Sunday, August 28, 2016

Massapequa Park Mystery Solved?

The "fact" that first brought us to look for Sears houses in Massapequa Park was the statement in an article from January 1990 that:
Image Credit
"One of the largest single sales, according to Sears records, was 100 homes to a developer in East Massapequa, N.Y., which was incorporated as Massapequa Park in 1931."
As I noted in the introduction to the Sears Houses of Massapequa Park, the prospect that there were at least 100 Sears homes to be found has drawn many a kit house researcher to the virtual streets of Massapequa Park. But having viewed in Google Streetview just about every street in the Village of Massapequa Park and the adjacent areas of East Massapequa, I'm pretty confident in saying there's not 100 Sears houses to be found. Streets with some of the largest models offered by Sears? Yes! Streets with multiple Sears houses? Yes! Sears houses from the 1920s and 1930s? Yes! But 100 Sears houses? No!

But I do think I've figured out how the "100 homes" from Sears story got started....

Sears Elmhurst in Hastings-on-Hudson

For the past month, I've been working to finish up my research on Sears mortgages in Yonkers, New York. Now that I've almost completed that, I've turned my attention to the Town of Greenburgh, New York, which lies directly north of Yonkers. Greenburgh is home to six incorporated villages and in one of those villages, Hastings-on-Hudson, a record for a Sears mortgage led me to another Sears Elmhurst! This is the third Elmhurst that I've located in Westchester County and unlike the other two, this appears to be based on a customized design.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sears Mortgages of Yonkers, New York - The Early Years

The Official Seal of the City of Yonkers
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
After completing my first round of searches for Sears mortgages in Yonkers, NY for the years starting with 1926, I turned my attention to the previous set of mortgage records which covered from 1918 - 1925. While there are not as many Sears mortgages in this time period, I've still been able to track down a number of houses from these records. As with the later mortgages, this is still a work in progress but I thought it would be helpful to share the numbers on the houses that have been found so far along with a few examples. Let's take a look at the numbers.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Sears Mortgages of Yonkers, New York - Update

The Official Seal of the City of Yonkers
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Earlier this year, I shared the initial results of my research into Sears mortgages for houses in Yonkers, New York for the time period between 1926 - 1932. Since that time, I've continued to do more research on the mortgages I had not previously connected to a house and a handful of additional ones that I've found since January 2016. As I was working on those mortgages again recently, I thought it would be a good time to share a progress report with updated numbers and a few more examples of houses that I've been able to authenticate using the mortgages.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

5000 Sears Houses

48 Ridge Rd - Yonkers, NY - Sears Rembrandt
Image courtesy of the City of Yonkers, NY 
Exactly 4 months ago, I reported that the national database of Sears houses had passed the 4,000 house mark. I'm pleased to report that today, the list has grown to over 5,000 houses. Many of the houses that have been added over the past 4 months have been authenticated via mortgage and deed records, like this Sears Rembrandt in Yonkers, NY. Almost 40% of the houses on the list are now considered authenticated using methods ranging from property records to blueprints to personal correspondence with Sears. Help us grow the list by sharing any Sears houses that you know of in the comments below.