I hate skipping over all the houses we’ve located recently in Middletown, Reading, Sidney, and Wapakoneta……..but……..when something really special comes along…….this gal’s got to share it.
I’ve been wanting to go to Marion for a while now, to check for mortgage records, and do some looking around. I’ve been there before, but not with the specific intent of tracking down Sears Houses.
The last time I was there, I was with my daughter and grandkids on a day trip to see the sites, like The Harding House and The Harding Memorial. Both are eye candy.
This time, I had my granddaughter only in tow, as she has developed an interest in this crazy hobby of mine, and wanted to help with house hunting.
We started our day at the Marion County Recorder’s Office. Thankfully, they had “real books” of mortgage indexes, and not just microfilm. That makes the process so much quicker, in my opinion.
After a bit of trouble figuring out what books had the correct dates for Sears mortgages, we got started. My granddaughter caught on to the process pretty quickly, but, like many kids these days, had a bit of trouble deciphering the old hand written records. Some of the index books had been re-done and were typed, so she handled those.
While we didn’t find many mortgage records, 6 for Sears Roebuck, and 1 for Montgomery Ward, one of the mortgages was for a parcel in the village of Prospect.
After we got everything we needed, we grabbed a pizza at The Warehouse, then headed to another destination we had planned on…..
You gotta go. You just gotta.
We had a great docent with loads of information on Marion’s history, and its connection to popcorn and Cracker Jacks, among other things. The Museum is also home to the Marion County Historical Society.
Of course, we were given popcorn on our way out the door, so we had plenty of snacks for our trip home. We already had a box with several slices of pizza!
We did drive around Marion a bit, but were unable to locate the one parcel that had a Montgomery Ward mortgage. ( Don’t worry. I found it later. )
The Sears mortgages were all Township legal descriptions outside of Marion city limits, so I knew those would require a bit of on line searching once I got home.
But…..we did have that one mortgage for Prospect. We headed towards the village, since it was on our way home.
Prospect is a sweet little village of about 500 houses, and we had already kinda sorta figured out where the parcel was with the Sears mortgage attached, so it didn’t take us long to find it.
I know. I know. Where’s the No. 201?
Well….we didn’t spy it on our quick drive around the village, and it was getting late in the afternoon, so we headed home.
OH! I forgot to mention……I did already know a No. 201 had been built in Prospect. Sears told us so in their 1914 catalog.
The No. 264P201 is a really long way of saying the No. 201.
I was disappointed we didn’t spot the house while we were there…..but……later that night, when other people in my house ( husband ) were watching TV, I did what I do sometimes ( a lot of times ). I looked for the house. In this instance, I did that by working my way methodically through all the houses in Prospect on the Marion County Auditor’s website. They have pictures.
AND…….I found it!!!
So……the next day……this gal’s birthday……said husband drove me back to Prospect to see it “for real” and get my very own photos.
And what a house!
The house appears to be all original on the exterior. The Auditor’s website states the year of build is 1912, which is probably correct, since we know Sears mentioned it in its 1914 catalog.
Wow. 100 hundred plus years old, and nobody has messed with it.
Of course, after drooling for a bit, I took about 100 pictures. Here’s a few.
The No. 201 was offered primarily in the years before Sears started their “Already Cut and Fitted” method of furnishing the framing lumber. Since what you got had to be cut on site, the models in those early years tended to be more complicated. This house has several angles, which you can see in the floor plan illustration.
After getting this close, I realized the house even has the original art glass windows included with this model.
And those pillars!
I’m in love with this house. So much so, I am thinking of writing to the owner, and asking him to let me know if he ever wants to sell it.
After hanging around a bit longer, we moved on.
As we were heading out, I spotted what could be another Sears House. This one is The Uriel.
The house’s brackets and “notches” on the porch header aren’t what I have seen before on this model, so I’m not 100% sure. Other than that, everything looks right.
Another reason I am pretty sure The Uriel is the “real deal” from Sears, Roebuck, is that two doors down is what is most likely a house from a different mail order catalog company.
The Aladdin Company of Bay City, Michigan sold houses as kits for longer than Sears but is not as well known. The Pomona was one of their most popular models, and is found frequently here in Ohio.
This Pomona has been vinyl sided and has the front porch enclosed, but it still has a few of the original details. You can see the stick work over the front porch in the next photo. The porch pillars match as well, including the half one, which sometimes has had a support added over the years.
On the left side, several of the distinctive Aladdin brackets can be seen as well. Those brackets are what caught my eye as we were driving past.
We did go into Marion briefly as well, so I could get pictures of that Montgomery Ward house I mentioned earlier. I’ll save that home for another post.
Thanks for following along.