History/Tourism

Hey, I Saw Your House In A Catalog: Sears Houses In Delaware

21 Mar , 2020  

Publisher’s Note: Realizing that many Delaware Countians are now working from home or forced to remain there due to self-quarantining or reduced travel, we are sharing stories from our archives, and adding some new ones, over the next few weeks in what we hope will be occasional diversions from coronavirus worries. This post was published by 1808Delaware last July.

If you live in Delaware, there’s a good chance that you might live near a residence that was bought out of a book.

A Sears catalog, to be exact.

According to Wikipedia, Sears Catalog Homes (sold under the Sears Modern Homes name) were catalog and kit houses sold primarily through mail order by Sears, Roebuck and Company, an American retailer. Sears reported that more than 70,000 of these homes were sold in North America between 1908 and 1940. More than 370 different home designs in a wide range of architectural styles and sizes were offered over the program’s 33-year history.

The leading researcher for Sears Homes in Ohio has identified some 2,100 of them to date, including several in the city of Delaware. Cindy Catanzaro has been researching Sears Houses since 2006, after discovering she was living in one!  As a volunteer for The Westcott Center for Architecture & Design, she leads walking tours and gives presentations to local interest groups.  She is a leading contributor to the National Database for Sears Catalog Homes.

Her blog, Sears Houses in Ohio, includes references to some of those as well as photos and stories of houses on West Lincoln, West Fountain, and West William Streets and on Darlington Road.

Those posts can be found here.

A Sears Lewiston in Delaware

A Sears Amsterdam in Delaware

Sears Westly Models in Ohio

Sears House Hunters Meet Up

Photo: A Sears Home – Creative Commons License

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