The Mystery of the Door That Leads to No Where

Originally published by Laraine Shape on October 15, 2014

Sears Josephine model at 7933 Hickman in Mt. Healthy

Okay, remember that sweet yellow Josephine model we talked about last winter in The Sears House Goldmine in Mt. Healthy, Ohio The one at 7933 Hickman?

Well, guess what? We got lucky! It’s owners, Shawna and Daniel and their two adorable “children,” invited us in for a tour.

What an absolute sweetheart of a home. Not one inch of wasted space in the Josephine. It consists of living room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and a basement.  Oh, and in this one…a mystery door.

This mystery door is an extra feature we can’t seem to figure out. Maybe one of you readers can help us. It’s a door between the kitchen and bedroom number two that’s all framed in on both sides, trimmed out top to bottom but has a solid piece of wood in between. And the solid piece is not a new piece of wood. It appears to be the same age as the house. What the…? Is there a million dollars sandwiched in there? Can someone please tell us what this is all about?

It appears the house was originally built by Edith Straub (1895-1974), a single lady, who lived there until she passed away. From there it went to her brother, Eugene Straub and from Eugene to sister Vera Straub (later Vera Adkins). So the home remained in the same family until it’s current owners purchased it two years ago.

It has the feel of a happy, comfortable, homey home. And it couldn’t have asked for nicer owners than Daniel and Shawna.

Thank you Shawna and Daniel for your hospitality and for being such good caretakers of this adorable Josephine. And thank you Marty Russell (fellow REALTOR) for helping your daughter Shawna find this sweet home at such an unbelievable price! She’s lucky to have you.

Now, let’s sit back and enjoy the tour.

The distinctive San Jose door. Cross piece missing from sash, but otherwise in beautiful condition.
Back side of the San Jose door
View to kitchen and basement entry
Josephine’s lovely owner, Shawna
The Josephine kitchen. Nice big pantry is tucked in to the window alcove. Originally intended as the landing
Original door hardware
Kitchen alcove and pantry – the pantry has been modified from original plan that included a landing instead.
Pantry door
Original kitchen window framing. The NuTone exhaust fan was probably added in the 60′s (and still works perfectly)
Hall bath
Original medicine cabinet
Love the trim
The mystery door that leads to no where!
The mystery door! Sorry for the blur…there was very little light
More mystery door. Trimmed out all the way to the floor. Do you suppose there’s a million dollars sandwiched in there?
Bedroom one closet doors
Bedroom closet doors – aren’t they gorgeous?
View down hallway
Meet the owners, Shawna and Daniel, and their well behaved “kids.”



What’s So Great About Milford?

Originally published by Laraine Shape on September 29, 2014

Well for one thing, the lady behind the deli counter at Lehr’s meat market makes the most delicious turkey sandwich on fat white bread that I’ve ever tasted.

And for another, they have a city wide garage sale there every fall. This year it happens the weekend of October 10th – 12th and according to the official city website, “residents clean the clutter from their attics, drag out treasures from their garages and organize accumulations from their basement in anticipation of the City Wide Yard Sale.”

There are a lot of other great things about Milford but a friend of mine who lives there asked me not to tell you about them. She wants to keep Milford a secret…so I won’t say another word about it…except for the part about all the Sears houses it has. How could you not love a city that has so many Sears houses?

Here they are. There are probably more. And remember, if you happen to go there for lunch or something, don’t tell everybody how great it is.

Sears Kilbourne model at 233 Laurel St.

Click here to see the catalog image of The Kilbourne

Sears Osborn model at 520 Lila


Click here to see the catalog image of The Osborn

The Sears Dover model at 528 Lila

Click here to see the catalog image of The Dover

A Sears Willard model at 943 Forest

Click here to see the catalog image of The Willard

A Sears Somers model at 530 Dot

Click here to see the catalog image of the Somers

Thanks to Cindy Catanzaro (my Sears house mentor!) for the help identifying 530 Dot as the Sears Somers model.

Sears Oakdale model at 532 Dot Ave

Click here to see the catalog image of The Oakdale

532 Dot Ave., Milford. Sears Oakdale model
Sears Hathaway model at 139 Laurel St.

Click here to see the catalog image of The Hathaway

Sears Uriel (aka Conway) model

Click here to see the catalog image of The Conway

Sears Dover model at 138 Cleveland Ave.
Sears Barrington model at 154 Mound Ave.

Click here to see the catalog image of The Barrington

Sears Wexford (also called The Bridgeport) at 666 Wallace
A suspected Sears Crescent model at 1030 Rt. 28

Click here to see the catalog image of The Crescent

Comments made on original post

Oct 1, 2014 – Andrew Mutch – Great looking houses!

Oct 1, 2014- Lara – Houses in shockingly original condition. No enclosed porches?! Even that Wexford–normally people enclose that side patio.



Honey, Stop the Car! I Think I See a Five Piece Eave Bracket!

Originally published by Laraine Shape on September 25, 2014

407 2nd St., Mason, Ohio – A Sears Hazelton? Sure looks like one!

Yes! And not just one, there are several of them. And they’re attached to what appears to be a Sears Hazelton model – in BEAUTIFUL condition. What a pretty home!

Problem is…it’s not a perfect match to the catalog model and the Sears House “authoritahs” will stamp their feet and say “no, no, no!” since it’s shy of being
AN EXACT MATCH, but I’m afraid I”ll have to disagree in this case.

Here’s what’s off. This house is 6 feet longer than the catalog model plan (yes, Sears did modify their plans to suit the owner), the bay window is missing it’s small side window, and the windows to the right of the bay are not a series of three as they should be. But everything else sure screams Hazelton.

What do you think? Yay or nay?screenshot-309

Distinctive Sears 5 piece eave bracket
The window arrangement isn’t a perfect match






Comments made on original posting

Sept 25, 2014- Cindy Catanzaro- I think yes! Maybe you can get an invite to see the inside, but until then, I would call it a Hazelton.

Sept 25, 2014- Laraine Shape- Me, too! And I love the invite idea. This one isn’t too far away from that sweet Argyle “plum” I featured.

Sept 25, 2014- Donna Bakke- the side windows are probably covered by the vinyl siding. I ID’ed this as a Hazelton years ago – saw it again last spring and still thought it was. If
those are replacement windows, sometimes they can go from 3 to 2.

Sept 25, 2014- Laraine Shape- Eeeek! Windows covered by siding? Anyway, I’m glad you agree on it being a Hazelton.

Sept 26, 2014- Donna Bakke- those little side windows often get covered. They’re a pain to work around, so they just cover them up!!

Sept 25, 2014- Laraine Shape – Well, god forbid we make the siding people work a little harder to save a Sears house feature!

Sept 25, 2014- Lara- YES!! There are a lot of details that are right. By the way, there’s a Hazelton in Des Plaines, IL without the side windows in the bay.

Sept 25, 2014- Laraine Shape- Thanks, Lara. that’s good to know!