Had to smile when I read your post. "J.C. Higgins" is certainly an echo from the past for a lot of us old timers. For those who wonder, this is not a forgotten rifle. Parts are still readily available.
Yes they were sold at Sears. It says so on the barrel along with JC Higgins. They are very high quality rifles built on commercial FN action's with BDL type bottom metal and chrome lined HighStandard barrels I believe. They generally shoot pretty good from my experience. I have never shot this one though. I can email anyone interested some pic's.
My JC Higgins did NOT come drilled and tapped for a receiver site. D/T for scope bases only. Bases for this rifle can be a little tricky because hole spacing is different for the front and rear ring.
I have a couple of articles written about this rifle and some accumulated research if you or any other forum members could use some additional information. PM me an email address and I'll head a couple of PDF files your way.
BTW although my Higgins spent most of its life as a factory 30/06; I recently had it re-barreled/chambered into a 260 Remington, with some action tweaking to get it to feed reliably.