“A Conveniently Arranged Home of Eight Rooms at Low Cost”

The Chelsea (Modern Home #111) was first offered in the 1908 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

This spacious foursquare endured until the early 1920s, when the more modern Colonial Revivals and Tudor Revivals bumped it out of the catalogs.

As is seen by the photos below, Modern Home #111 changed a bit as the years rolled by. In my travels, I’ve found only two examples of this house. The first was in Mattoon, Illinois (Central Illinois) and Colonial Heights, Virginia (near Richmond).

And yet I see there’s also one in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Anyone in Wisconsin willing to get a photo? 🙂

To learn more about the Sears Homes in Wisconsin, click here.

To read more about how to identify Sears Homes, click here.

The Sears Chelsea appeared in the first Modern Homes catalog (1908).

The Sears Chelsea appeared in the first Modern Homes catalog (1908). In the floorplan for the 1908 "Chelsea," the bathroom was an optional upgrade.


By 1916,

By 1916, the price had dropped by almost half. It was not offered as a pre-cut home until late 1917. Notice that the house now has a slightly different appearance with that center closet window (front), broader windows and more substantial woodwork around the front porch.


By 1919

By 1919, the price was back to 1908 levels. This was probably due to some post-war inflation. In 1919, the Chelsea was offered as a pre-cut kit home.


This testimonial (and photo) appeared on the back cover of the 1916 Sears Modern Homes catalog.

This testimonial (and photo) appeared on the back cover of the 1916 Sears Modern Homes catalog. The porch columns and lack of a closet window suggest it was the earlier (1908) model Chelsea.


Accompanying testimonial.

The accompanying testimonial explains that the house was built in Ossining, NY.


Heres a picture-perfect Chelsea in Colonial Heights, VA.

Here's a picture-perfect Chelsea in Colonial Heights, VA. The owner has done a thorough, meticulous and painstakingly perfect job of restoring this 100+ year old house to its original grandeur.


This later-model Chelsea is in Mattoon, IL.

This later-model Chelsea is in Mattoon, IL. Lots of sidings there.



A comparison of the Chelsea in New York (1916) and the Chelsea in Virginia (2010).


To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

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  1. Donna Schroeder

    We have a Chelsea #111 sears kit home. We have kept the original footprint of the home but did add on an 18×24 family room (to the left when standing in front of the house).

    Our contractor made sure to use moulding trim and window configuration that would blend with the originals. Two years ago we added new siding in the narrower width and had to jack up the front porch.

    At that time we put trex decking to compliment the style of our home as well as installing new metal post style railings. We love our home and have lived here for 39 years. During that time frame, any renovations that we have done have been done with maintaining the original style of our home.

  2. Donna Homann

    I own the Chelsea by Sears that you feature above in Mattoon IL. It is not a later model home. It was built, according to records, in 1910.

    That home has the original siding on the second and third floors. The first floor was sided before I purchased the home 40 years ago. You state “many sidings” but that is not true. There is the original cedar shake shingles and the aluminum siding covering the original wood lower siding.

    My home has quite a history, from withstanding the tornado of 1917 to housing many after the tornado acting as a holding spot for the injured and the dead. As stated I have owned this home for 40 years. The man that built this Sears home also built the Sears home next door but it was ultimately destroyed by that same tornado.

    Mr. Phillips gathered wood from many of the surrounding homes and rebuilt his home to look like the Sears bungalow that had been destroyed.

    My home was built before 1916 and after 1908. The records say about 1910.

    It has the larger and wider windows and the window on the 2nd floor front of the home for the closet. It also had the optional bathroom. When I bought this home it had all of the original windows but so many of the lower windows had been cut into, I had to do replacement windows. I still have the 2 front living room windows with the original glass and lead glass on the top.

    They are an upgrade as they are not an even double hung window. They are still very functional. The original door is still in tact and being used. It is a wonderful door for furniture moving as it is 42″ wide! The front porch has been enclosed due to the noise of the street.

    The living room in this house is across the front and the stairway is on the side with 4 bedrooms and a bath on the second floor. The third floor is now finished. Before the remodel was done, many Sears product left overs were found. I also have the basement plan.

    This home is now being used as a single family dwelling and doubles as a Bed & Breakfast. I will warn all that come to the bed & breakfast, many of the past dwellers still roam about this home!!!

  3. Donna Homann

    I might add that the brick columns on the sides of the front porch are original as well. There were two shorter columns on each side of the stairs but they were removed when the porch was enclosed.

  4. Rachel Shoemaker

    Original cedar shake shingles, vinyl siding (over original house), yet a very different shingle used on the front porch enclosure and then original brick columns which are a different brick than the foundation even.

    That is indeed quite a collection of siding options!

    It’s like walking in to a house and seeing four rooms that meet, all with different floors, for example ….tile entry, then shag carpet over original hardwoods for the living room, a kitchen with linoleum and the dining room with an original hardwood floor.

    I think that is what she means by lots of sidings there, lots to “see”. Complex.

  5. Mark Hardin

    I wonder if that center window was available as as add on all along but not shown in all the representations of the houses in the catalogs.

    It appears that many of the homes pictured in the Sears catalogs were actual homes buyers had constructed. If this is true than it would seem possible that this could have been the case with the center windows and some had that option.

    What other changes would there have been in the “Later – Model” Chelsea other than the center window?

    As a note to whether the siding on Donna’s house is or was oringinal, I thought my house had the original siding too until it we began removing it.

    In an attempt to prevent drafts someone had pasted newspaper over some of the lathing under the siding and it had to have happened when it was being replaced. The newspaper was dated 1941. There were places where people had written their name and the 1941 date.

  6. Melinda Strohl

    I have just listed the “Vallonia” for my clients in Bremen, OH…approx 50mi SE of Columbus, OH.

    As a Realtor, they wanted me to ask if anyone knows of a site to post “For Sale” info about their Sears Modern Home? The more I see of these homes, I am so amazed at what was available and what some of these homes look like today! Awesome!

  7. Cindy Catanzaro

    Melinda, I looked up the listing on zillow for the Vallonia. Wow! It’s perfect! A well taken care of home. Great photos of the original features. Those doorknobs look original, too. They would have come with the house kit, and are featured in the Sears Modern Home catalogs.

  8. Christina Rodgers

    I live in Portsmouth, NH and believe our house is a Chelsea.

    It is listed as built in 1917. We have a wide center closet window and all second and third floor windows have diamond paned upper sashes.

    All windows on 2nd and 3rd floor are original. Exterior is cedar shake and stucco.

    Front porch has been altered and part of it has been enclosed to create a 3-season porch area by previous owners during the 1980’s.

    Challenging to match the stucco. I would love to find an original floor plan for this model!