A few years ago I “scored” a 1930 Sears catalog. When it arrived I was a little surprised to see it wasn’t what I thought it was. There weren’t any catalog images and floor plans like all of my other kit home catalogs. This catalog was nothing but pictures of houses and letters from their owners, testimonials. My first thought was what in the world will I do with this? Then one day it hit me! Why not find them? So I set out to find them all or as many as I could. And I am happy to say I am almost finished. Some are MIA and a I have a few more but I am so close. In my last blog I featured a New York Sears Elmhurst from that catalog.
There were testimonials for two more Elmhurst homes. One of which I found but haven’t shared because the story was fascinating and I decided I would contact the home owner.
Sometime in 1929 John A. Patton and his wife Lillian ordered a Sears Elmhurst and hired a local contractor to build it.
John was an active member of the Indianapolis Indiana Community where he owned a funeral home. I found Mr Patton’s life story so fascinating that once I had discovered that the house was likely still in the family I would try to contact them.
The Sears Elmhurst was introduced in the 1929 Brick Veneer Honor Bilt Homes catalog.
The Elmhurst was advertised as a brick face, half timber tudor home.
As you can see in Mr and Mrs Patton’s testimonial they used all brick!
I was correct! The Elmhurst was still in the family. It sat vacant for seven years until recently when Mr Patton’s great great grandson moved in. He was kind enough to share several photos of the house and explained that they have had to make some repairs due to deterioration but they are doing their best to restore it. All of the following photos are courtesy of the homeowner and may not be reproduced without his permission.
I present to you……the lovely Sears Elmhurst in Indianaplois, Indiana! With the exception of new windows the exterior remains original. Kit homes are often remuddled over time and disfiguring additions built on unfortunately. This house and garage are just beautiful.
And that fireplace pictured in the testimonial?
Here’s the fireplace today. Just beautiful!
The front door and stairway in the entry? Here it is!
The La Tosca hardware was the style of hardware that came with the Elmhurst kit.
Here is the hardware from Mr and Mrs Patton’s Elmhurst. Just beautiful!
The “Tudor” door came with the Elmhurst kit.
And thanks to the homeowner for sharing a beautiful example of the Tudor door!
And for last, one of the most exciting discoveries with this house! Remember that image of the door from the 1930 catalog I bought? It also appears on the 1932 Sears homes catalogs. This entry looking out?
How awesome is this? The catalog cover image was a photo taken from the Patton’s Elmhurst! The tudor door, strap hinges and even the door knocker are still there and in excellent condition. What a treasure for that to all be intact! The shadow is almost in the same position…eerie huh?
I hope you enjoyed the tour of a historical and authenticated Sears kit home. I have been told that they even have the original blueprints. I hope they share a few images of those with me soon. Check back for possible updates to this blog as I receive more information.
In the meantime, do you know where a Sears Elmhurst is? I know of one more testimonial Elmhurst but I don’t have enough information yet to locate it. Do you know of a Sears house or any other mail order kit home?
If you need help identifying a mail order home I can help you with that as well. Send me a message or find me on facebook.
If you love the Sears Elmhurst then keep an eye on this flickr album where I upload them.
Oklahoma Houses By Mail by Rachel Shoemaker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.