The CLH, by Sears (Part II)

Yesterday, I talked about the CLH, which is an acronym. Sometimes, it meant, “”Cute Little House”!

Other times it was short for “Compact Little House.”

And other times it was our abbreviation for “Crummy Little House.”

Sears offered quite a few of these very modest, very plain and tiny bungalows but finding them today is quite difficult because they were so modest, so plain and so tiny.

Further complicating the issue was that all the major companies (SearsLewis ManufacturingWardwayGordon Van TineAladdinSterling andHarris Brothers), all offered several versions of the CLH.

Because these homes were so small (less than 600 square feet), homeowners would add additions to the sides, the front, and the top, making identification even more difficult!

Because of this, I don’t have any photos of CLHs, but thanks to Mark Hardin, I have now seen a photo of a Wayside (featured in yesterday’s blog). He found it in Stockton, Ohio.

Click here to read CLH, Part I.

Want to learn more about how to identify these homes? Click here.

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"Four Rooms - Two Porches." What more do you need? Maybe an indoor potty? You'd think that a house named "The Rest" would have a Rest Room, wouldn't you?



The living room is 10 by 12. That chair must be about the size of a dinner plate. (1921 catalog)


Oopsie, where have we seen this living room before? Why its the same photo as is seen in the 1919 catalog image for The Wayside.

Oopsie, where have we seen this living room before? Why it's the same photo as is seen in the 1919 catalog image for The Wayside.


In fact, comparing these two side by side, youll see that just about the same house.

In fact, comparing these two side by side, you'll see that just about the same house. The Wayside is on the left and The Rest is on the right. That back porch (with cellar entry) is about the only difference.


They sure do look alike!

Why, even the shrubbery is the same! The Rest is on the left.


How many of these Rests have I driven right on past? Probably a few.

Several of these same cities were shown as having a "Sears Wayside" as well. Did Sears just decide that these two houses were close enough to consider them the "same model"?


The Rest, like the Wayside was a very simple little house (1919).

The Rest, like the Wayside was a very simple little house (1921).


Are you near the cities listed above? Would you be able to get me a photo of a Rest?

Please leave a comment below!

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1 Comment

  1. ShariD

    This is probably one of those sort of temporary “farm hand” type houses that got put up for their use and when farm hands no longer lived on the farm properties, may have been turned into a storage building. Or for the use of factory employees or miners for housing. My husband comes from a long line of family farmers, and I have seen buildings on farms in northwestern Indiana that could very well have been one of those tiny little houses at one time or another.

    I noticed several differences in “The Rest” from the original “Wayside.” The kitchen windows were changed to two on the left side, when the back window got replaced by a small closet (taking out wall space for a table) and the sink was moved to in front of the pantry, the doorway to which was moved closer to the side wall. There’s also something in the floor of the doorway from the living room marked “Scuttle” – what is that? The back stairs for the cellar also provided a location for the ice box, where there wasn’t anything shown for one in the Wayside.

    I can’t imagine these days trying to set up housekeeping in such a tiny building, with such limited amenities, and no bathroom! One tiny light and no other outlets in the kitchen? But these days, we’ve become so accustomed to having huge amounts of square footage just for one family to live in, and the requisite “McMansions” for anyone with a fairly full bank account, that these are probably smaller than the walk-in closet in the master bedroom of those huge “human warehouses!” It’s all relative to our current experiences and expectations I’m sure, and back in those days, this may have been a considerable improvement to a soddie or a small log cabin, even with an outhouse, and Saturday night baths in the tin tub in the kitchen.

    I have been reading for some time on Sears and other companies housing of this era, have collected an ever-expanding library of books on the subject, (including numerous Dover reprints of the old catalogs) and find myself thoroughly fascinated by the whole process. I find myself re-watching movies of the 20’s and 30’s, and paying more attention to the architecture of the household interior shots than the plots and action by the people! I also find myself driving around our small community, east of Indianapolis and south of Anderson, Indiana (mentioned in one of the posts regarding a large group of 127 Sears-type houses) looking at the architecture of the homes in the older neighborhoods and trying to also pay attention to my driving!

    I find it much easier to do when my husband is driving! I have lived in the central and northern Indiana area for the last 36 years, and I know that the houses I have always loved the most are the ones from these times. I may have even lived in one or two of them, but it was so long ago, I would be hard pressed now to be able to identify them.

    I also grew up in your neck of the woods for the first 21 years of my life, having been raised in Hampton/Newport News, and spending one year living in the Churchland area going to Western Branch High School for my sophomore year. I ended up graduating from Hampton High School in 1975 though. I remember driving around the older neighborhoods and recognize easily the architectural styles of these areas.

    LOVED the old mansion-types on the waterfronts, and the big old two stories on the streets behind them. Porches have always been my passion, and any house with a big, old, humongous front porch with swings and big wicker chairs is my idea of heaven! My stepfather and many generations and members of my family worked for their entire working lives at Newport News Shipbuilding, and the housing in and surrounding that area surely could have been from these sources for the workers, especially during the War years.

    Well, I have three more books coming in the next couple of days, including a couple of yours, and I am looking forward to burying myself in them in depth! I have found that I read much more slowly, and look for every single detail I can, turning the pages slowly, because I just hate it when I come to the end of a book! I am no longer employed, being recently disabled, and I have lots of time to enjoy them.

    It’s probably the only benefit of being amongst the unemployed that I can think of! Fortunately, I have a hard-working husband who helps feed my “old house books addiction” or I think I’d just go bananas with nothing else to do! I also look through the previews of the books on Amazon, and love reading even the tidbits they provide. I also hate coming to the end of those.