“One of These Things is Not Like The Other…” (Part II)

As mentioned in a prior blog, Sesame Street children are familiar with a toe-tapping ditty that helps them learn how to observe what makes things similar and dissimilar.

Those same life lessons are of inestimable value in identifying and authenticating Sears Homes.

In Hopewell, Virginia, they have eight beautiful Sears Homes in Crescent Hills. Unfortunately, in Hopewell, Virginia, they’re claiming to have a lot more than eight Sears Homes in Crescent Hills.

Hey boys and girls, can you figure out which of these is different from the others?

Hey boys and girls, can you figure out which of these is different from the others?


This example (with houses) is even easier than the example above!

This example (with houses) is even easier than the example above!


Now there are folks in Hopewell claiming that all three of those houses (with the dormers, and the two windows flanking the front door and the symmetrical front gable and the three windows in the living room) are Sears Rochelles.

Sadly, they’re wrong.

Will the real Sears Rochelle please stand up?


It's been remodeled quite a bit, but this is the real Sears Rochelle (in Lombard, Illinois). You may notice that it's very different from the three Hopewell houses shown above. For one thing, it has no dormer. For another, it's got an asymmetrical front gable (around the door). The houses in Hopewell have symmetrical gables. This is a pretty substantial detail. (Photo is copyright 2012 Rebecca Hunter and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.)


The Rochelle shown above (in Lombard) is the only Rochelle I’ve ever seen.Ā  This Rochelle was photographed by Dr. Rebecca Hunter (Elgin, IL). You can visit her website here.

So, what is it they have in Hopewell?

I’ve no clue, but I do know, it is NOT a Sears Rochelle!

Sears Roechelle as seen in the 1930 catalog.

Sears Rochelle as seen in the 1930 catalog.


You may notice, the house above (catalog image) bears no resemblance to the Hopewell houses.

To read more about the many differences between these Hopewell homes and the real deal, click here.

To learn more about Dr. Hunter, click here.

To learn more about Hopewell, click here or here.

Interested in Aladdin kit homes? Hopewell has several. Click here to read about them.


  1. Rachel Shoemaker

    Yikes! Strike TWO Hopewell, Va. šŸ™

    One more and you are OUT!!!

  2. Sears Homes

    Rachel, in my book, they’re already way, way out!

  3. Nate

    I have been told that my home is a Sears home. I am attempting to contact someone via email so that I can send a few photos of the house for verification.


  4. Donna Bakke

    Hey Nate- If you are on facebook, head over to the Sears Homes page and check us out!

  5. Elizabeth Thomas

    I am wondering if you have been able to so easily disprove the existence of these Sears Catalog Homes in Hopewell, VA then why does Hopewell continue to have them listed on their “City of Hopewell” attractions page?

    It seems that a city like Hopewell would have fact checked this sort of thing before posting and advertising it as factual. I have no vested concern, just grew up there and am curious of the situation. Also I am curious: Isn’t there a way to prove/disprove the basis of either Hopewell or your claims?

    Such as documentation or historical record? Seems something as big as a house would have some record of creation.

    Rose’s reply: Elizabeth, I’ve wondered about that too. Why do they continue to promote these houses that obviously are NOT Sears Homes? It’s a puzzle.

    About three years ago, I sent letters to city officials, offering my services for FREE. I offered to help them untangle this quagmire, and I also offered to help re-write and re-create their brochures, because Hopewell does have some interesting history regarding their kit homes.

    My efforts to help the city correct their mistakes were met with silence. It was very disappointing, because I love history and it pains me to see this misinformation being promoted.

    And there’s this: Hopewell (and duPont) had a very impressive collection of Aladdin kit homes. Why isn’t that collection of housing being promoted?

    And when it comes to documenting these houses, there are some things that can be done to establish whether or not these are Sears Homes, but it STARTS with visual comparisons, and that’s why I’ve posted so many photos here at my website. When it comes to Sears Homes, closeness DOES not count.

    It makes me very sad that the city continues to publish info that is historically inaccurate.

    I give up. šŸ™