About five years ago I started searching for testimonial homes as a way to help me learn all of the models offered by the kit home companies. Two weeks ago I got a new laptop and as I was going through jpeg images I realized that I had so many houses from testimonials that I had located and then there are the little pieces of paper and a spiral with addresses. They are houses all over the country. I hope to share a couple the next few days. Tonight I want to tell you about the Sears 124.
The 124 is not an original Sears design, shocking I know LOL. Let’s start there. The beginning. Let’s first see where the 124 ‘originated’ and then have a look at the real deal!
The design, pattern, for the 124 dates back to at least 1904.
January 1904! So, it was likely built in 1903. Folks, that predates Sears homes by four+ years! However, Keith’s Magazine on Home Building offered several patterns in their publication and this pattern as design no 1070.
That brings us to 1908. The Sears no 124 was offered in late 1908. It wasn’t in their first 1908 catalog. I have the 1908 4th edition and it wasn’t offered yet. My next 1908 is the 7th edition and it appears by then. You can see the Sears 1908 4th edition here.
My research shows that Calvin Warren Smith built the Sears 124 in Clayton Georgia in 1912 as a summer home. In 1915 after his business collapsed he and his wife and eight surviving children moved to their summer home in Clayton Georgia. Here they would operate the Laurel Falls Hotel out of the Sears 124. In 1920 Calvin started a summer camp for girls.
In the early 1920’s the Smith’s health started failing and the third youngest of the children returned to help with the camp. Lillian Eugenia Smith was a talented musician and would become a notable author. CW Smith passed away in 1930. Lillian was camp director from 1925 until 1948. Under Lillian’s direction Laurel Falls Camp became known as a highly popular, innovative educational institution. The camp was known for its instruction in the arts, music, dramatics, as well as modern psychology.
Fast forward to now. Is the Sears 124 still there? What became of it?
It’s still there but it has had many additions to it. I was able to turn up a few photos to show that.
Do you want to learn more about Sears homes? CLICK HERE!
And an update from a reader reporting another possible Sears 124 complete with photos! Click photos to see in full resolution.
Oklahoma Houses By Mail by Rachel Shoemaker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.