The Sears Magnolia – in Benson, NC

Thanks to a FOSH (Friend of Sears Homes), I found the 5th known Sears Magnolia in the country. Joy sent me a link last week to a story on a Sears Home just outside of Raleigh. When I clicked on the link, I had no idea the show would be featuring a Sears Magnolia – the Creme de la creme of Sears Homes!

Monday afternoon, I returned from Illinois (where I spent three weeks doing research on a new book on Sears Homes), and Tuesday morning (yes, the next day), I left my house at 6:00 in the morning to make the drive to Benson. By 10:00 am, I was sitting in front of the Sears Magnolia.

The happy owners of the Magnolia allowed me to tour the inside of the house, where I found proof that it was indeed a Sears Magnolia (as if there were any doubt). Click on this link to read more about that.

This was the second Magnolia that I’ve been inside. The first was in Canton, Ohio. In 2002, PBS’s History Detectives did a segment on Sears Homes, and invited me to be part of the program. That was one of the best days of my life. After hours of filming, I took a nap inside the house, and that was one of the happiest naps of my life!

There are also Sears Magnolias in Indiana, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

Read more about the Magnolia by clicking here!


Magnolia in Benson, NC looking absolutely perfect!

Magnolia in Benson, NC looking absolutely perfect!

Original catalog image from 1922 Sears Modern Homes catalog

Original catalog image from 1922 Sears Modern Homes catalog


  1. James Manser

    I believe there is a Sears Magnolia near Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, NJ. I was dropping a friend of too college, and saw this house. Could it be number 6?

  2. Sears Homes

    @James Manser
    Send me a photo! I’d love to see it. And yes, it’s possible, as there was a huge Sears mill in Newark, NJ so not surprisingly, there are many Sears Homes in New Jersey.

  3. Ron Curtis

    Love the Magnolia!! First saw it in the book “Houses By Mail” many years ago. I live in NJ and have noticed many Sears Houses here. Some can be quickly identified. Others have been remodeled through the years and can be a challenge to identify . It is interesting to see the slight variations on the architectural styling of each Magnolia. For instance, the front columns ( Ionic and Corinthian ) and the dormer window. I would love to see the interior. Maybe there are some pictures out there.

  4. Jeff Babisz

    We just bought a home in Ray Township Michigan. While remodeling the home we found that in the attic all the rafters are labled with numbers and also say MAGNOLIA on them. Could this be a sears home ? How do I fond out for sure ? The home was built on the lot in 1952.

  5. Kate

    @Jeff Babisz to my knowledge your home would be too new to be a Sears Kit Home. Ms Rose has steps listed here to follow to help you identify your home.

  6. Sears Homes

    You’re 100% correct! šŸ™‚ Sears didn’t start offering these homes until 1908 and sales were very, very slow until the mid-1910s. It’s extremely unusual to find a pre-1915 Sears House. And the Magnolia was not offered until 1918.

  7. James Manser

    I’ve been searching for the house for the last two years, but can’t find it. Either a mistaken identity or just haven’t happened upon it yet. @Sears Homes

  8. Mark Smith

    We believe we have an example of a Magnolia model 2089 here in Glendora, California at 363 Route 66.

    Only problem is the city has decided it is of NO HISTORICAL value and is slated to be torn down and crushed up for junk and hauled away to make room for a parking structure or another modern building.

  9. PJ Noce

    There is a Sears Magnolia in Bound Brook, NJ being used to house a florist business. They go by the name “America’s Florist” and a simple Google search will yield pictures.

    I’ve been in there and the house is beautifully preserved. I’ve seen a few other Magnolias in NJ. There’s one somewhere in Warren County (possibly Warren Township), and the others are in Union and Bergen counties.

    I used to be a residential direct sales rep so I’ve walked up to many a house, and this is one style I never forgot.

    Had I known then how special it was to come across a Magnolia, I would have kept records of the addresses.

    I understand that there are currently eight confirmed Magnolias, but I assure you there are more out there. I’ll keep my eyes open for them and will try and retrace my old sales routes, to the best of my memory.

  10. Sears Homes

    The house in use as a floral shop is NOT a Sears Magnolia.

  11. Fahr

    I don’t know if you have this one on your list, but I did a building code inspection and review of a Magnolia plan #2089 last Wednesday. It is located at 2900 Augusta Street in Greenville, SC 29605. The first public record of the house was a deed recorded in 1939 to of C. Granville Wyche, but based on the date this model was sold, it is most certainly older.

  12. Keith Lustig

    I have discovered that we actually own a Magnolia Model from Sears.

    The builder did not purchase the complete kit, but only purchased the plans, and then made revisions to meet the family needs. It was built in 1914 in Lake Geneva Wisconsin, and still retains most of the original features.

    We do have pictures of the completed house and some work in progress. We have been given the original blueprints as well, along with the redesigned plans.

    It appears we have one of the few examples of this treasure!