Gazette Article by: Joan Peck
Appeared in the Gazette: Winter 1996
Recently I visited with Georgia Lloyd in the house she renovated at 455 Birch Street. The house was built in 1920 by her mother, Lola Maverick Lloyd, and Georgia grew up there with her brother and two sisters.
The Lloyd family’s reputation for civic responsibility dates back to Georgia’s grandfather, Henry Demarest Lloyd, who was a well-known social reformer. His house, Wayside, at 830 Sheridan Road is a National Historic Landmark. Georgia’s mother was a sculptor and peace activist. In 1915 she and Jane Addams of Hull House were two of the founders of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
Georgia Lloyd has been active with the World Federalists and is one of the founders of the Campaign for World Government. At 82 she is still directing the Campaign on a limited basis.
GAZETTE: You have lived all your married life in Glencoe. When did you first decide to move back into this house?
LLOYD: “I’ve always wanted to. It just took me a while to summon the gumption. To get out of Glencoe after forty years was quite an ordeal – and then to get this house fixed. It’s taken quite a while.”
GAZETTE: Do you think it was difficult for your mother, a single parent, to raise four children while pursuing her outside interests?
LLOYD: “Being a Texan helped!”
GAZETTE: You mean that she was independent?
LLOYD: “Yes. I think she even stoked the furnace.”
GAZETTE: How did she find the time to pursue her interests and raise four children?
LLOYD: “She did have live-in help, and she went to Chicago quite often. I remember waiting for her to get off the train at five o’clock; and when she was home she was really with us.”
GAZETTE: Did you sometimes feel like an only child because your siblings were somewhat older?
LLOYD: “No, I didn’t. They were around and played (instrumental) trios in the house.”
GAZETTE: You’re a violinist. Do you still play?
LLOYD: “No. I broke my wrist on a trip down the Colorado River, and my vision isn’t good enough to read music any more.”
GAZETTE: Were you the only one of the children to be born at Wayside?
LLOYD: “Yes. We moved from there when I was two years old. First we lived on Hawthorn near Greeley School. I went to kindergarten there. Then we moved to Linden, the third house from Willow, where of course there were a pump and a well in the yard. We called it the White House. I always walked to Horace Mann School past the blacksmith shop. My first-grade teacher was Kate Dwyer, for whom the park on Birch Street is named. She was white-haired by then and was a wonderful teacher. She also had taught my father.
My brother and I were in the first classes at Skokie School. When my mother, who believed in international experiences, wanted to be in Europe, I was enrolled for two years in a Swiss school where I learned French. Then I went down South for a year, and when I returned, attended New Trier for my junior year. New Trier was very difficult. My Swiss school had 36 students of fourteen different nationalities. New Trier was nothing like that; it was enormous.”
GAZETTE: What were your summers like?
LLOYD: “We were with my father for six weeks in the summer. He usually took us somewhere. One of the things my parents had in common was that they both liked the outdoors – especially picnics. We would go with Mother out on Willow, just west of Provident, and have picnics in the haystacks. They were such nice big haystacks that we could slide down them. There were open fields, and Crow Island really was an island. There was a ditch alongside Willow with water in it. When my sister Jessie, in her acrobatic way, tried to jump across it, I remember that she landed with one foot in the water.”
GAZETTE: And the winters?
LLOYD: “When the Haags (Charles Haag sculpted the statue at the corner of Lloyd Place and Sheridan Road) lived in Hubbard Woods, we used to go up in the wintertime in a sleigh and horses. The sleigh came from Richardson’s Garage on Elm Street. He ran the taxis, and in the winter, sleighs.”
GAZETTE: What changes do you see today in the Village?
LLOYD: “We used to greet everyone we met on the street, and they said “hello” back. That doesn’t happen as much any more. There’s less of an intergenerational feeling today.”
GAZETTE: Did you know “Chief” Davies, Minister of Education at the Congregational Church and founder of the Community House?
LLOYD: “Yes, he was a very hearty person, warm-hearted and outgoing. He directed a summer camp that my sisters went to in Ludington, Michigan. I went there the summer before going back to New Trier, to help me get back in the groove.”
GAZETTE: Was the Community House started as a place for children?
LLOYD: “Yes, and it brought the community together too.”
GAZETTE: It’s been wonderful talking with you in this yellow living room, with its eclectic art collection, watching the birds outside fly from feeder to feeder. The bear your mother sculpted is still there at the corner of the house, catching the rain water as it comes out of the downspout.
LLOYD: “He needs rejuvenation; he’s been worn down by the elements.”
GAZETTE: Another project?
LLOYD: “ I guess so.”