• Gatto's
  • Wine Cellar
  • Giordano's
  • Tivoli
  • My Special Toy Store
  • Gilbert Park
  • Peets
  • Scoobys
  • Starbucks
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Sears Homes of Chicagoland

On November 17, come and explore the Sears Homes of Chicagoland. From 1908 to 1942, Sears Roebuck and Company sold ready-to-build kit homes through catalogs. Despite the rash of teardowns in the Chicago area, some of these houses have managed to survive. Learn about the Sears homes still standing in Downers Grove and neighboring communities, how to identify them and why they were built.

Lara Solonickne is the creator of the Sears Homes of Chicagoland website. She is an architecture enthusiast who enjoys uncovering the hidden stories behind old houses. She holds a degree from Northwestern University.

12:30pm Social, 1:00pm presentation (Light refreshments will be served)

The cost is $10 for non-members and free to Downers Grove Historical Society members.


Downers Grove Historical Society Honors
2018 Historian of the Year JOYCE TUMEA

Each year the Downers Grove Historical Society recognizes a person who has contributed to the Society's mission of celebrating and preserving Downers Grove history.   We are proud to recognize Joyce Tumea as the 2018 Historian of the Year.

Over the past three decades, Joyce has kept history alive through her songs, poems, skits, stories, newspaper columns and features celebrating Downers Grove and DuPage County's people, places,  and events.  Her Village-sponsored cable TV show "Today's Tidings" featured interviews with or about notable residents recognized for their achievements and contributions over the years, such as opera star (and Downers Grove native) Sherrill Milnes, former Mayor Betty Cheever, Choral Society founder Thelma Roe Milnes, comedian Emo Phillips, WWII Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Fred Lester Jr., Sears Home expert Bob Jensen, Underground Railroad expert Glennette Tilley Turner, Historical Society historians Carol Wandschneider and Lois Sterba, and local historian and noted author Montrew Dunham, among others.  She has interviewed community leaders involved with groups such as Downers Grove Rotary, Kiwanis, Artist Guild, PADS, AAUW, Questers, DAR,  League of Women Voters, Garden Club, and many others.

Joyce's newspaper column "Dateline Downers " featured in both the Suburban Life and Suburban Life-Reporter  Newspapers  also focused on interesting people, events and organizations in town, as well as on daily Downers Grove life.  

Joyce is an active volunteer with the Downers Grove Historical Society and has been active with the Downers Grove Museum mainly as a docent.  She has portrayed Lucy Downer,  Arvilla Wells and Avis Blodgett for various events.  She also has produced programming for these organizations, such as "A Downers Grove Holiday Historical" about our  early Christmas traditions in Downers Grove, and "Guests in the Graveyard" about some of our early settlers buried in the Main Street Cemetery.  Along with her all-volunteer troupe of actors called PriMerry Players, Joyce continues to write and produce historical skits, programs and songs celebrating Downers Grove, DuPage, and Illinois history.

A Downers Grove resident for 38 years, Joyce grew up in Brookfield and was educated at Lyons Township High School, College of DuPage, Illinois State University and Bradley University.  She and her husband Tony have three children, Connie, David and Phillip.

The Downers Grove Historical Society would like to congratulate Joyce for her selection as the 2018 Historian of the Year and to thank her for all she has done and continues to do to bring Downers Grove and regional history to life for readers and audiences throughout the area.


Check out our new map of Downers Grove American Foursquares!

Click Here!


We are dedicated to the history and heritage of Downers Grove, Illinois

The Downers Grove Historical Society is an independent, non-profit volunteer organization which was incorporated in 1968. We are dedicated to keeping history alive for future generations by preserving and promoting the heritage of Downers Grove. We seek to foster an understanding, awareness, and appreciation of our town's history and architecture through education, community programs, publications, and acknowledgement of historic sites. We rely solely on public support to continue these efforts.

We are dedicated to the history and heritage of Downers Grove, Illinois


Help make history matter. Become a member today!

When you become a member of the Downers Grove Historical Society, you join those who are supporting the efforts to preserve, protect and share our rich heritage. Your membership supports a vital cultural resource and preserves our town's history - now, and for future generations.