Where Art Thou Hamilton?

When Dale and I visited Bedford, Virginia in 2008, we drove around for some time, striving to find the Sears Hamilton that (according to the Sears catalog) had been built there in the mid-1910s.

Dale drove slowly and methodically throughout the county (and the city) while I scoured the landscape for any foursquares with a hipped roof.

We found many kit homes along the way, but we never found our Hamilton.

On my various hard drives, I have about 35,000 photos and yet I don’t have any photos of a real live Sears Hamilton.

If anyone has a photo to share, I’d be very grateful to receive it.

As a side note, The Hamilton was also the name Sears gave to a modest bungalow with clipped gables (circa 1930s). The Hamilton I’m looking for is a large foursquare.

Sears Hamilton, as seen in the 1916 catalog.

Sears Hamilton, as seen in the 1916 catalog.


By 1916, this had already become a popular house! But where are they now?

By 1916, this had already become a popular house! But where are they now?


Nice floorplan, too.

Nice floorplan, too.


The house has

The house has several distinctive features. Note the inset back porch which extends the full length of the long kitchen. Also noticed the 4/1 windows on the front. The one side (right side above) extends significant further than the left side.



Close-up on that back porch.


The Hamilton was also offered as a wee tiny kit house for model railroads.

In the 1980s, the Sears Hamilton was also offered by "Spectrum" as a wee tiny kit house for HO model railroads. And this one has only 172 pieces! Notice that it's a little different from the house above? That's because they modeled it after the 1908 design. In 2001, I purchased and built this small model house. It took some time, but it was worth the effort because finally, I'd have my very own "Sears kit House." Sadly, it was lost in "The Great Divide" (divorce).



Here's the Hamilton as seen in the 1908 catalog. It's a perfect match to the model above and slightly different from the 1916 version. The dormers in the 1908 house are shed dormers, and in 1916, they were hipped. The front center window (second floor) has diamond muntins in 1908.


So where are our Hamiltons? I don’t know, but I’d love to find out, and I’d love to have a photo!

To read more about Sears Homes, click here.

To read about the Sears Homes in Roanoke, click here.

To read the most recent blog, click here.

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  1. Rachel Shoemaker

    I would love to see some REAL No 102/Hamiltons as well. The folks in Pawhuska, Okla. seem to think the THE BOULANGER HOUSE is a no 102.

    You can see the house here http://www.unitedcountry.com/HistoricProperty/Oklahoma/Pawhuska%20Oklahoma-35078-00814.htm

    It will be the location for August: Osage County starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts and directed by George Clooney.

    I am not sure where this story came from, word of mouth, family lore. Who knows. But I do know this…….IT IS NOT A HOUSE FROM SEARS!

  2. Brian

    We just bought a house that is a Sears Hamilton believed to be built around 1908-1910. How do I post a picture on here?

  3. Gretchen Andersen

    I own a Hamilton in White Pigeon, Michigan, completely intact with original windows, oak woodwork unpainted interior and original staircase to the second floor.

    I just had the outside repainted and rotting pieces of wood siding replaced.

    This summer I hope to aid skirting and railings and balustrade as near match as I can get to the original remanants that I have found. It doesn’t look like there are too many around.

  4. Tiffanni

    I think the home we’re in the process of buying is an extremely customized 1916 Sears Hamilton in Baltimore.

    The floorplan on the second floor is correct, as are many of the rooms on the first floor, the position of part of the stairwell, and the placement of the chimney.

    Otherwise it looks like they took different parts (such as the back porch) and placed them wherever they saw fit. The pieces are there but it’s definitely not the original design.

  5. Rob Bosley


    I am lucky enough to be buying a Hamilton this month. I am fascinated reading all about it.

  6. Pete

    We live in a Hamilton in Manchester VT and there’s another one down the road!

  7. Jen M

    We live in a Hamilton in Chasak, MN. It was in pretty bad shape when we bought it, but we have been working for years to restore it to its original beauty!

    I have been looking all over for photos of similar Hamiltons and haven’t even found one.

    I would love pictures of more of these houses, in particular of the upstairs hallway and kitchen if anyone has some. Thanks!

  8. Gretchen Andersen

    I have discovered that because the blueprints are free, the original owners of the Hamilton made some changes when it was being built. They replaced the staircase to the second floor to create a small room in the front. The kitchen included the back porch and they added on another back porch from the original. Things like that. The wood and nails date back to the period of time when it was built.
    So some of the changes may have taken place at the time of building.