More than 100 of the 370 designs that Sears offered during their 32 years in the kit home business were named after cities in Illinois (107 to be precise).
The Ivanhoe was not one of them. I’m not sure who dreamed up this name for this behemoth of a house, but it’s an interesting choice.
The Magnolia was Sears biggest and best (and most expensive) kit home, but the Ivanhoe was a close second. I’ve only seen a few of these in my travels, and one of them was in Lewisburg, WV and the other was in Elmhurst, Illinois. According to the testimonials found in the old Sears Modern Homes’ catalogs (and referenced in Rebecca Hunter’s book), there’s a Sears Ivanhoe in West Point, Virginia, but it faces the waterfront and is so far off the public road, I’ve not been able to get a photograph.
Below are the Ivanhoes in Lewiston, West Virginia, Elmhurst, Illinois, and an unknown city in northern Illinois.
First, the original catalog image.
If you know of the location of an Ivanhoe, please leave a comment below.
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