Sunday, January 16, 2022

Where are the Sears Houses - January 2022 Edition

Sears Woodland - Albany, NY

Happy 2022! We're less than a month into the New Year and the National Database of Sears Homes has passed 14,000 documented homes. It took about nine months to go from 13,500 to 14,000 homes. But many of those 500 new homes added to the list were the result of a lot of hard work as my fellow kit house researchers did a lot of heavy lifting through mortgage records, some dating back more than 100 years, connecting those records to Sears houses. With that mark reached, it's time to post another update of "Where are the Sears Houses?"

As I noted, many of the new additions to the database were houses located through research into mortgage and deeds records. As I've written about that process here before, these records allow kit house researchers to find new homes to add to the national database as well as authenticate homes already documented but not previously authenticated. Currently, over 40 percent of the homes on the list are authenticated. That translates into almost 5,800 homes and is easily the largest list of authenticated Sears houses available. It easily represents thousands of hours of work by dedicated kit house researchers. 

Here is the breakdown of location of houses by state based on approximately 14,000 homes in the database. 

As of this date, Sears houses have been located in 47 states, the District of Columbia and the Provinces of Alberta and Ontario, Canada. Judith Chabot identified our first Sears house in Nevada. 

The following is a breakdown of the states that have the largest number of identified Sears homes.

1. Ohio (2900+ homes): Ohio missed the 3,000 home mark by 2 houses! Over 100 new houses were added for Ohio, many of them through mortgage research in the Akron area by Cindy Catanzaro and Marie Vore that Cindy blogged about recently. Ohio alone accounts for over 21% of the houses on the list.

2. Illinois (2400+ homes): Illinois is on track to reach the 2,500 home mark by the next update. Over 70 houses were added since the last update, many of those by Lara Solonickne.

3. Pennsylvania (2000+ homes): Pennsylvania became the third state to reach (and pass) 2,000 homes. Almost 70 homes from Pennsylvania joined the listover the past 9 months.  

4. New York (1600+ homes): New York added over 50 homes as it moved closer towards 1,700 homes. 

5. Michigan (1000+ homes): Michigan continues to sit in fifth place for homes although it added the fewest new homes of the top 5 on the list.  

6. Indiana (700+): Indiana is closing in on 750 homes as it maintains its 6th place position.  

7. New Jersey (600+): New Jersey is getting closer to reaching 700 homes. We'll see if it makes it by the next update. 

8. Maryland (350+): Maryland's total didn't change since the last update. 

9. Washington DC (304): Washington DC's total dropped by 6 homes to 304. The reason for this is 6 houses were removed from the main list when recent research shed new light on their origin. Based on that information, it's unlikely that these 6 are Sears homes, even though they are very close matches for a known Sears model, "the Maywood". 

10. Virginia (200+): Thanks to the mortgage research in the Arlington area by Judith Chabot, Virginia added a bunch of new homes, moving it closer to 300 homes and keeping it in tenth place on the list.

11. Kentucky (200+): Kentucky is closing in on 250 homes and keeps itself in eleventh place.

12. Wisconsin (200+): Wisconsin added a handful of homes and maintained its twelfth place position on the list. 

13. Connecticut (100+): Connecticut added almost 40 homes, thanks to mortgage research by Cindy Catanzaro, leaving it one house short of 150 and solidly in thirteenth place. 

14. Massachusetts (100+): Massachusetts also saw a big bump in its total with almost 20 new homes added, thanks again to mortgage research by Cindy Catanzaro. 

15. Missouri (100+): Missouri added a few homes and continued to stay in fifteenth place. 

Currently, there are 15 states where at least 100 Sears houses have been located within the state. The top 10 states account for 90% of the total number of houses on the list. Although not one of the top states in the list, Kansas added 10 new homes taking it over 40 homes documented so far. That was one of the biggest jumps among the states that have fewer documented homes. 

The national database of Sears Modern Homes is the collective work of a number of kit house researchers located across the country. The sources of the information in the database include the personal work of those researchers, the work of other kit house researchers, publicly available resources including newspapers and websites and information provided by home owners and other members of the public with an interest in kit houses.

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