After a century of use, many old houses have been updated, remodeled or otherwise altered to the extent that they are scarcely recognizable. Others, like this Sears Maytown in Struthers, Ohio, are able to transcend time with only slight changes. Owner Dawn Hartzell loves her Maytown, shares a special bond with it, and values its many original features. She has graciously offered to share her home with us here.
Built in reverse from the published version of the house, Dawn’s Maytown was further customized with an original wrap-around porch (which she has nurtured through stabilization and repairs). Maytowns were sold by Sears from approximately 1911 to 1920. The image above is a 2011 Google Street View capture.
As marketed, the Maytown had a full-width front porch. The awkward brackets on the side (under the turret) have always stuck me as a clumsy solution. Dawn’s original wrap-around porch (below) eliminated the problem! Her renovated porch looks great today. This image has been reversed from the original to reflect the house below. Image source: archive.org
As built, this Maytown has a more substantial porch and no awkward brackets! Photo courtesy of Dawn Hartzell.
Detail of corner. Note the new plinth blocks beneath the columns! Photo courtesy of Dawn Hartzell.
At left, the “Acorn Front” entry of oak includes two options for sidelights. The same door, without sidelights, is found in this Maytown. Image courtesy of archive.org
The original Sears door retains its oval, beveled, glass. Photo courtesy of Dawn Hartzell.
The catalog text accompanying the floor plan is interesting. A reverse of this image, which coincides with Dawn’s floor plan, is below (following images of the kitchen). Image courtesy of archive.org
The entry hall retains its original newel and balustrade in addition to the stained glass window. The woodwork has never been painted! Photo courtesy of Dawn Hartzell.
Dawn’s newel post as illustrated in the Sears millwork catalog (at far left). Image source: archive.org
The bay window of the dining room. Photo courtesy of Dawn Hartzell.
The kitchen cabinets, while not original, were locally made in the 1930s. Dawn wisely chose to retain them when renovating her kitchen. Photo courtesy of Dawn Hartzell.
The door to the basement, at left, is accessed from the kitchen. The Sears floor plan (immediately below) shows a small pantry between the kitchen and this door, so this appears to a slight alteration from the original design. Also, the door connecting the kitchen to the hall appears to have been moved closer to the staircase. Photo courtesy of Dawn Hartzell.
I’ve flipped this image to better relate to the photo above (looking into the front hall from the kitchen). The small pantry appears to have been removed (or perhaps was omitted as a customized option). Image source: archive.org
An original Sears shipping label found on a joist in the basement! Photo courtesy of Dawn Hartzell.
More varnished woodwork in the hall. Photo courtesy of Dawn Hartzell.
The iconic turret as seen from within. Photo courtesy of Dawn Hartzell.
The “Stratford” line of hardware was one of the most popular options for Sears customers, and it is found throughout the house. Image source: archive.org
Here the Stratford hardware sports a Japanned finish. Photo courtesy of Dawn Hartzell.