If you thought prefab homes was something that we do now. Think again.

A Special exhibit featuring "Sears" homes will be featured at the Flagg Township Museum in Rochelle.

Ordering your home through Amazon or a home improvement store is not something new.

In fact, way back when there wasn't a Home Depot, Lowes or Menards right around the corner people relied on mail order catalogs to build their dream home.

The big catalog that everyone turned to was of course Sears.

Popular Mechanics says that "from 1908 to 1940, Sears sold between 70,000 to 75,000 homes." They had over 400 styles to choose from too. "From Craftsman to Cape Cods, they offered a custom home at budgets and sizes that could accommodate any size family."

Wow! I had no idea.

These catalog homes "included everything to assemble." They "had the latest in technology [that was] available at the time — central heating, indoor plumbing, and asphalt shingles and drywall that [later] replaced the plaster and lath walls [that were] so common [in the] earlier [homes]."

Here's a closer look at what one of those homes looked when picking them out of the Sears Roebuck catalog.

Sears Roebuck Roebuck & Co. (Archival)
Sears Roebuck Roebuck & Co. (Archival)

The Flagg Township Museum is highlighting 24 homes around Rochelle "that have been identified as “Sears homes” and have names such as Sunbeam, Ellsworth, Rodessa and Clyde." (Rochelle News-Leader)

The "Sears" exhibit "is part of the state’s bicentennial celebration and includes what homes looked like in 1818, 1918, and 2018."

Museum Director, Kathy Johnson, says that they "encourage the community to come to the museum and see if their house might be a Sears home, and see our newest display.”

I mean it's kind of funny to think about but cool at the same time to discover these homes that have stood the test of time since the 1800's are something that family ordered from Sears.

The home I'm living in now or even the one I grew up in could be a "Sears" home. Who knows??

If your interested in checking this out the "Flagg Township Museum is open Thursdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 518 Fourth Ave. in Rochelle, IL.




More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5