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Sears House Hunters meet up

My research group talks and talks and talks about having a “meet-up” someday to share our love for “Sears Houses”, and go out and find more.

Well…….guess what?!?!?

We finally did it!

Well, a few of us did, anyways.  It would be so hard to get our full group together, if not impossible,  when we all live in different states, and have real lives that need attending to.

But not too long ago, in June, four of us carved out a couple of days to meet up in…..

CLEVELAND!!!

We already knew there were train loads of Sears Houses in Cuyahoga County, from our on line deed record and newspaper research.  But we also knew there would be plenty more to find.  And since the Cleveland area was somewhat convenient for several of us, we decided to do it.

On a Wednesday, Judith flew in from St Louis, planning to spend a full day Thursday at the Cuyahoga County Archives to hunt up mortgage records.  (Sears offered financing plans for the houses they sold as kits through their mail order catalogs, and that is one of the best ways to get started finding out where the houses were built.)

Then on Thursday, Andrew drove over from his (Sears) home in Novi, Michigan, stopping in Lorain County along his way, also to do some mortgage record research.

Then on Friday, my research partner Marie and I headed up from our Dayton/Springfield area, stopping in Richland County and Medina County to see if we could also grab a few leads from mortgage records.

Here we are, ready to go!

IMG_6371

Marie and Cindy, part of the “Sears House” Hunters group

 

Of course, there would be no Sears Houses to find along the way if we took the Interstate, so we headed up the back roads to get to St Rt 42, which pretty much parallels I-71 all the way to Cleveland, in the hopes of spotting some new houses for “The List”.

Marie hadn’t been to Delaware yet, and they have some great Sears Houses, so we drove around just a bit so I could show her a few homes that had already been located.  This Sears Columbine, which went through a major restoration a few years back, was one I wanted her to see “for real”.

Sears Columbine 248 W Lincoln Ave Delaware OH 6-21-2019

Sears Columbine, 248 W Lincoln Ave, Delaware Ohio

Here’s what it looked like when I stopped a few years back, pretty close to the restoration being complete.  I talked to the contractor, and he said the owners had some original sales paperwork from Sears.  How cool is that?

S Columbine 248 W Lincoln Ave 1 CCat Delaware OH

After lunch in Cardington (a town I had never heard of before), we spotted what is most likely a Sears Elmwood up the road a little ways.

Sears Elmwood 97 W Marion Mt Gilead OH

Sears Elmwood, 97 W Marion St., Mount Gilead Ohio

The Elmwood model had an open porch on the front of the second story.  It’s pretty rare to find one that still has that.  Most all have been modified since time of build to enclose that porch.   Sears offered the same design later with the porch already closed in.  It was renamed “The Sunbeam”.

Sears Elmwood image 1921

Sears Sunbeam image 1925

Onward to Mansfield, where we stopped at the Richland County Recorder’s Office to see about mortgage records.  No luck there, as the indexes we needed were not available, and we didn’t want to spend a lot of time paging through a lot of old books individually.  That could be done another time.

Time to make tracks to Medina County, where planned to spend Friday night.

We were hoping to do a quick drive around Ashland on the way, but due to all the rain we had, St Rt 42 was actually under water and closed to through traffic just south of there, so we did have to detour over to……sigh…….the Interstate.

We did get to Medina in time to stop at their Recorder’s Office, again on the hunt for those sometimes elusive mortgage records.  Again, no luck, as Medina County didn’t index in a way that would make them easy to research for our purpose.  We did manage to get a few names from a mortgage release book, but I haven’t had a chance to track those down yet.

I had reviewed “The List” before we headed to Cleveland, and highlighted a few houses that I wanted to see on our trip.  A couple of them were in Medina, so we headed out to stalk them.

Here’s one that my mentor, Rebecca Hunter, identified as a Sears Savoy.  It’s a beautiful house in person!

Sears Savoy 831 S Court St Medina OH right

Sears Savoy, 831 S Court St., Medina OH

Sears Savoy 831 S Court St Medina OH

No 264P233 1916 catalog

This numbered model from the 1916 catalog was later renamed “The Savoy”. Catalog illustration courtesy of Daily Bungalow

Another older model that we researchers don’t see everyday is the No 124.  Medina has one of those, too!

