Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Spirit of '76 Museum

The Spirit of '76 Museum, 201 North Main St., Wellington, Ohio features the work of artist Archibald Willard. You may not know the name, but you will instantly recognize his world-famous painting, "The Spirit of '76", with its drummers, fifer and flag that symbolize the spirit of the American Revolution. Southern Lorain County Historical Society board member Scott Markel calls Willard “the least famous painter who created the most famous painting in the world.”

In this video, Becky Norton, Vice President of the SLCHS, guides us on a fascinating tour of the Museum. She is a wealth of knowledge and a wonderful guide!

The Spirit of '76 Museum also showcases the rich and colorful history* of Wellington and Lorain County and is operated by The Southern Lorain County Historical Society.  For more information on the museum and to arrange a tour, visit

People from Fayette County, Ohio, are likely familiar with Willards' work. His paintings adorn the courthouse and were recently restored to their original glory. They can be seen in this video, produced by The Ohio Channel at 3:30: 

The full-size original painting, (approx. 8"x10") is on display at the Marblehead Historical Commission, in Marblehead, MA. The thumbnail photo is from their website.

* Did you know that an escaped slave was captured and held in Wellington? While awaiting a train to take him back down south, the people of Wellington and nearby Oberlin freed him from his captor, and thus he was able to escape to Canada.

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