Lake Bluff Children's Home
Favorite thing: Another reason that Lake Bluff is important to me and Allan is that we adopted our daughter Jill in 1969 from the Lake Bluff Children's Home. This facility permanently closed in 1969; Jill was one of, if not the last child, who was adopted from Lake Bluff Children's Home!
The Lake Bluff Orphanage was founded in 1895. It was originally called The Methodist Deaconesses Orphanage; however, it later became known as the Lake Bluff Children's Home.
In 1894 when times were really financially bad, especially in Chicago. At that time thousands of children were given up for adoption because their parents could not afford to care for them. The home actually started with a Miss Abigail Simonds of the Chicago Deaconess Home. She brought six homeless children from Chicago to Lake Bluff where financial assistance from James Hobbs (who was president of the Lake Bluff Camp Meeting Association ) and his wife Marilla made it possible to keep them here.
The orphanage grew from the original six children to about 200 by 1940. Here they lived in six Georgian style brick buildings. Literature says that the orphanage was "self-sufficient". It had its own bakery, health center, playground, and laundry.
Starting in the late 1950's foster care came into being. Then by the early 1970's, foster placement took over the role of the orphanage. Thus, the Lake Bluff Home's For Children closed forever. The community tried to sell the buildings but to no avail.
Our Jill went to "after-school day care there for a few years, but in 1979 the property was sold and all the buildings were razed. It was a sad sight to see it destroyed; I even viewed the metal crib that Jill was in the first time we saw her, and it made me cry.
Fondest memory: So, when I went to theVliet Museum in September of 2007 and saw their wonderful exhibit about Lake Bluff Home's for Children, it conjured up many fond memories.
You have to realize that this institution covered the entire 200 block of Scranton Avenue! Thus, for most of the 20th century, it was a recognizable and unique feature of Lake Bluff.
Services there included ADOPTION and individual foster home placement. I'm so glad that it was there for us when we needed it. All three of us, Jill, Allan, and I, are proud to say that Jill was adopted from Lake Bluff Homes for Children.
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Our History in Lake Bluff
Favorite thing: Lake Bluff holds a very important spot in my heart. First of all, Allan's first job the year we were married  was at the Junior High School in Lake Bluff, Illinois. Then in 1973, we moved to Lake Bluff and rented an historic Duplex on Ravine Avenue. It was the Gardener's Quarters of one of the Field Estates [as in the Marshall Field Retail people'. It was a remarkable place that backed up to a beautiful ravine and was very, very near to Lake Michigan. It had 3 bedrooms, a bath and a half, a Living room, a Dining room, and a basement. We lived there a few years and loved it ever so much. See Photograph #1
The first house that we ever purchased was in Lake Bluff and was a very modern home that had "tongue-in-groove" wooden ceilings. It had four bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a huge kitchen, a living room with fireplace, a dining room, a utility room, a family room, full basement, and a 2-car attached garage. This was during the 1970's when the Real Estate Market in Lake Bluff was really "booming". We lived here for two years and sold it the day it went on the market! See Photograph#2
Fondest memory: We then purchased a small Victorian on Scranton Avenue that was painted blue [at the time]. It had no basement, no garage. There were two bedrooms, two parlors, a kitchen, a dining room, and a small porch/family room. We only lived here for one summer because it was just too small. It was a darling house and very near to Lake Michigan [one block]. See Photograph ##
Then we purchased an adorable 1929 Cape Cod on Foss Court [a dead-end very short street] that was about 2 blocks from Allan's school. It had beautiful dark hardwood floors and woodwork, a living room with fireplace, a dining room, newly remodeled kitchen, eat-in room off the kitchen, 1 1/2 baths, two large bedrooms, a den/family room, and a finished basement that looked like a British Pub. The garage was a detached old one. This was a lovely home in a delightful neighborhood. See Photograph#4
We left Foss Court at the end of the 1980's when we built a home on a golf course in Antioch, Illinois. It was so sad to say goodbye to this fabulous town called Lake Bluff
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