Every week, I get a steady stream of emails from people who are quite certain that they’ve found a Sears Magnolia in their city. Every week, I send out a steady stream of emails and tell people that they’re wrong about that purported Magnolia. The Magnolia was a Southern Colonial, with a pinch of Foursquare added in.
This type of house was a very common housing style with a whole host of unique characteristics. The fancier the house (and the Maggy was Sears most fancy house!), the easier it is to identify it as a Sears House. Still, this is a house that people always get wrong.
When I had the joyous pleasure of entering the Sears Magnolia, I quickly made my way to the basement to look for marked lumber. I was looking for the letter and a three-digit number that helped the original homeowner facilitate construction. I did not see that anywhere. However I did find a marking in blue-grease pencil. It said, “2089.” That’s authentication enough for me.
Sears Homes – in addition to names (such as the Magnolia) had model numbers. The number for the Maggy was 2089, and that number was often scribbled onto the bundle of lumber before it left the mill in Cairo, Illinois. It’s a tough mark to find, but here’s what you’re looking for (see below).