Sally Sexton Kalmbach is a fourth generation Chicagoan whose family founded a Chicago-based coffee and tea company in the early 1880s, at the same time Potter Palmer was developing the Gold Coast. Sally has taught classes in Chicago history at the Newberry Library, and has given numerous speeches and customized tours for individuals and small groups. Her expertise and ability to present the material in an accessible yet informative manner has earned her a loyal following. Her topics include: Chicago's Gold Coast, Revisiting the Columbian Exposition of 1893, Mrs. Potter Palmer's Gold Coast, Women and the White City, Mrs. James Ward Thorne's Miniature Rooms, and Chicago's Holiday Traditions.
Sally is a co-founder of the Chicago History Women's Club, a board member of the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, a volunteer docent at the Charnley-Persky House Museum, and an active member of the Blue Dolphins Swim Club.
Sally has written books about two legendary women from Chicago's history: Mrs. Potter Palmer (The Jewel of the Gold Coast: Mrs. Potter Palmer’s Chicago) and Mrs. James Ward Thorne (Mrs. Thorne’s World of Miniatures)