As I sit here checking on a couple comments left on this little blog, I realize that I haven’t written a post in almost three months! You all probably think I haven’t found any new Sears Houses recently.
I did take a little break from research over the Holidays, but since then I have located houses here and there, all from my desktop PC in my warm home office. Hey! It’s Winter in Ohio. And while we are having a mild Winter in my part of the State, the lack of sun, and daylight, makes driving around not that much fun.
But recently we did have a day when the sun was shining, so hubby, Frank, and I hopped into the car and took a ride.
We decided to head to Newark, a place we’ve been meaning to visit, but hadn’t gotten around to yet. Mostly because we wanted to see the Louis Sullivan designed Home Building Association Bank.
But you know what happens when I go someplace new! I always try to make a little time to look for Sears Houses. We already had a couple houses in Newark on our Master List, and I wanted to drive by those as well.
We got kind of a late start, so we didn’t get to Newark until just before lunchtime. We headed downtown first, as that is where the bank building was located. And since The Licking County Recorder’s Office was there as well, I could to do a quick check for mortgage records. That is one of the ways serious researchers locate homes purchased as kits through Sears, Roebuck.
As happens often, the employee at the desk wasn’t sure if they had mortgage index books available for the 1920’s and 1930’s, as that isn’t a thing normal people ask for. But as also happens often, some random person who does Title searches for a living, heard our conversation and showed us where they were.
I didn’t find a lot of mortgages, 10 total, but from those I was able to track down a couple more Sears Houses, and document two that we already knew about.
After a quick lunch, we headed out for a drive around town so I could get a few photos.
Here’s one we already knew about, from an owner, I think, but is now documented with a mortgage record.
By the way, that decorative iron piece on the chimney is not an “S” for Sears. It was a common design feature used at the time, and is found on many homes NOT from Sears.
Here’s the house straight on from the front. The Maplewood house design was also pretty common, and as there were many homes built around the same time that looked like it, that were not from Sears, it is good to have photos of a documented one for comparison. The slope of the “catslide” and where it stops and starts along the main body of the house are details we review when checking houses we spot on street surveys.
Here’s the other house we already had on our list in Newark. I didn’t find a mortgage record for this one, so we still don’t consider it documented. Additional information from the owner, or an inside inspection would be needed for that.
The house has had some exterior updates, which removed some of the architectural details, but it looks like the porch rail is original.
Another house that was already on our list, but is now documented with a mortgage record is this one, that I spotted and took photos of way back in 2013. It’s in Utica, not Newark. Remember, the mortgages are recorded by county, not city.
My funny story about The Barrington in Utica is that my photos of it were in my “lost houses” folder on my PC for quite a while. I wasn’t very good at labeling my photos when I first started this crazy hobby, and when this one turned up a couple years ago while I was trying to organize them, I had no idea where is was! I think I figured it out last year. Now we know it’s the real deal.
One of the houses I located from the mortgage records is in the village of Jacksontown and one is in the village of Johnsontown. We also know of a possible house in Granville, so Sears Houses were being built all over Licking County. I’ll bet a thorough in person street survey will turn up more.
Oh yeah. That bank building we wanted to see is undergoing serious restoration so we couldn’t see much.
Hopefully I will get back to Newark before I look like the ladies in this sculpture downtown.
Thanks for following along.