I’ve been ignoring this little blog of mine about Sears Houses in Ohio. Well…….maybe not ignoring it……but I definitely haven’t had much time to share here. Summer has been crazy busy for me, and I’m behind on work projects, but early in August I did get to Richmond, Indiana with a couple of friends for a girl’s day out. Since I have great friends, and they know how much I love this Sears House thing, and…..August is my birthday month…..I got to pick a few of our activities for the day. Well…….you know what that means!
Sears House Hunting.
I already had a couple of addresses to check out, from newspaper archive research, so those were first. Then, we stopped by the Wayne County, Indiana government building to have a quick look at their mortgage records. Not all counties have these old record books available in their public research room, but Wayne County does, so we spent a little bit of time flipping through a couple of volumes.
Oh yeah. There is plenty of research to do there. In just the first index book I checked, I spotted a Norwood Sash and Door Mechanics Lien and a Walker O Lewis mortgage. Both of those records will most likely lead to Sears Houses, but I didn’t take notes that day. I will need to schedule time to go back and do a thorough review. One of my friends grabbed a deed index book, and was able to find a record that did, indeed, lead to a Sears House.
So…..since Richmond is almost in Ohio (check the map) I think it is perfectly OK to show off a couple of my finds.
First, the Sears Home Construction Special Exhibit house.
In 1930, in many areas of the Midwest, Sears constructed and opened to the public, a house that was “Completely Planned and Built” by Sears, Roebuck and Company. In the Dayton, Ohio area, it was The Lewiston or The Colchester model, very similar home designs. Sears advertised these model homes extensively in the newspapers where they were built, and that is how I found the one in Richmond. I am thinking Richmond was probably part of the Dayton, Ohio sales territory, since they are so close together geographically. Dayton had a Sears Modern Home sales office. Richmond did not.
Here’s the ad I found in the Richmond Palladium-Item.
Check out the 3 car garage! A three car garage in 1930 was a really big deal!
Another small notice gives us a little insight into how Sears handled construction of these Special Exhibit houses.
Here’s the house today.
It still has the 3 car garage.
That was a fun find, but even more fun was finding another Sears Lewiston less than a mile down the road! It’s not documented, but it sure looks like one to me.
The third house I am sharing in this post was also located from my newspaper research. I spotted a notice, also in the Richmond Palladium-Item, showing a property transfer to E. Harrison Powell, who was a Trustee for Sears, Roebuck. We see his name on mortgages, and deed records associated with foreclosure cases, from 1929 to about 1934. This was probably a house that Sears had to foreclose on due to non-payment of a mortgage issued by Sears.
Using the lot number and the plat on the notice I figured out the actual address, which was a little complicated due to the street names changing. After doing a drive by, I was able to identify the house as a Crafton model. The Crafton was a simple rectangular home design that was very common in the 1920’s and 1930’s, so I would never have spotted this particular house without some type of documentation record.
And what a setting for this sweet little Sears house!
The Sears Crafton was offered with more than one floor plan. I’m calling this one a Plan 3318-C, due to the window arrangements on both sides.
That’s all for this time, as I am still super busy, but hopefully will get caught up on work projects soon. I will share more of my Richmond, Indiana finds when I get back there to do mortgage research.
Thanks for following along.