Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Where are the Sears Houses - September 2022 Edition (15,000 houses!)

Sears Hathaway - Hempstead, NY
If you're a regular reader here, you're probably a bit surprised to see me posting a "Where are the Sears Houses" update. Didn't I just do one of those in July? Indeed, I did. But in just 7 weeks, the national database of Sears houses has grown by over 500 homes and it's time for another update. And not just any update - we've reached the 15,000 house mark! 

I'm just as surprised by the turn of events as you are. So I'm pleased to be able to share this news because it represents a ton of work by my fellow kit house researchers and yours truly too. Along with all those new homes discovered are some changes in the line up of states you see at each update. Let's take a look! 

Adding 500 homes in 7 weeks is pretty unprecedented for us. To put it in perspective, the time period between 14,000 homes and 14,500 homes was 7 months. The update prior to that? 9 months. On top of that, at the same time we were adding so many new homes, we were also removing houses from the main list (I'll explain why in a seperate post). Taking those removals into account, I'm estimating that almost 700 new homes were added to the list over the past 7 weeks. That's a lot of new homes! The cool thing is that these houses weren't just in the places where we typically look. As I alluded to in a recent post, we've been finding houses in states that don't always get a lot of attention. 

Here is the breakdown of location of houses by state based on approximately 15,000 homes in the database. 

As of the date we passed 15,000 houses, Sears houses have been located in 48 states, the District of Columbia and the Provinces of Alberta and Ontario, Canada. New to the list this month is Wyoming! We knew from Sears "Modern Homes" catalog references that houses had been built in Wyoming. But the newest member of our kit house research team, Matthew, was finally able to track one down. The last 2 states outstanding are Arizona and Hawaii. 

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

1. Ohio (3200+ homes): Ohio cruised past the 3,200 mark, adding over 75 new homes since the last update. Ohio still accounts for over 21% of the houses on the list.

2. Illinois (2500+ homes): After being one house shy of 2,500 at the last update, Illinois added almost 30 houses to move past 2,500 homes. 

3. Pennsylvania (2100+ homes): Pennsylvania added 30 new homes taking it past the 2,100 home mark. 

4. New York (1700+ homes): New York held onto fourth place as it moves closer to 1,800 homes. 

5. Michigan (1100+ homes): Michigan cleared another milestone as it passed 1,100 homes. 

6. Indiana (900+): Indiana saw the biggest jump since the last update adding an astounding 150+ homes! I have no doubt that Indiana will make it to 1,000 homes soon. It's no longer if but when. 

Sears No. 126 and No. 172 - La Porte, Indiana

7. New Jersey (700+): New Jersey also hit a new milestone moving past 700 homes.  

8. Maryland (350+): Maryland's total actually went down by 1 due to housekeeping on the list.  

9. Virginia (350+): Virginia reached the 350 home mark as it closes in on Maryland. 

10. Washington DC (303): Washington DC's total went down by 1 house, also due to housekeeping on the list. 

11. Kentucky (250+): Kentucky added 20 new homes and is closing in on 275 homes total. 

12. Wisconsin (250+): Wisconsin moved past the 250 homes mark while it maintains twelfth place position on the list. 

13. Connecticut (150+): Connecticut is getting closer to the 200 homes mark with 18 new homes added this month. 

14. Massachusetts (100+): Massachusetts added a handful of new homes since the last update. 

15. West Virginia (100+): West Virginia saw one of the biggest increases with almost 40 new homes added. That not only took it past the 100 homes mark, it moved it ahead of Missouri and into fifteenth place. 

16. Missouri (100+): Missouri added a couple new homes since the last update.

17. Iowa (100+): Another new addition to the "100 homes" club, Iowa added 34 homes, a big jump for that state. 

Currently, there are 17 states where at least 100 Sears houses have been located within the state with the addition of Iowa and West Virginia in this update. The top 10 states account for 93% of the total number of houses on the list. Although not one of the top states in the list, South Dakota added 16 new homes taking it over 40 homes documented so far. That was the biggest increase among the states that have fewer documented homes although Minnesota wasn't far behind with 9 new homes. 

I would be remiss if I didn't note that this update, this soon, couldn't have happened without the efforts of Matthew, the newest member of our kit house research team. His contributions over the past 2 months have simply been amazing. His finds added several hundred homes to the list and he was easily our top contributor over the past 7 weeks. Among his finds have been a number of early Sears models and homes in places that are off the beaten path. He's been a great addition to the team and we really appreciate his contributions! 

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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