Several years ago I bought a Sears Modern Homes catalog from 1930. When it arrived I was surprised to find that it wasn’t what I thought it was! The catalog only showed homes from customers who were pleased with their home. We call these testimonial homes. I had a catalog full of testimonials and after thinking about it I decided the best thing to do was locate those homes…so I did. I have featured a few of them in my blogs and I have shown several of them on facebook. I have located the majority of them.
I posted this house a few years ago in Rosemary Thornton’s facebook group and I have posted on my facebook page and today I think I will share it with the world!
The Sears Hillsboro made it’s first appearance in the 1930 Modern Homes Catalog as well as the catalog of testimonial homes I have. That’s odd isn’t it? Follow the catalog images and captions as I unravel the mystery and let me know what you think in the comments.
The Hillsboro first appeared in the 1930 Sears Modern Homes catalog.
The Hillsboro first appears in the 1930 Sears Modern Homes catalog. The Sears Hillsboro was the design of David S Betcone a Chicago architect who came to Sears from Aladdin Homes in Bay City, Michigan.
In a different 1930 Sears Modern Homes catalog this Hillsboro appears … with a TESTIMONY!
The T.R. (Theodore)Wolfe testimony for a Sears Hillsboro in Madison, NJ.
This image from the 1930 catalog of testimonies would become the image used in future publications of sears Modern Homes catalogs. If you have a Houses By Mail book you will find it on page 160.
With that information I was able to locate THE Hillsboro for T.R. Wolfe. Unfortunately it is hidden behind trees but at the time it was for rent, I believe, and a few photos were listed. It may have been for sale. It’s been a few years ago and that’s several house ago for me. 🙂
This is the T.R. Wolfe Hillsboro as it appeared a few years ago. According to the assessor information this morning the house is still there.
A special thanks to Sears Homes facebook group member Geoff Wyatt for getting me current photos of this historic Sears Modern Homes Hillsboro! As you can see it is well hidden in the landscaping.
The assessor lists this house as built in 1928 and I think that might actually be correct. It had to be built at least in 1929 in order for it to appear in 1930 publications. Now, my question is this…was it a custom home that became a Sears “regular”? Was it a “test” home” I have five 1928 Sears Modern Homes catalogs and it’s not in any of them, even the east coast publications. I’m hoping that the Morris County Historical Society will solve this mystery! Certainly there is a mortgage on this house.
Let’s go inside now! Thanks to the rental listing a few years ago we can see inside.
Here we see the living room and in the far right back corner is the porch which looks to be enclosed now. The dining room is at the back and the kitchen is to the left of the dining room. It looks like they put a slate tile over the oak hardwood floors.
Let’s head to the kitchen…I’m hungry!
Hmmm, looks like there’s nothing to eat in here! Oh well. Anyway, the far back the door on the right goes in to the living room and the door to the left goes in to what should be a garage but it looks to be used as another room now doesn’t it? To the left of that door you see a long narrow cupboard. That at one time was an ironing board closet. The kitchen floor for the Hillsboro WAS clear maple.
Let’s head up stairs to see if there’s a place to nap! I feel kinda like Goldilocks in this tour.
This is one of two bedrooms upstairs. The room to the back is a study. I bet many of those became bathrooms later…or a big closet for the lady of the house LOL.
This room is the study that you see off of the bedroom above.
What’s that? Where’s the bathroom you ask?
The bathroom looks somewhat original. The floor should be clear maple under that tile. The medicine cabinet is a replacement as well. I do see a glimpse of the original hardware, La Tosca, on the door.
The Sears Hillsboro was ‘officially’ offered, per my catalog collection from Sears, from 1930-1937. Considering that length of time not many have been reported!
This nice full layout is from the Sears Merchandise catalog published in fall 1931. I think there are likely many more out there, somewhere!
Do you have a Sears Hillsboro to share or report? If so email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This Sears Modern Homes ‘Hillsboro” was built in 1932 in St Louis Hills, Missouri. It’s a spot on match to the Sears Modern homes 1930 catalog image! It’s located not too far from where the sales office was located.
Sears Modern Homes 1930, the Hillsboro
This Sears Modern Homes Hillsboro is in Steubenville, Ohio. One of our facebook group members posted it several months ago under the album of photos of the Madison NJ house I had uploaded. I think she has a good eye! Looks like a match to me! Photo is from the real estate website.
If you would like more information on how to identify a Sears kit home click here.
Tulsa Oklahoma Houses by Mail, Sears Homes, Wardway, Aladdin and more
Oklahoma Houses By Mail by Rachel Shoemaker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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