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CL100Years: Sears Kit Homes Mystery Cache

Hidden : 02/27/2014
2 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

------------------------------*All Limited Edition Geocoins Have Been Awarded*------------------------------
This cache is placed as part of the Crystal Lake 100-Years Geocoin Challenge created to celebrate Crystal Lake's centennial anniversary of incorporation (1914-2014). The Challenge will take you throughout the city where you will discover twelve (12) hidden caches and explore some Crystal Lake history along the way. Be one of the first 250 geocachers* to complete the Challenge and receive a limited edition trackable CL100Years Geocoin.

The Crystal Lake 100-Years Geocoin Challenge Passport contains instructions, a list of the geocaches, and designated areas for recording the code words you discover in each cache. You can print your Passport HERE or pick one up in the specially marked box located just outside the front entrance to Crystal Lake City Hall at 100 W. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake, IL 60014.


*limit one per registered geocaching account/household please
------------------------------code words are located on inside cover of logbooks------------------------------

In 1908, Sears issued its first Modern Homes mail order catalog offering more than 40 different house designs ranging in price from $495 to $4,115. About 75,000 homes were sold between 1908 and 1940, and about 370 different styles of homes were offered during that 32-year period.

Within weeks of the purchase, the kit containing everything needed to build the home would arrive in two rail cars at the nearest train depot. The kit included blueprints, hardware (door knobs, locks, hinges), millwork (doors, windows, moldings), building materials (paint, putty, rain gutters, nails, roofing) and lumber (framing lumber, flooring and siding).

The framing lumber - joists, rafters and studs - came precut and ready to be nailed in place. Each piece of lumber was stamped with a letter and number to facilitate assembly. If desired, you could purchase your lumber locally instead of from Sears. This was an option for Sears home buyers and helps explain why some Sears homes do not have stamped lumber.

Read more about Sears kit homes in "The Houses That Sears Built" by Rosemary Thornton. Special thanks to Rebecca Hunter for providing a list of Sears kit homes located in Crystal Lake.

Below you'll find model images for eight of the Sears kit homes located in Crystal Lake.  The model name has been added to each image.  Also provided are (1) a list of the eight street addresses where these Sears kit homes can be found, and (2) a list of the model names labeled A through H in alpha order.

Using these images, match each street address to its correct Sears model.  Please note there may be other kit homes nearby so be sure you are viewing those addresses provided.  Also look carefully as there may have been some changes to the homes over the years.  You may find that a couple models are similar to one another, so look at roof lines, dormers, etc., to ensure proper matching.

Street Addresses                            Sears Kit Home Models

  • 220 College                           A.  #124 Model = _____
  • 174 Eastview                         B.  Cornell = _____
  • 175 Lill                                  C.  Crescent = _____
  • 182 Lill                                  D.  Dover = _____
  • 102 Maple                             E.  Hamilton #3200 = _____
  • 40 Pomeroy                           F.  Maywood = _____
  • 132 Rosedale                        G.  Vallonia = _____
  • 162 Rosedale                        H. Willard = _____

Once you've identified the street number that goes with each model, calculate:
A = 1st digit x 2 =___
B = 2nd digit minus 3rd digit =___
C = Sum of 1st and 2nd digits =___
D = 2nd digit minus 1st digit =___
E = Sum of 2nd and 3rd digits =___
F = Sum of 1st and 3rd digits =___
G = 2nd digit plus 3rd digit minus 1st digit =___
H = 2nd digit minus 3rd digit =___

N 42 13.RST  W088 19.XYZ


R = G - F
S = A + B
T = D + E
X = H + E
Y = D
Z = C - F

Check your solution

Important Information:
Use caution around the nearby large green utility boxes - wasps/bees make nests in the corners & in the pipes!

Posted coordinates will not take you to final cache, but rather to street parking in the vicinity of the kit home locations. The final cache is hidden in a Sears 'catalog' located down the street from what used to be a Sears store.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)