This blog post was originally published on Nov. 13, 2013 by Laraine Shape
Some days are perfect. Yesterday was one of them.
I got to tour a beautiful Sears Osborn model in Mt. Healthy, chat with its owner, Mary, (one of the nicest people you’d ever care to meet) and enjoy the company of a recently adopted cat who has made himself perfectly at home.
And who wouldn’t? The home has that warm, well loved,cozy feel that seems to be a rarity these days. I enjoyed every minute.
The home was built in 1926 with 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and a side porch. Mary and her husband, Richard, have owned the home since 1974.
The fireplace was placed on the left side as you enter the living room rather than the right as shown on the old Osborn plans (the original glass doors have been replaced on the bookshelves).
Many of the original features remain although there have been significant changes including; porch enclosure, kitchen remodel and the addition of a 3rd bedroom, informal eating area and deck at the rear of the house. A rough stucco finish was added to the living room walls to give it a more “adobe” like feel. Lighting fixtures have been replaced (although the original dining room chandelier is in a box in the basement), wood and some hardware has been painted and carpet is covering the original hardwood floors, something Mary would love to change but hasn’t been able to convince her husband to do because he loves the feel of carpet.
All in all the home has retained the majority of its original integrity and it was an absolute pleasure to see.
And yes! We found blue grease pencil marks in the basement. Click here for an explanation of by Sears Home expert, Rose Thornton, of how these got there.
Click here to see the original Sears Osborn model with floor plan
Notes about this post
Laraine started blogging about Sears Houses at the end of October 2013. After only two weeks, she had visited quite a few homes in her area, and even got inside several houses for personal tours.
If you have been following along, you will see that in several of her blogs up to this point, Laraine referenced Rosemary Thornton and links to her website. Laraine also had links to Rose’s books about Sears Houses on her website.
But on Nov 12., 2013, Rose made a comment on one of Laraine’s previous blogs, about a house that Laraine thought might be a custom Sears Home. Rose clearly stated that the house was not from Sears, and gave an indication of what it might be, in the opinion of another Sears fanatic, Rachel Shoemaker.
If you follow Sears Houses at all on the internet, you will find numerous references to these two women, who both have websites about Sears, and other kit houses. They also are administrators of what they refer to as “a large closed group” on Facebook. I myself, was a member (and for a time, an Admin) in that Facebook group, until I left due to the tone and commentary within that group.
Since I had maintained contact with quite a few other Sears researchers who were still in the group, I heard pretty quickly that someone had shared a link to Laraine’s blog about the possible custom house. Not only was Laraine ridiculed for her blog post in the group at that time, but Rachel, specifically, would continue to bring up the post for further insults over a period of time. Rose was happy to join in the conversations condemning Laraine’s blog and research.
This type of commentary within that group was not new. Over the years that I was a member, this type of thing would happen over and over again. Apparently, those two women are under the impression that they, and ONLY they, are knowledgeable and capable of speaking about Sears Houses, which is surely not the case.
Laraine, herself, was unfazed by the criticism she received, after being told about it, but went on to do many more blogs of her own about the Sears Houses in Cincinnati. She did, however, remove ads to Rose Thornton’s books from her website, and would never add links to her website again.
3 thoughts on “Sears Osborn Model at 1722 Madison Ave. in Mt. Healthy, Ohio”
Laraine certainly had a good eye for photographing homes. This house is really shown off in all its glory by her. I’m so glad you’re putting her words and photos back out for the world to see.
Your personal comments, which are spot on, are nothing but the truth.
I was always so happy to see that Laraine got loads of photos of the inside of Sears Houses. Those pictures of the doors, hardware, trim boards, etc., are so important to those of us that continue to look for these homes in our neighborhoods. You can only do so much documentation with exterior details.
My personal comments were revised several times, but I think they should get my point across.
Yes, those interior detail shots are really valuable to people trying to authenticate houses. You can tell Laraine was a Realtor–those are excellent shots of that Sears Osborn.
Laraine followed the old adage of “Don’t feed the trolls.” Ignore them and continue with your business. Block their websites. Block their comments on all websites. Block their comments and “closed” (read: libelous) group on Facebook. Just make them cease to exist.
If there is any justice, the people who bullied Laraine before her untimely death will get their just due. I, for one, won’t forget.