Past Event

Exploring Mail-Order Homes Along the Old Chicago and Northwestern Railroad

Join Architectural Historian and IHC Road Scholar Rebecca Hunter for a discussion about mail-order homes and discover some hidden treasures in River Forest as well!

Author, researcher and lecturer Rebecca Hunter became fascinated with the phenomenon of mail order homes in 1996, and is currently engaged in the study of kit homes and agricultural buildings marketed from 1906-1946 by nine different companies.

Hunter has sought these buildings throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and in many other states. She has located mail order buildings in over 400 Illinois municipalities and in 29 other states.

Through funding from the Illinois Humanities Council, Rebecca Hunter recently completed surveys of River Forest, Bellwood, Maywood, and Elmhurst. These findings will be used in the creation of a mail-order home database which will be unveiled early next year.

Want to learn about mail-order homes, apply to host Ms. Hunter’s IHC Road Scholar program, "Do You Live in a Mail Order House? Mail Order Homes in the USA 1906-1945."

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Neill at 708-547-7393 or visit