At the turn of the 20th century, home buyers could order build-it-yourself house kits from a catalog.

About two dozen of these kit houses still exist in Staunton, Virginia.

Rose Thornton has written several books on kit homes. The Daily News Leader reports that she recently inventoried Staunton's kit houses for the Staunton Historical Foundation.

The foundation hopes to encourage the homes' owners to preserve them.

Thornton said Thursday at a presentation sponsored by the foundation that kit homes are tourist draws. She says Staunton should provide online maps or guided tours.