More than 10 years ago, Dale Wolicki and I went tooling around Ohio, looking for kit homes. That was a lot of fun.
Dale was an especially patient driver, pulling over repeatedly, whenever I would screech, “STOP THE CAR!”
Back in those days, I was more likely to get out of the vehicle and walk around a bit, taking photos of the subject houses. One fine day, Dale decided I had lingered long enough at a house, and just as I was crawling back into his Mercury Mountaineer, he said…
“You need to get back in this car now, or the last thing you’re going to see are the taillights of a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer headed west.”
Well, that just slayed me.
I started laughing. And not those delicate, feminine giggles, but racking paroxysms of laughter, that left me – not only gasping for air – but unable to finish the climb into his very tall SUV. I stopped, right there in the middle of the street, half in and half out of his vehicle, looking like (and sounding like) an escapee from the local looney bin.
I don’t remember what else he said, but I do remember that every subsequent sentence that Dale spoke to me, caused me to laugh even more hysterically. In time, I regained my composure and climbed into the car and off we went.
That’s when Dale recommended that I keep my hands and feet (and body) in the vehicle at all times, and master a photographic technique he called, “the drive-by shooting.”
Ah, good times.
Many of the photos below came from that memorable adventure with Dale Wolicki.
The Sears Clyde (from the 1920s) was a modest little bungalow offered in two floorplans. It’s such a simple little front-gabled house, it might be tough to identify, except for the fact that it has a unique front porch, partially covered and partially open, with a third column base that looks a bit out of place.
It also had five-piece eave brackets, and most Clydes had a fireplace.
It must have been a very popular house because I’ve discovered many Clydes in many parts of the country.
Enjoy the many photos below!
Read about the many kit homes of Jacksonville, IL by clicking here.
The Sears Clyde, as seen in the 1928 catalog.
The smaller of the two floorplans, 9030A was a mere 20' wide.
Both houses were 38' feet long, but 9030B had an extra 4' of width.
This image (from the 1928 catalog) shows that the bay has a single window, whereas many bungalows would have two or three windows. Notice the French door on the home's front.
The 1922 catalog shows a few minor differences, such as the half-timber effect on the front gables and also the gable ornament on the front porch and bay window. On this earlier model, the front porch has two levels, open wooden railings and stuccoed columns. Both 1922 and 1928 models had the two floorplans. Best of all is the potted plant on the third column.
This sweet thing in West Lafayette, IN is my hands-down favorite. They must have known we were coming because they set out a potted plant on that third column. It also has the two-level porch deck. I think I am in love.
They have the planter but not the fern. Drat. However, what they lack in plants, they make up for in complicated downspout systems. Sadly, this sweet thing (also in West Lafayette), has replacement windows and a very unattractive front door. I suspect it's the later model (based on the lack of Arts & Crafts details).
This Bonnie Clyde is in Norwood, Ohio where Sears had a large lumber mill. Not surprisingly, Norwood is loaded with Sears Homes (including several Clydes). This appears to be 9030A (note the three single windows).
This Clyde also has replacement windows, but retains a few features, such as the five-piece eave brackets and gable ornaments. These images all come from old 35mm slides, buried in a box for the last decade. This was one of maybe 25 slides (out of 2,000) that had never been labeled, but I immediately recognized it as Flora, IL. The fine folks of Flori hired me to do a survey of kit homes, and it was one of my very first paid gigs. Happy memories.
And a beautiful *almost wholly original* Clyde that Andrew and Wendy Mutch found in Ann Arbor, Michigan! (Photo is copyright 2014 Andrew and Wendy Mutch and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.)
I learned to identify kit homes by driving around Alton/Godfrey (Illinois) where I lived for 12 years. However...I didn't discover this Clyde in Alton until several years into my new vocation. And as I've been looking at this photo, I'm starting to think it's a Sears Olivia with a Clyde's front porch.
This Clyde in Dayton, Ohio has the two-level porch.
And here's a gorgeous Clyde that Rebecca Hunter found in Barrington, IL. (Photo is copyright 2014 Rebecca Hunter and can not be used or reproduced without writtern permission.)
Lastly, there's a Sears Clyde in Kansas built by Mr. O'Neil (1922 catalog).
Thanks to an updated Google Map, we can now see Mr. O'Neil's Clyde in Wamego! And what a cute little house it is! Mr. O'Neil apparently decided against the fireplace. Special thanks to Google for capturing an angle that matches the original catalog image above!.
To visit Rebecca’s website, click here.
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