Shore Haven is the museum’s most recent acquisition. The exterior has been restored to its 1924 look, with the exception of the sun porch, a modern addition. Subsequent owners did so much renovating and updating that it was impossible to bring the interior back to 1924. Some parts remain, though. The walls are the same ones the original owners put up after the Florida heat destroyed the walls provided by Sears.
The Mayer brothers from Erie, Pennsylvania often vacationed on Sanibel and were captivated by the island’s charm. In the early 1920s they d land on the beach fronting San Carlos Bay. Owning land and building a home in this busy and convenient stretch along the bay was considered to be a smart move.
Ross and Martin Mayer had children close to the same age and decided to live side-by-side and share facilities. They both chose Sears Roebuck kit homes. Martin and Ada Mayer purchased the Springwood model, now known as Morning Glories, and completed it in 1926. The two-story Verona model home, now named Shore Haven, was built by Ross and Daisy Mayer. The village is proud to have both homes on its property.
The Sears Roebuck kit homes were available through the Modern Homes catalog of Honor Bilt Homes from 1909 until the 1940s. They were extremely well-built houses, available in three grades. Sanibel’s two examples are of the middle grade.