I couldn’t get a photo showing off all the distinctive features due to landscaping, but it matches the catalog images perfectly.

Sears No 124 915 Wadsworth Rd Medina OH 1

Sears No 124, 915 Wadsworth Rd., Medina OH

Sears No 124 915 Wadsworth Rd Medina OH 2

Sears No 124 image 1914

After touring a bit more of Medina, Marie and I headed for Brunswick where we planned to spend the night.

A little bit later we met up with Andrew and Judith and toured Parma, Ohio before grabbing some dinner.

Parma has 21 Sears Houses on “The List”, and we were able to drive by about half of them in the time we had.

Of note was this Sears Pittsburgh model.

Sears Pittsburgh 5902 Brownfield Dr Parma OH right

Sears Pittsburgh, 5902 Brownfield Dr., Parma OH

Sears Pittsburgh 5902 Brownfield Dr Parma OH left

Sears Pittsburgh image 1928

The house in Parma was built reversed from the catalog offering, an option that was offered on many designs by Sears, Roebuck.  While it doesn’t match the catalog exactly, we know it is one because it had a mortgage and was foreclosed on by Sears, giving it solid documentation records.

It’s crazy to find a Sears PITTSBURGH in Ohio.  Our research team member Karen, who lives in Pittsburgh, has identified about 150 of them in the Pittsburgh area, but this is only one of two that have been located in Ohio.  The other one is in Cincinnati.

Marie and I had a great start to our Sears House Hunters meet up weekend.

My next blog post will be about the houses we checked out, and new ones we found, during our full day Saturday street survey.

Thanks for following along!

 

 

 

 

12 comments on “Sears House Hunters meet up

  1. Ahh, a great write up of your trek up to meet up with Andrew and me! Those houses you were able to visit along the way are deluxe!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like you had a fantastic trip. Love that Savoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great surprise to see this article feature a house in Medina that caught my eye when I moved here from Pittsburgh a few years ago. Driving past it often, I would wonder about the design as it’s different than anything I’d seen around here or back home. So cool to know it’s a Sears home. Hope you enjoyed your visit to my adopted home town.

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    • We sure did enjoy our visit to Medina. I took pictures of several more Sears Houses there. The only trouble we had was finding a place to park in some areas to get our photos. I’m sure not having much street parking works for residents, but it was a little inconvenient for us tourists! I talked to one homeowner as well, who knew she had a Sears House. It was also an older model, a No. 122 at 528 E Washington. It’s a lovely old house, but if you drive past, you will see why I might not want to feature it in a blog post. 🙂

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  4. Looks like so much fun and perfect weather too!

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  5. Can’t believe you missed mine! I have a Crescent model in Amherst, Oh in Lorain county. There are a lot of Sears houses out here as we had a railroad depot right in town. Oh well, maybe next time.

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    • Jean, Andrew from our group didn’t make it to Amherst, but we do know about quite a few Sears Houses there from a Library Presentation that was done a few years back. We have a Crescent listed from that, so maybe it is yours. 🙂

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      • Hi Cindy! I have been trying recently to get my Crescent looking like it used to. Someone before me had put in glass block windows (YUK) in the sidelights by the front door. I had those removed and am fixing the front door. I also have the original medallion that hung over the front entry and the wooden trellises, too (found those In the rafters of the garage)! Haven’t been able to put those up yet but it should look circa 1929 soon. Jean

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      • How wonderful you have those original details to put back, Jean! I’l bet it will be wonderful. Keep us updated on the restoration. 🙂

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  6. These are fantastic!

    I know I sound like a broken record, but there are plenty in Summit and Portage County – in Akron, Stow, Cuyahoga Falls and Kent. I haven’t had time to do research on deeds but I would love to send you pictures.

    Nancy

    On Thu, Jul 4, 2019 at 7:31 PM Sears Houses in Ohio wrote:

    > Cindy Catanzaro posted: “My research group talks and talks and talks about > having a “meet-up” someday to share our love for “Sears Houses”, and go out > and find more. Well…….guess what?!?!? We finally did it! Well, a few of > us did, anyways. It would be so hard to get our f” >

    Like

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