Before the Pandemic, I would go out and about and hunt up Sears Houses. Then….. I would share my day with you all here in this little blog.
Yeah……..in the before times…….
Since I didn’t go out and about much during the pandemic, I kind of forgot ( OK ignored ) my blog! Occasionally I would get a notification from WordPress that somebody had left me a comment, and occasionally I would get an email from somebody directly about a Sears House. And sometimes…….I would respond. And sometimes I wouldn’t.
I never completely stopped hunting for Sears Houses, but I did it at home from my aging PC, which doesn’t always co-operate with this website. (Or maybe, it’s just aging me that isn’t getting along with this website. )
But now that life is getting back to normal, at least here in Ohio, I had the opportunity to go out and about over Memorial Day weekend. Nigel, one of my research group members from Michigan, was going to be in the area, so we put together a mini meet up with Marie, another research group member from Ohio, for a few hour tour of Dayton.
With list in hand, we headed to the north side of Dayton to see if there were any lost Sears Houses from the tornados that slammed that area two years ago, also over Memorial Day weekend. We spotted most of the ones we had identified previously, so it appears that what we had read about Sears quality and construction was true. They survived.
Marie knows her area well, so we let her pick our path, and we drove past loads of our other finds in Dayton. We did see some neighborhoods that had really deteriorated over the last couple of years, though, but not from the tornados. One Sears Cornell on Huron Ave was in especially bad condition, and surely will be demolished this year. I hate it when we have to take houses off “the list”, when we have worked so hard to get to where we are today ( 13, 543 total across the U.S. )
Others need some TLC, like this Sears Bedford model on Emerson Ave. Somehow I kinda doubt the landlord is planning repairs anytime soon, since it looked exactly like this the last time I saw it. Every Bedford model I have seen has a larger dormer than what is shown in the catalog illustration
Some houses in the same area hadn’t changed at all, like this Alpine model from Lewis Homes, a competitor of Sears.
As usual when a group of us go out, we spot some new houses to check out. I’m still working through our short list, but one is surely a Sears Vinita. This was an exciting find, as it is only the second Vinita located by our group. The Vinita was only offered for three years, 1920, 1921 and 1922, and it had some unique features, which, after 100 years, are likely to be gone by now.
What I spotted on our drive about were the distinctive Sears pillars we see on several models. All the rest of the architectural features are long gone.
Nigel was able to snap a photo from his side of the car. We couldn’t stop for real, as the house is located on a four lane divided road. Fortunately, the Montgomery County Auditor, and Google maps, both have good views of the house from all sides.
Here’s Nigel’s drive by shot.
Here’s the side view from Google maps
Another cool little find was a Sears garage. Attached garages like we have today were very uncommon during the years Sears sold houses, even though there were a couple of models that offered them. Sears would sell you a garage to be built detached from your house, also as a kit. And while this one doesn’t actually match up to any of the garages offered by Sears, with the clipped gable, we know the materials must have come from Sears due to the distinctive eave brackets. Another tip off is that is in the alley behind a documented Sears House. 🙂
We also did a drive through Oakwood, to see the three fabulous Sears models there, but they are featured elsewhere in my blog ( I think ).
My photos weren’t great this time out. That goes back to my aging PC, and my lack of tech skills, because my PC refuses to upload photos from my little Nikon point and shoot camera anymore. Too bad, because that little camera takes great pictures. I’ll try to get that worked out before my next trip out and about, which I hope is soon!
Thanks to you all for following along, stay safe, and I hope to be more active here in the future.