The Door that Sears Built – But What About the House?

This post was originally published by Laraine Shape on November 21, 2013

62 Hereford St-1

62 Hereford St-2

Okay, this one is going to haunt me. The house across the street from it is a Sears kit home – no doubt about it. It’s a 1924 built Americus model and as distinctive as it can be. The Americus is at 51 Hereford St. in Hartwell, Ohio.

But what about this one? At 62 Hereford St? The distinctive front door is just like the one displayed in the Sears Building Materials catalog. Could this be a Sears house, too?

 

Entrance door 1crop

I’m not familiar with a Sears model that looks like this, but that door!!

The owner was nice enough to let me in for a look inside and, after gasping over the original windows, doors and trim and a brief explanation of what a Sears Kit house is, we made a trek down to the basement to see what we could see.

Not a mark to be found…dang! But the floor joists and support beams look just like what’s under a typical Sears house. Solid as a rock.

Fortunately there have been other Sears house lovers before me that have suffered the same conundrum. Here’s an example of it on the Sears Archives FAQ section.

“I was told my 1912/1913 home is a Sears model home, but I really do not see any indication of this fact. It is a two story house with a large bay window that runs all the way up on one side and a porch in front. I have not seen any Sears homes with bay windows like this. The front door is thought to be original and has a large oval beveled glass cutout. I have heard from the local people that this door is one of the indicators that this is a Sears home. I can not imagine how the long running rumor that this is a Sears home started. I have looked for markings and found none. The bottoms of the floorboards in the basement are stamped Kaul Ind. (I am assuming this stands for Kaul Industries). If you have any insight on any of this I would love to hear it. “—Angie Piper 3/4/03

Answer: “Your house could have come from Sears. Buyers could submit their own architectural plans to Sears and the Modern Homes division would create a house from that design and sell the materials for the house.

Keep in mind that Sears Modern Homes were not innovative house designs. Sometimes people think a house is a Sears Modern Home when in fact it is not.

Sears sold doors, windows, and other building materials through a variety of Sears catalogs including a building supplies catalog. It is possible that the door or other parts of your house was originally purchased from Sears.”

The house at 62 Hereford doesn’t appear in any of the model catalogs that I’m aware of but it sure has the feel of a Sears home. According to hearsay, the original owner built the house himself and two others on either side of it for his kids.

If nothing else, I had the pleasure of meeting a really nice homeowner who is living in a beautiful home with his wife and two year old and who was willing to share his treasure with someone who appreciates the quality and workmanship of an old home. An old home that may or may not be a Sears home.

51Hereford-St.-Americus-1

51 Hereford St. in Hartwell – Sears Americus model

Slideshow of 62 Hereford St

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NOTES ABOUT THIS POST:

A reader, Ted cochin, commented on Nov. 23, 2013 -Yes that is a Sears Home, the door was a very popular style on all craftsman homes but you can tell by the detail on the porch pillars .

Laraine replied – Hi Ted, Yes the Americus model across from the one in question is DEFINITELY a Sears home – but I absolutely got it dead wrong on the first one. But it was a fun adventure all the same.

 

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