Kit house may not be from Sears
June 25, 2008 · Updated 1:18 PM
"This house was moved to Bayview recently from its perch at the entrance to the Greenbank Farm. Now there is speculation it is not a Sears kit house after all.Jon Jensen/staff photoAfter spending $20,000 to move what was purported to be a turn-of-the-century Craftsman-style kit house from the Greenbank Farm to Bayview, members of the nonprofit Goosefoot Community Fund discovered recently that they may not own the genuine article.Linda Moore, an attorney working for Goosefoot, said Thursday that after giving the structure a thorough historical analysis, Goosefoot has no evidence that the kit house is actually a Sears catalog model. Typically, a house of this type would have an identification number on several of its frame members or would have some sort of unique design detail -- such as a wallpaper pattern -- that could be used to peg it as having been manufactured by Sears. So far, none of those characteristics has been found.We have not been able to authenticate it as a Sears mail order house, Moore said.Sears sold homes by mail order between 1908 and 1940. The kit house owned by Goosefoot is thought to date from 1912, the year the Titanic sank. For the past several years, the home sat empty on skids at the Greenbank Farm. Goosefoot offered to restore it on its Bayview Road property and moved the house south in November, despite some local Greenbank opposition to the move.Moore said the nonprofit corporation still plans to restore the house to be used as an overnight hostel for bicycle tourists. She said whether or not the house was manufactured by Sears, it is a vintage kit house and does have historic value. The cost to restore the structure could be as high as $200,000. Moore said Goosefoot still wants to authenticate the origin of the kit house, but needs more information. She said she hopes anyone with information about the house's origin will contact her at 221-8423. "