As of 2011 Rosemary Thornton, the author of several books on kit homes and a few co-authored with Dale Wolicki, reported three known Sears 306/215’s. Moorefield, WV, Blacksburg, SC, and Christiansburg, VA. You can see Rosemary’s blog on the Sears 306 by clicking here.
I’m going to add a couple to that list. I’ve actually known about these for a few years but I was waiting for the ‘right moment’. And actually, I have a photo album on facebook with these houses as a pre-view. I do that often with houses in my research files before I write a blog. Well… that blogging moment happened along a few weeks ago when I was contacted by the owner of the West Chazy 306. Sears Modern Homes catalogs mentions homes built in these cities and West Chazy is one of those and I quickly found it a few years via google street maps. A big pink, at the time, queen anne on a main drag through town.
I was contacted because the house is for sale. I offered to feature the house on my blog and this is a doozy! I can’t think of a better way to ring in the new year than with a beautiful queen anne kit home from Sears!
I hope you enjoy this 2-part blog. In part one we will see the exterior of this beautiful home.
The Sears 215 was introduced in late 1909 or early 1910 as model number 306. The model number was changed to #215 in 1912 and this queen anne was last offered in 1917 as this style became less popular. This is the image from 1913 and you can see that there were at least two built by 1913.
When I found this house a few years ago she was pink. She has recently been painted I have been told. This beautiful queen anne is at 50 West Church Street West Chazy, NY 12992 and it is currently on the market!
This original blueprint for the Sears 306/215 at 50 West Church Street West Chazy, NY shows the front elevation as seen in the Sears Modern Homes catalogs except with more detail and part numbers. If you notice, those tiny 4-digit numbers are the item numbers assigned in the Sears catalogs. These are the specifications and materials that were included with this model. We’ll see those doors and window sashes in the next blog when we have an inside tour.
This Sears 306/215 is in Livingston NY and the photo is from a real estate listing from a few years ago.
This Sears 306/215 was posted in our facebook group back in 2009 by the homeowner, a member of the group. It was one of the first group posts! I think it has since been sold. It is in Owens Cross Roads, Alabama.
I hope you took a peek at Rosemary’s blog and compared the Sears 306s she shared.
Per this original letter from Sears the Sears 306/215 in West Chazy was ordered and built in 1913 and the buyer was Maude Lawson. Maude was the wife of David Lawson who passed away in 1913 and I think he passed away before she ordered the house. David was 33 years older than Maude and a widower when they met. They were married for a short 4 years before he passed away.
It appears there was a problem with Maude’s order. I wonder what that problem was?
This undated photo of Maude Lawson’s Sears 306/215 was provided by the homeowner. I wonder if Maude sent this in as a testimony and it was never used in a catalog? It’s a GREAT photo!
This is Maude Lawson and I assume this was her German Shepherd. Maude was a member of the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society. After her husband, David, passed away she never remarried and they didn’t have any children. She didn’t have any step children either as David and his first wife didn’t have any children. Maude, however, did have siblings and nieces and nephews as well as her parents in West Chazy. Maude’s maiden name was Stratton. I wonder if there are any descendants in West Chazy today?
The floor plan for the Sears 306/215 from my 1913 Sears Modern Homes catalog. It was a large house for a single woman who was only 28 when her husband of 4 years passed away. Maybe she ordered it before he passed away in hopes of having a large family? Or, maybe she was like me and needed the room for her fur children 🙂 In my next blog we’ll use the original blueprints as our map!
Brrrr, it looks cold there! I LOVE it! This is the right side of the Sears 306/215 in West Chazy. That’s all original and recently painted! No vinyl siding….beautiful! One of the things I love about the West Chazy house is all of the original details and features, it is pretty much untouched by time. You will see that in the next blog when we tour the inside.
Here is the Sears 306/215 in Livingston NY for comparison. If you didn’t know the layout of the house you would think that this is the front. That door to the right is the dining room. This is a photo I saved a few years ago from a real estate listing. Where, I can’t remember.
The Sears 306/215 from my 1913 catalog, the year Maude ordered her home. The price she paid was probably close to that $1561.00 . Cement, bricks, cement blocks were not included in that price and neither was anything electrical or plumbing. In 1913 the lumber was not pre-cut either. I’m sure she hired a carpenter or two. The 1920 census lists the value of her home at $3,500.
I would like to thank homeowner Amelia Lushia for all of the wonderful photos and documents for this house. What a treat!
In my next blog I will take you on a tour of the inside and point out Sears millwork and share more of the original blueprints as well! It will be a lot of fun.
Do you have a Sears 306/215 to report? If so please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oklahoma Houses By Mail by Rachel Shoemaker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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