News

Historic Sears building moved

"If you are an early Sunday morning driver, you may have encountered unusually slow traffic on the back roads between Bayview and Greenbank.Unusually historic traffic too.The well-known Sears kit house, which has been stranded on a corner of the Greenbank Farm for three years, took a leisurely four-hour trip to its new site at Bayview Corner between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Nov. 12. The rather dilapidated house has been a thorn in the side of the publicly-owned Greenbank Farm ever since the Department of Transportation unceremoniously parked it there in 1997 as part of a highway-widening project. Though the original intention was to relocate the house nearer the farm's other buildings, money to accomplish the move was never found. During the last three years it has been disowned by the department and by the Island County Historical Society.The Sears house is one of only about 100,000 kit houses sold by the Sears and Roebuck Company through its catalogue between 1908 and 1940. It is believed to have been originally built in 1912.Bayview Corner, LLC, the group paying for the home's relocation, says it will be restored to its original condition as much as possible once it is placed at the new site across the street from the Bayview Community Hall. The group had hoped to move the house a couple of weeks ago but was unable to make all the necessary arrangements.Since the announcement last month that the house was leaving the farm, more than 200 people have signed a petition at Coupe's Greenbank Store asking that it stay put, mostly for historic reasons. Through the Washington Historical Society, Sally Coupe-Jacobson, an original member of the Greenbank Farm Management Group, obtained the services of a consultant to visit the farm and offer advice on funding sources to save and support the house and farm as a whole. But the consultant won't arrive in Greenbank until next week, after the house is gone.Coupe-Jacobson had tried to negotiate for an extra month to put a plan together before moving the house. She said she sees it as a symbol worth fighting for.If we say that there are no resources available to save the Sears house, how can we expect to find resources to save the farm? she asked.But farm managers have said repeatedly that many people have explored many options to find a good home for the house to no avail until the Bayview Corner group entered the picture last month. Bayview Corner LLC operations manager Mary Ann Mansfield said the most important thing is that the house is being saved.The roads division of the Public Works Department advises people to avoid the house movers and the roads they're using during the home's Sunday morning journey. "

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