has been placed on the
of Historic Places
by the United States
Department of the Interior
In 1844, Richard and Mallie (Mary) Lloyd-Jones and their seven children left rural Wales to seek religious freedom and opportunity in America. Unitarians by belief, farmers by occupation, they endured the hardships of immigration, the loss of one child, and the American births of four more before they settled here, in rural Wyoming Valley, in the mid-1860's.
In time, a subscription was taken to build this small house of worship. Named "Unity Chapel" by the Lloyd-Jones family, this three-room, Shingle-style "cottage church" was completed in 1886. It combined the talents of famed Chicago architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee, and "a boy architect belonging to the family (who) looked after (its) interior." That "boy architect" was Frank Lloyd Wright.
The chapel became a worship center, community meeting house, school and magnet for family and neighbors. Around it stretches the family graveyard.
Many of the sons and daughters of Richard and Mallie became farmers in the surrounding valley. Son Jenkin Lloyd-Jones became a famous Unitarian minister in Chicago. He founded the nearby Tower Hill summer retreat and brought many diverse pastors, rabbis, and monks to preach in this remote rural chapel.
In 1887, sisters Jenny (Jane) and Nell (Ellen) Lloyd-Jones created the Hillside Home School on the site of Richard and Mallie's homestead. Their "boy architect" nephew designed its Home Building, and his "Romeo and Juliet" windmill and "Stone Schoolhouse" still stand today, retaining the "Hillside" name.
In 1974, Unity Chapel was placed on the National Register for Historical [sic - of Historic] Places. It is a magnet for new generations of Lloyd-Joneses, neighbors and friends, whose weddings, funerals, musicales, and summer services continue to bring life to this tiny, historic "cottage church".