Wednesday, April 19, 2017

800+ Sears Houses In Pennsylvania!

Andrew Mutch is one of the researchers in our group, and he loves crunching numbers with the list.

Our national database of Sears houses, which now lists just shy of 7200 houses, has reached a milestone for Pennsylvania: we have now found over 800 Sears houses in that state, the majority of which are in the greater Pittsburgh area.  To celebrate, I thought I'd showcase a few recent finds.

Now, when I say, "we", I mostly mean our cracker-jack, Google-driving, Sears-House-Finding group member, Karen D.  Karen herself lives in a Sears Hamilton in Pittsburgh, and has developed a love of finding us Pittsburgh houses to add to our list. And, man, is she good at it! Let's look at a few that Karen has found:  A Sears Osborn, a Sears Wilmore, and a Sears Hillsboro.

Sears Osborn
Sears Osborn • 5242 Towers Terrace, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sears Osborn • 5242 Towers Terrace, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sears Osborn catalog image
The Sears Osborn model was first shown in the 1916 catalog (according to our very favorite Sears house reference source,  Houses By Mail), as model No. 264P244, and was renamed the Osborn when Sears began giving names, instead of numbers, to its house models. It was offered through 1929. We love the look of it! This one, in Pittsburgh, has a matching garage, too.  The catalog image to the right here, is from the 1918 catalog (available here, on   The image above, shows that our Osborn in Pittsburgh is the reverse floor plan -- the covered side porch is on the other side from that shown in the catalog.

Sears Osborn • 5242 Towers Terrace, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Here's the side porch of our Osborn on Towers Terrace.
The catalog also shows a few images of what you could expect your Sears Osborn to look like, on the inside:
Sears Osborn interior spaces shown in catalog

And, here's the floor plan, as shown in the 1921 catalog:
Sears Osborn floor plan

And, the matching garage!

Matching garage for Sears Osborn • 5242 Towers Terrace, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Sears Wilmore
The Wilmore was first offered in 1930, but was called the Jewell that year. In 1931 and 1932, it was called the Jewel (with one l ), and then from 1933-40, it was called the Wilmore, so that's what we usually call this model when we find it, unless we have a verified build date before 1933. It's a great-looking house that was very popular, and several other kit and plan-book companies had competing lookalike models. We've found many Wilmores, especially, it seems,  in New York State and New England.  This one is in Natrona Heights, a community in the greater Pittsburgh area, that lies within the township of Harrison, in Allegheny County. It's about 24 miles northeast of Pittsburgh (source).
Sears Wilmore • 1213 Fairmont Avenue, Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania
Probable Sears Wilmore • 1213 Fairmont Avenue, Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania
 Here's the Wilmore as shown in the 1935 catalog, thanks to our friends at
Sears Wilmore 1935 catalog
There is usually a furnace vent chimney to the left of the larger front gable, but this house has a chimney in a different spot, and the side section of the house, where the living room is on the original floor plan, has been enlarged.  I wonder if they re-organized the interior to extend the original dining room and turn it into a living room, off of the kitchen?

Sears Jewel 1932 catalog
Here's the same model, offered in the 1932 Sears Modern Homes catalog, as the Jewel.
1930 image of the Sears Jewell
Here's the same model, its very first year, 1930, the only year it was sepelled with double-l at the end: The Jewell.

Floor plan for the Jewell, which did not change when the name changed to Jewel and Wilmore. You can see where a re-modeling to turn the dining room area into a living space off of the kitchen, would work well.
1940 Sears Wilmore catalog image
1940: The last years of the Wilmore, and the last year of the Sears Modern Homes catalogs.

Sears Wilmore • 1213 Fairmont Avenue, Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania
And one last photo of this very attractive house.
Sears Hillsboro
This brick-veneer model, offered by Sears from 1932-1937, is another of Sears English-cottage-influenced models with a pointy front gable.  It has a nice, large front porch, big front chimney, and is one of the very few models that Sears offered with an attached garage.  This house in Pittsburgh, however, looks to have a separate attached garage, tucked under the side porch, so perhaps they turned the original garage space into living area. 
Probable Sears Hillsboro • 118 Poplar Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Probable Sears Hillsboro • 118 Poplar Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Sears Hillsboro 1935 catalog
Everything looks to be in place in this Pittsburgh Hillsboro, including the decorative stone work around the door, and on the big front chimney. The space that you see on the back of the house, above, is normally an attached garage. I wonder how it is being used in this house, which is, by the way, the reverse floor plan to what is shown in the catalog.

The floor plan and catalog image, both from the 1935 catalog, were made available by our friends at  

Sears Hillsboro floor plan 1935 catalog
The floor plan for the Hillsboro shows that it usually has two side doors, one going into the kitchen area, and one leading into the garage. That second side door into the garage space is missing on the Poplar Street house, lending more credence to the supposition that the garage space was turned into extra living space. 

If you'd like to see an authenticated Sears Hillsboro, I wrote about one that I found a mortgage for, in the city of St. Louis (MO), here, in an earlier blog post. 

Probable Sears Hillsboro • 118 Poplar Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
There's that added, tucked-under garage.
Our research group's thanks go out to Karen for providing us with so many interesting finds in Pennsylvania!

For more information on who we are, and what we do, visit our website:


  1. Karen D is a kit house finding machine! She's done an awesome job in PA!

  2. I found out after I purchased my wonderful home in Lewistown, PA that it is a Sears Catalogue Four Square. It was made from bricks from a local brickyard that no longer exists. It is in amazing condition. I love it so much!

  3. I live in a sears kit farm style homes built in 1921, in Lemont Furnace, Pa.
    My Grandfather and my Uncles picked up all of the materials from the train, down in Connellsville (I think) and they all built this house by hand !
    I can't seem to find any info or blue print of it, though.


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