October 25, 2022

A Sears Sherburne in Brookfield?

4009 Dubois Blvd., Brookfield. Photo from Realtor site.

Sears Sherburne, also known as the No. 187.

This house in Brookfield is alleged to be a Sears Sherburne/No. 187. 

It was purportedly built by local builder Conrad Schneider, who was known for his "boulder bungalows". Originally a stone mason, Schneider would select field stones from the area and incorporate them into his designs. You can find his houses today in Brookfield, La Grange, and surrounding communities.


Schneider's own home at 4126 Raymond Ave. in Brookfield (then called Congress Park). He designed the house himself. The house collapsed in 2011 because a renovation company didn't know what they were doing.

Another house designed and built by Schneider was 712 Bell Ave., La Grange.

The house today looks almost the same. Photo from Realtor site.

At the time, Schneider was becoming well-known for his house designs.

I have no reason to doubt that Schneider built the alleged Sears house. It clearly resembles his other documented homes in the area. 

An undated older photo of the Sherburne-like house in Brookfield.

Is the house a Sears Sherburne? Did someone hire Schneider to put it together the Sears house with his trademark boulder look (Schneider did houses of his own design but he also worked as a builder for hire)? Did Schneider just base this house on the Sherburne with no purchase from Sears?

If it is a Sherburne, the front porch stairs were moved to the side. There is an enclosed second-story porch that may have been added at a later time.

The Sherburne floor plan.

The right side of the Brookfield house has a dining room addition, not found on the floor plan of the Sherburne. The triple windows on the living room are replacements--who knows if there were triple windows there originally. Photo from Realtor site.

Let's take a look at the interior, and compare it to an authenticated Sherburne.

How Sears showed the living room of the Sherburne.

An authenticated Sherburne in Dunkirk, NY. Sears said the Sherburne staircase came with "handsome newels". Photo from Realtor site.

The living room in the Brookfield house. The door to the right is gone, but previous owners also reconfigured the area. Photo from Realtor site. 

The dining room of the Sherburne in Dunkirk, NY. The Sherburne came with a built-in buffet (partially shown here) and a unique window configuration. Photo from Realtor site.

Remember the house in Brookfield had a dining room addition? You can see that in this photo. The buffet is not from Sears Roebuck that I can tell, nor is the original light fixture. The three windows are not on the Sherburne floor plan, and I doubt they are original to the house. Photo from Realtor site.

One of the upstairs bedrooms that shows a door out to the second floor deck. This would be a variation of the original floor plan which shows double windows in that spot. Photo from Realtor site.

A view of the second story porch on the Brookfield house. It may have been added at a later time. You can see similar decorative moldings that were on the illustration of the Sears Sherburne.  Photo from Realtor site.

Schneider became very ill by 1918, so the house was likely built before then. He never built another Sears house (or Sears-like house) anywhere else. He died in 1922 at age 61.

Schneider's boulder bungalows were on the pricey side--often running about $4,500. Frank and Elsie Dawson were in the house in 1920, and may have been the original owners.  Frank was a salesman for Scully Steel Company. The Dawsons moved out by 1928.

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