Appreciation Site



Fun at the

in Burchard, Nebraska

September 21, 2003


This is me, David Gasten, in front of the Harold Lloyd Birthplace in Burchard, Nebraska, on September 21, 2003, the day of its Grand Opening.  The house was completely restored earlier that year thanks to a government grant.  This Grand Opening was the first time the restored house had ever been made open to the public.
If we switch our view to the west (we are looking directly north in this picture), you can see the entrance to the house.  The Harold Lloyd Birthplace is quite small, having only three rooms.  The largest is the one you will see when you enter the door.

The front room was posted with information on Harold Lloyd, as well as a small collection of pictures of him and of the restoration of the house.  The Harold Lloyd Foundation, the organization in charge of the house, has high hopes for this historic landmark.  One of their plans is to show Harold's movies to bus tours, which they will project on the wall where the old man is bending over the table.
Behind the door were two chairs, which looked like a perfect place to interview Esther Tegtmeier, founding member of The Harold Lloyd Foundation.  Mrs. Tegtmeier (pronounced TEG-mie-er) and her husband Frank lived in the house from 1952 to 1982, and their vision for preserving the house is the main reason it stands today, as there was talk of tearing it down at one time.  Mrs. Tegtmeier is wearing a Harold hat and I'm wearing Harold glasses.  I accidentally left my microcassette player home, so I had to scribble notes as Mrs. Tegtmeier answered my questions.  I was interviewing her for an article that I was writing for the official Harold Lloyd site to help the Foundation raise money, which it did.  The official Harold site is down now, but you can read a longer version of my article at


After you enter the house, if you turn to the right and walk about four steps, you will enter the sitting room, which you see here.  The Foundation was waiting on a number of memorabilia items from the Harold Lloyd Trust in California (operated by Suzanne Lloyd, Harold's granddaughter), and planned to begin decorating the walls once they received them, which is why the walls are bare in this photo.
Continue walking through the sitting room, and to your left you will see the entrance to a small third room, the final room in the house.  This room was converted into a little "store" where you could buy Harold T-shirts, Harold glasses, Harold envelopes, the Harold poster you see on the right-hand side of the picture, and copies of the now out-of-print Gill/Brownlow documentary Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius (1989).


Two blocks north of the house is the old Burchard Public School house, which has since been converted into an events center called Best Inn Burchard.  On the lawn they had an antique car show (two cars) and a hot dog supper, after which they screened the 1962 documentary Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy.  The atmosphere was that of a group of small-town folk getting together to celebrate a local hero, which happened to be Harold Lloyd.  Its smallness and hominess made for a comfortably enjoyable celebration, although given the event's small-town nature, it was a little hard to believe that the celebration was in honor of one of the biggest movie stars of the Roaring Twenties! 
I've written an in-depth article about the opening of the Harold Lloyd House and the ten-year struggle to preserve it, which you can read at Annette d'Agostino Lloyd's website.  

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