Sears mail-order homes prove plentiful in Western Pennsylvania

MCCANDLESS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — If home is where the heart is, then those living in houses built from Sears’ mail-order kits may have fallen head-over-heels.

>>>RELATED: 1922 Sears mail-order home in McCandless is piece of lived-in history

Statewide, about 1,900 Sears catalog homes have been identified.

Judith Chabot of St. Louis, Mo., who runs SearsHouseSeekers.com, which serves as a depository for information gathered by Sears home enthusiasts across the country, according to our news partners at TribLive.com.

“We thought it might be of interest to those readers to point out some more of the history of Sears houses in the greater Pittsburgh area, " said Chabot, whose family still owns a Sears Silverdale model home in Northampton, Mass., that was built by her great-grandparents in 1911.

While Sears no longer has records of where each of the nearly 75,000 mail-order homes it sold were built, it does main an extensive archive of the models that were available as well as the history of its Modern Homes division.

Chabot can help people identify if their home was built from a Sears kit if they provide her with an address of the property through the House Seekers website, which also has links to catalogs produced by the company and other sellers.

Chabot notes that Sears’ mail-order homes sold before 1916 did not use precut lumber that was stamped with numbers to guide construction. Instead, shipping labels were affixed to the backside of trim that identified properties.

Homes built after 1916 can be identified as Sears kit homes by numbers stamped on the timbers.

Normajean Moser of McCandless owns a Walton model that was purchased from the Sears Modern Home catalog.

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