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House ordered from Sears catalog in 1920s still standing

ESTANCIA, N.M. (KRQE) — A rickety house fenced off from the public on Highway 55 in Estancia has a haunting reputation.

“It’s been abandoned now for probably 20 years,” Estancia Board of Trustees member and former Estancia Mayor Morrow Hall said.

Many locals say the spooky theories behind the now doorless home attract people from across the state to snap a picture with hopes of spotting something eerie.

“If you drive by, sometimes you can see ghosts standing in the window,” Raul Zubia of Estancia said.

Neighbors say they’re concerned about trespassers at the abandoned home, adding they often have to “chase people out.”

“It’s kind of a ghost house,” Michelle Jones of Estancia said. “People love it for this time of year, for Halloween.”

Hall adds that how it got to the small town is just as surprising.

He said local lawyer Fred Ayers bought the house as a kit back in the 1920s through the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog.

The Sears Archives website states the retailer sold more than 70,000 of the build-it-yourself house kits in nearly 450 different housing styles between 1908 and 1940.

“I just think it’s wonderful that it’s in our town,” Jones said.

With the announcement that Sears filed for bankruptcy this week among plunging sales, the store in Albuquerque’s Coronado Center was announced as one among the hundreds of locations set to close.

Meanwhile, the Estancia home from the once-popular retailer is still standing, with locals proud to share its history nearly 100 years later.

“It looks about the way Sears and Roebuck does right now,” Hall said.

The house is still owned by the Ayers family which currently raises cattle on the surrounding land.

Hall said the Estancia United Methodist Church was also built from a kit in the early 1900s, though it’s unclear if it came from Sears, Roebuck and Co. or another company.