"The Spirit of '76" is one of America's most famous paintings. Archibald Williard was the artist. The first version of the iconic trio appeared at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Copies of his painting were made available in 1891 and have graced nearly every 'patriotic' milestone since. Wickliffe and Perry (Lake County, Ohio) enter the history of this most famous painting in that Williard selected the final drummer and fifer images based on local residents.
#16-43 Henry Kelsey Devereau and "The Spirit of '76"
Born in 1859 in Cleveland, artist Archibald Williard chose Harry (family nickname) to portray the drummer boy in what was to become one of America's most famous 'patriotic' paintings. At the time, Harry was a cadet at the Brooks Military Academy. Harry married a Mildred French in 1885. They settled at her father's estate in 1910 in Wickliffe. Their estate was located at the present site of Telshe Yeshiva College. In the years that followed, Harry's passion for breeding horses led to the establishment of the Trotting Horse Breeders Organization and other charitable causes. He died in 1932. His marker is located on Ridge Road near the front entrance of Coulby Park.
#7-43 Hugh Mosher and "The Spirit of '76"
Located on Main Street in Perry, Ohio is the historic marker of Hugh Mosher. Born in Perry in the year 1819, Hugh Mosher is the celebrated fifer in Archibald Williard's iconic painting. Mosher was a fifer major in the 43rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. Considered the finest fifer in the state, Mosher spent his post Civil War years performing throughout the state at parades and civic events. Mosher was celebrated for his generosity as much as his portrayal in Williard's 1876 painting. Mosher died in 1896 and is buried in Brighton (Lorain).
With the 'Fourth of July' looming, many local parades and patriotic events are held. A visit to Historic Markers #16-43 and #7-43 are two more hidden gems to experience as you drive the roads of Remarkable Lake County, Ohio.