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Alton Historic Kit Homes Tour

Alton, IL 62002

(800) 258-6645

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Red Diamonds

Join a nationally-known expert on Sears Homes for a narrated driving tour of Alton's Historic Kit Homes. Rosemary Thornton authored the book "The Houses That Sears Built" and she will lead your group on the one-hour driving tour.

During the early 1900s, there were seven companies that sold kit homes on a national level including Sears, Gordon Van Tine, Lewis, Montgomery Ward and Harris Brothers. After ordering the house you desired from a catalog, the 12,000 precut pieces were shipped to your town by rail. A skilled carpenter was said to be able to assemble the house with its 75-page instruction book in 90 days. Alton is home to an impressive collection of more than 40 kit homes including examples from each company. 

The one-hour tour starts and ends at the Alton Visitor Center. Contact the Tourism Bueau to check availability and schedule your group's tour.


Red Diamonds


Red Diamonds