Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sears Rembrandt in Bloomfield Township, Michigan

Catalog image of Sears Rembrandt (1925)
Image courtesy of
Wendy and I recently did a presentation for the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society on kit homes in and around West Bloomfield Township, Michigan. A couple houses that were featured in the photo tour section of the presentation are located in the northwest portion of Bloomfield Township, which lies directly east of West Bloomfield Township (of course!) Somehow in the process of doing some last minute edits to the presentation, I accidently deleted the slide for the Sears Rembrandt that we found in Bloomfield Township. For those who attended the presentation, here's one that we missed sharing!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thank You West Bloomfield!

Last night, Wendy and I were delighted to do a presentation on "Kit Homes in Michigan" for the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society at the West Bloomfield Township Public Library. The Historical Society covers the communities of Keego Harbor, Orchard Lake, Sylvan Lake and West Bloomfield which provided us with the opportunity to highlight the many kit houses that are found in those communities as well as the northwest portion of Bloomfield Township. Thank you to the Historical Society and the Library for giving us the opportunity to talk about catalog and kit homes.

2071 Maddy Ln - Keego Harbor, MI - Sears Crescent
It was a wonderful audience that filled the library's meeting room. They laughed at some of our jokes and asked several good questions. We were fortunate to have a couple of kit house owners in the audience too. It's always great to hear first hand from the owners themselves about their homes. For those who weren't able to attend, I'll be highlighting some of the homes that we shared in the presentation. For those who did attend, welcome and take the time to explore further!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sears Lexington Testimonial House in Chatham, New Jersey

Cover of 1932 Sears Modern Homes Catalog
Image courtesy of
One of the ways that we track down catalog and kit houses is by locating "testimonial" houses found in catalogs and promotional material put out by the kit house companies. As I explained in the post about a "testimonial" Sears Sherburne located in Fulton, New York, these customer testimonials sometimes include enough information to enable kit house researchers to locate these homes if they are still standing today.

Many of the known testimonial houses have already been located which made it a bit of a surprise that I wasn't able to find any references online to the testimonial house of Dr. Frederick and Mrs. Lum of Chatham, New Jersey. A photo of their house from Sears was included in the 1932 Sears Modern Homes catalog. So I decided to see if I could find it...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sears Willard in Waterford, Michigan

6372 Cleveland - Waterford, Michigan - Sears Willard
Image courtesy of
One of the ways that we discover kit houses is to scour real estate ads with an eye for potential candidates. I recently shared a few kit houses for sale that I located in online real estate listings. Today, I found a few more houses in the area that are for sale including a Sears Willard in Waterford, Michigan. Although I already had this Willard on my list of known houses in Waterford, the real estate listing gives us a chance to get inside and see a Sears house that still has some of the original features. Let's take a tour!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sears Vallonia in Ferndale, Michigan

Wendy and I with Nicole Curtis and Tessa.
Tessa is a cancer survivor who Nicole and her fans
have helped support through fundraisers. 
Wendy and I were in Ferndale, Michigan recently to tour the latest project by Nicole Curtis. You may know her from her show "Rehab Addict" where she primarily restores (versus renovates) old homes back to their original glory. As homeowners who consider ourselves as caretakers of our Sears catalog house, we've always been fans of her approach. She respects the historic character of the homes she works on and attempts to maintain that character versus the gut and modernize approach you often see in many home "improvement" shows. I knew from my list of Sears mortgages for Oakland County that there is a Sears Vallonia on the same block as Nicole's project house. After we finished our tour of the house, Wendy and I walked down the block to take a couple photos of the Vallonia.