Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Rosemary Thornton  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: N/A

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-- Rosemary Thornton on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Rosmary lived in Alton, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Since 1999, Thornton has traveled throughout the Midwest studying, researching and learning more about Sears Homes. In that time, she’s written newspaper and magazine articles, in addition to several books. Along with the books she has published, she and Dale Patrick Wolicki wrote a forward to a reprint of ''California's Kit Homes: A Reprint of the 1925 Pacific Ready-Cut Homes Catalog''.Considered the country’s #1 authority on kit homes, Thornton has appeared on PBS (History Detectives), A&E (Biography), CBS (Sunday Morning News) and her book was featured in its own category on Jeopardy. More than 75,000 homes were built from kits supplied through mail order by Sears, Roebuck and Company in the first three decades of the 20th century. The 30,000 piece kits contained everything from lumber and nails, paint, wood putty, window weights and sash cord. About 70,000 Sears homes are believed to remain.

Published Works

  • The Reality of Real Estate, Hampton Roads Pub Co Inc, 1993
  • The Houses That Sears Built; Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sears Catalog Homes, Gentle Beam Publications, 2002
  • Finding the Houses that Sears Built; A Guide to the 60 Most Popular Designs, Gentle Beam Publications, 2004
  • The Houses That Sears Built, Gentle Beam Publications, 2004
  • The Ugly Woman's Guide to Internet Dating: What I Learned From 70 First Dates, Gentle Beam Publications, 2009
  • Montgomery Ward's Mail-Order Homes; A History and Field Guide to Wardway Homes, Gentle Beam Publications, 2010 - written with Dale Wolicki
  • Sears Homes of Illinois, The History Press, 2010

Selected Titles At Your Library

The reality of real estate :
ISBN: 1878901710. OCLC Number:

Hampton Roads Pub.,. Norfolk, Va. :. ©1993.

The houses that Sears built :
ISBN: 0971558809. OCLC Number:

. .

Finding the houses that Sears built :
ISBN: 0971558825. OCLC Number:

Gentle Beam Publications,. Alton, Ill. :. 2004.

The houses that Sears built :
ISBN: 0971558817. OCLC Number:

. .

The ugly woman's guide to Internet dating :
ISBN: 0971558841. OCLC Number:

Gentle Beam Publications,. Norfolk, Va. :. 2009.

Montgomery Ward's mail-order homes :
ISBN: 0971558868. OCLC Number:

. .

Sears homes of Illinois /
ISBN: 1596299398. OCLC Number:

History Press,. Charleston, SC ;. ©2010.


Rosemary was honored at the 2004 Illinois Authors Book Fair sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and the Illinois State Library in Springfield, Illinois.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Contact Information Publisher

Gentle Beam Publications P.O. Box 1392 Alton, Illinois 62002