortgaged through Sears, making it fully documented.
Here’s what Sears had to say about the model in their catalogs.
And here’s the floor plan.
And here’s the house!
I know…….I know…….you can’t really tell from the Auditor’s photo above.
Well let me tell you, the Google Maps street view is even worse.
Guess there wasn’t much chance anybody would have ever spotted this one from the road!
Fortunately, the Hamilton County Auditor’s website has a nice collection of historical photos of houses on their website, and the pic from 2008 is much better.
The house has had a major addition on the right side, but if you look closely at the main part of the house, you will see it matches the details of The Carrington nicely.
Notice the second floor overhang and the stone finish on the first floor, both mentioned in the catalog details.
Here’s a cropped photo that shows just the main part of the house, so we can see the details a bit better.
For some reason, it appears the window on the far right of the first floor is a little bit larger than the others. That is the kitchen area.
Here’s a close up of the entry door, which is pretty distinctive on this model.
If you look closely, it appears that the catalog does show a small arch over the front door, but it appears to be more inset. Remember the catalog illustration is just an artist rendering of the model, and may be slightly different than what the actual house looks like when built.
Honestly, without the mortgage record, parcel description, and name of the original owner for guidance, I would never have identified this particular Sears model.
The original owners of the home were William R and Marguerite T Huber. The mortgage was issued by E Harrison Powell, Trustee for Sears Roebuck financing plans in the early 1930’s.
The property card on the Hamilton County Auditor’s website confirmed the location of the parcel, listing Marguerite Huber as the owner.
I found a small notice in the Cincinnati Enquirer relating to the home dated May 22, 1933. ( The additional rooms mentioned on the first floor are explained in an ad I found when the home was listed for sale in 1950. See below for that article. )
William R Huber was the Comptroller for Proctor & Gamble and did volunteer work with The Community Chest and other local organizations.
The Hubers lived in the home until about 1946.
A later owner named the house “Willow Hill”. The ad below states the “Recreation Room” mentioned in the article posted above, was actually in the basement. You can see the house did have the addition by 1950.
So there you have it. The first ever (maybe) Sears Carrington located. And it’s right here in Ohio.
Thanks for following along.