In the early part of the twentieth century, Sears, Roebuck and Company began selling house plans and the kits to build them. Their mail order home business peaked in the 1930s and they published their last home catalog in 1940. Over 100,000 families built Sears homes throughout those years and some of those families lived in Libertyville.
Cook Memorial Public Library, along with the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society, has embarked on a project to document mail order houses in Libertyville. So far we have identified over 20 houses that were mail order homes, either from Sears or one of the other companies who sold kit homes. Pictures and descriptions of them are under the links to the left. More information is available in the local history collection of the Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, Illinois.
We invite you to look through the houses in our exhibit and maybe take a look at your own home. If you think that you might live in a mail order house, see the information under "Documentation" then contact us to be included in our project. We've also included a bibliography of books on the subject and links to other web sites related to this topic. We hope you'll enjoy taking a look at a little slice of history in your own backyard.