Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Real Sears Modern Homes of Ossining, New York

Image courtesy of CBS
I don't recall when Ossining, New York first got on my radar as a place that potentially had a lot of Sears Roebuck houses. But in December 2016, I was focused on finding Sears houses in Westchester County, New York, where the Town and Village of Ossining are located. That was when I came across what looked to be, on first appearance, a treasure trove of Sears houses. In the spring of 2010, the Village had put out a document called the "Significant Sites and Structures Guide" of homes and buildings in the Village. That guide included an entire section dedicated to Sears Modern Homes. The guide noted that there were 102 Sears houses located in the village and even better, provided a list of addresses for all the homes. As I had been working through mortgages to identify Sears houses in Ossining, I was excited to see what I had matched and what I had missed. But the more I read through the guide and reviewed addresses, the more questions I had. It was clear that something was very off. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

A Unique Sears Mortgage in Trucksville, Pennsylvania

In 2016, I wrote a lengthy post about the "Great Sears Paper Trail". In that post I explained that while the original sales records for homes sold by Sears Roebuck no longer exist (per the Sears Archives), there's still a lengthy paper trail that exists in paper and digital formats that can assist us in finding Sears houses. I've written quite a few posts that touch on one aspect of that paper trail - transactions related to mortgages and deeds. While a lot of my research has been spent reviewing actual mortgage and deed records, quite a bit of that research has also been through newspaper references to mortgages and deeds. Back in 2020, a newspaper reference led me to a possible Sears house but with a most interesting twist. Let's take a look!

Thursday, December 2, 2021

ID this House! Sears Carver

In the later years of the Sears Roebuck "Modern Homes" program, the public interest in architectural styles shifted to more minimalist designs. In part, this was a response to changing preferences that reflected the austerity that accompanied the Great Depression. The detailing that accompanied the Arts and Crafts-inspired house designs of the 1920s probably seemed extravagant to buyers looking to save every penny. Many of the house designs that Sears offered in the 1930s were similarly austere which can make them more difficult to pick out from other houses of that time period. One of the more distinctive designs was the "Carver". While it was only offered for a few years, this house is one that should be easy to pick out once you've learned a few of the key design elements. Let's learn to ID this house!