The Three Lilies: The Herstory Behind the Name
There are so many women in history who inspired change, but it seems that there is a unique group of women who share more than just a first name, but a fire of spirit that we all hope to channel. Meet the three Lilies:
- Lillian LaFrance -
Lillian LaFrance became a wall of death rider in 1924 after attending a carnival and seeing only men do it. She was billed as “The Girl Who Flirts With Death”. She used a skull and crossbones as her logo and was the first person to ride a wall in a scaled down midget racing car.
- Lillian Hauerwas -
Lillian Hauerwas logged over 65,000 miles on her Harley by 1921. She was quoted in Motorcycle Illustrated on September 16th, 1915 saying, “Can a girl ride a motorcycle and still retain every characteristic that is expected of our best young womanhood? I certainly believe so, and my observations cover several years... As far as the girl rider is concerned, motorcycling is just what she makes it- and it’s so easy to make it simply a pleasant, refreshing and economical pastime that I constantly wonder why more girls do not avail themselves of it.”
- Lillian Farrow -
Lillian Farrow owned the most prominent Harley Dealership in the country in the first half of the 1900’s. She was also the only woman motorcycle dealer in the world. Being a single mother of 3, she managed to keep the business alive during WWII by selling used motorcycles and parts since all new bikes were produced solely for the military and it’s because of that effort that her shop A.D. Farrow Co. is America’s oldest continuously operated Harley Davidson dealership celebrating 104 years.
The Iron Lilies Origin Story
Most people think a group is all about “fitting in” but we are the ones who always "fitted out": the misfits of the crowd. We are the ones who lived unapologetically, went against the grain, refused to conform, laughed in the face of adversity and always took the road less traveled. We feel we, like many souls, were born to stand out.
That's why this group started. This sisterhood was founded to welcome people like us: those who don't fit in anywhere else. It is the vagabonds and hopeless romantics, the outcasts, the outrageous and terminally weird who bring about progress and change. We aim to embrace each other's weirdnesses and differences, manic fixations and obsessions, and more importantly, passions. For it is all those beautifully wild and wacky things that make each of us unique.
Social groups are formed as a way to communicate. We do that on our bikes. The Lilies became a way to connect, a way to feel out of place with a group of likeminded people.
Our credo and guidelines are straightforward:
- We respect those around us and pay homage to those before us.
- IL Board Members attend weekly meetings and rides.
- IL Board Members must ride a Harley-Davidson and ride a minimum of 5,000 miles a year.
- All members must legally own and operate their own motorcycle (of any make).
- All members pay yearly dues - a portion of which is donated to the annual charity designated by The Iron Lilies Foundation.
- All members must be of good character, have a shared interest and a commitment to the idea involving women in motorcycling.
We lead by example and welcome the unwelcome, working tirelessly to make uniqueness a common thread. It’s easy to fit in anywhere, but it takes bravery to show up in your own skin and even more so when you do it on a motorcycle.