The Sears Bandon: Neat, Practical And Modern

The Sears Bandon is a rare bird indeed. The only one I’ve ever found was in Pulaski, Illinois, not far from the Sears Lumber Mill in Cairo, Illinois. That mill was the site of a 40-acre mill where Sears created and produced up to 250 pre-cut kit homes per month. It was a tremendous operation with more than 100 employees at its peak, and 20 acres of outbuildings.

It was also the site of “The Experiment.” Click here to see the only remnant of the Sears Mill in Cairo.

In 2001, whilst doing research on  Sears Homes at the Cairo Public Library, I stumbled across a little item in their vertical file about a Sears Bandon built in nearby Pulaski. Later that day, I hopped into the car and drove out to Pulaski and found my Bandon on the main drag through town. It was perfect in every way.

In March 2010, when I traveled to Illinois to do research for my newest book (“The Sears Homes of Illinois“), I went back to Pulaski to get newer/better photos. While standing on this main drag in this tiny town, I had three people stop and ask me if I needed help.

Speaking as a former long-time resident of Illinois, I don’t miss those long, cold Illinois winters, but I surely do miss the kind, generous, hard-working folks of small-town Midwestern America. They’re truly the crème de la crème of our country.

Below is the information I found in the vertical files at the Cairo Public Library;

The house (identified specifically as the Sears Bandon) was built in 1921. According to this document, the lumber for this kit home was shipped from the Sears mill in Cairo. It gave the following costs:

Cost of The Bandon $2794.00
Plaster (extra)  $133.00
Material to finish attic rooms  $241.00
Complete hot water heating system  $403.66
Wire and light fixtures  $133.66
Labor for carpenter (including masonry work)  $1600.00

Total $5305.32

This document also stated that, in 1924, a Sears Cyclone Barn (shipped from Cairo, IL) was built on the property. The kit barn cost $943.00.

Is there a Sears Home in your neck of the woods? Please send photos to Magnolia2047@gmail.com.

Enjoy the photos!

The Sears Bandon was a beauty, but why wasnt it more popular? Ive only seen one - ever - and that was just outside of Cairo, Illinois.

The Sears Bandon was a beauty, but why wasn't it more popular? I've only seen one - ever - and that was just outside of Cairo, Illinois (image is from 1921 catalog).

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It had a very busy floor plan. Note

It had a very busy floor plan, and it's the only house I've ever seen with a "dining porch." This room - which jutted out from the rest of the house - had ventilation on three sides, and seven windows.

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Close

Close-up of the floorplan shows how busy this house is! Look at the kitchen! The ice box was in the staircase landing. And the kitchen was oh-so tiny!

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And it was a fine-looking house!

And it was a fine-looking house!

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And here is the real-life beauty in Pulaski!

And here is the real-life beauty in Pulaski!

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Nice, isnt it?  :)

Nice, isn't it? 🙂

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house

The 1921 catalog image included this thumbnail from straight--on.

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Pretty, pretty house!

Pretty, pretty house! While southern Illinois does have some of the nicest people, it also some of the worst, mean, loud and scary-looking dogs! These dogs never did stop barking!

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The  Sears Bandon is perfect in every way!

The Sears Bandon is perfect in every way!

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Its perfect! Down to the details!!

It's perfect! Down to the details!!

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And its in a beautiful, bucolic setting!

And it's in a beautiful, bucolic setting!

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From this angle, you can get a better view of the Dining Porch.

From this angle, you can get a better view of the Dining Porch.

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As a nice bonus, the old barn (built 1924) is still standing, and in beautiful condition.

As a nice bonus, the old barn (built 1924) is still standing, and in beautiful condition.

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The Cyclone Barn was a very popular item for Sears (shown here in the 1920 catalog).

The Cyclone Barn was a very popular item for Sears (shown here in the 1920 catalog).

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Want to contact Rose? Please leave a comment below.

To learn more about how to identify these homes, click here.

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12 Comments

  1. janis hartman

    Hi, We just bought two little houses on one lot. They are block and wooden, but mostly block.

    We just got the county report on them and it says “built 1947, Sears house”. Did Sears have block house plans? How do I find out more about these houses, to verify that they are Sears homes. Any and all help is much appreciated. (They are both small houses, one story, with simple low sloping roofs.)

    Thanks! Janis Hartman

  2. Joyce St.Michael

    Rose, That darling Glen Falls you list as Mattoon is actually in Charleston, IL.

    Dr. and Doris Hite used to live there. I remember what fun it was taking photos with you.

    Joyce

  3. JULIE WHITLOCK

    I want to build thise house on my lot. How can I get a copy of the plans?

  4. Nina Guinn

    We just spent all day yesterday with the current owner of the property. It is picture perfect, inside and out.

    The Home and Barn are a look back on a quality of workmanship, long gone. Down to the Poplar lumber used for the floor joist.

    I am still amazed at the Barn Loft. The curved wood beams are a unbelievable feet.

    It is a true test, standing thru time.

  5. McKraken

    We bought a 1912 house last year in Oakland, CA. The front porch and a few other details are almost identical to the Bandon but it’s obviously a different house. The porch design and layout of the front 4 rooms is almost identical. One major difference is all bedrooms are upstairs (1.5 stories). Our bath is through the kitchen. The roof shape is also different. It slopes down the sides and is flat in front but still has the same attic window. The “dining porch” has a hexagon shape bulging out with three large windows, one on each face. It almost seems like this was a precursor or inspiration for the Bandon. The triangle-shaped roof eave supports are identical.

    I’m trying to get some info on this house and who built it. It’s the oldest one on our block by 20-30 years.

    I have some questions about what we would name certain architectural details, such as the column style and the names of the plant holders on either side of the front stairs to the porch. Can you let me know?

  6. Linda Verry

    I discovered a Bandon in Connecticut. It is located in Centerbrook.

    Still has the tell-tale arched rose trellis on the chimney as well as other original details, and appears to be in good condition. A few houses down from it is a Lexington model, also still looking very elegant.

    It is a delight to get to view them every weekday on my commute to work.

  7. Duane

    My grandparents had a Bandon house in Columbus Ohio. It looks even more like the advertisement than this house. The pillars on the front porch are arched as in the drawing and the supports under the eaves are open as well. Happy to share the address as the Google Streetview images are pretty good. Really interesting to see another house like the one my mom grew up in and I saw as a second home!

  8. Lisa

    @Duane
    please post the address. i think i may have a Bandon as well… trying to find confirmation somehow

  9. Diane

    Did you get any inside pictures? I love this house! Are there floor plans available? @Nina Guinn

  10. Diane

    I would love to see it! What is the address? @Duane

  11. Morgan

    Hello! My great great uncle built a Bandon in 1912 (? I believe) in Port Clyde, Maine. (Just down the road from the Marshall Point lighthouse where Forrest Gump was filmed!)

    Port Clyde is a small lobster fishing village about 30 minutes from Rockland and 2 hours from Bangor. I would love to send pictures if you’re interested!

    It has remained largely untouched on the outside and only renovated inside for necessities. Let me know if you’re interested!

  12. Michael Benton

    Like Julie Whitlock in August, 2015 and Diane in February, 2019, are there plans surviving and available for any of these Sears Kit Homes? And, are there any instructions for the building of these homes surviving? For me it’s all about details, and I’d be willing to pay for them. I’d be willing to spend some $.

    I “built” a 3-D computer model of the Clyde from the catalogue page, and it came out pretty well, but it took a lot of trial and error, with, of course, no idea of how close to the real thing I got. I’d be happy to share my computer rendering with anyone – looks almost like a photograph! Michael Benton

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