RPL to host program about catalog homes
Author of Putting Sears Homes on the Map to speak on mail order homes
Rebecca Hunter, the author of Putting Sears Homes on the Map will speak on Saturday, October 16th from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium, 215 N. Wyman St. about the history of mail order homes. No registration is required.
Pre-cut homes represented popular styles of the day from 1908 – 1940 and were a savings to the buyers, some of whom assembled the houses themselves. Parts for a typical home filled two boxcars, and included approximately 10,000 numbered pieces of lumber, kegs of nails and other hardware, roofing tar and shingles paint and varnish, and blueprints and instructions on how to assemble the house. Pre-cut housing thrived until after World War II, when tract housing construction methods and increased popularity of prefabricated and mobile housing meant that pre-cut housing companies could no longer compete financially. Hunter has located mail order buildings in over 400 Illinois municipalities, including Rockford, and in 29 other states.
After her presentation, Hunter will be presenting the library with a copy of the book, Montgomery Ward Mail-Order Homes; a History and Field Guide of Wardway Homes by her colleagues, Rose Thornton and Dale Patrick Wolicki, http://wardwayhomes.com/blog/. This program is made possible in part by an award from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly.
About the Library
The Rockford Public Library, founded in 1872 as the second library in Illinois, currently has six facilities, including the Main Library and five Branch Libraries. The Rockford Public Library’s mission is to enhance community life and development by informing, educating, entertaining, and providing cultural enrichment to all people of all ages by collecting information to address the diverse interests of our dynamic community.