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Saved! A Vintage Sears Mail-Order Bungalow in Washburn

Find out what’s in store for the new owner.

vintage Sears mail-order bungalow in Washburn Maine
TEXT BY JULIE SENK
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHA-LAM PHOTOGRAPHY

THE BACKSTORY

Known for its pastoral beauty and hard-working agricultural communities, Aroostook County has maintained its quiet, unhurried way of life since it was formed in 1839. But the arrival of the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad in the late 19th century ensured it wasn’t isolated, enabling farmers and merchants to export potatoes and lumber, residents to commute between towns, and one Washburn family to import a home via Sears, Roebuck and Company’s popular mail-order catalog. Constructed in the late 1930s, their story-and-a-half, side-gabled bungalow, known as the Lakecrest, was one of 447 “kit homes” offered by the company, which shipped the parts needed to build a house — precut lumber, windows, cabinets, nails, paint, and the like — to the buyer for assembly.

SELLING POINTS

Sears homes were distinguished by their quality materials, and this slightly modified Lakecrest successfully conveys the “exterior attractiveness and practical interior arrangement” the catalog promised. The elegantly curved roofline shelters a spacious front porch supported by sloping wooden columns. Ample interior light fills the open kitchen-living-dining area and highlights many original elements, including wooden built-ins, wide moldings, and a handsome staircase with inset paneling.

TO-DO LIST

The low listing price provides an opportunity to address major upgrades, including a new roof, repairs to walls, ceilings, and wood floors, and electrical and plumbing updates. Old wallpaper should be removed, new appliances are needed in the kitchen, and the bath is ready for a complete remodel. The porch and siding require repairs and fresh paint.

 

Location: 1632 Washburn Rd., Washburn
Asking Price: $12,000
Status: Sold!


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