Twelve months of hard work and 200 years of rich history were laid before a packed Patricia Lindley Center Saturday night in the first showing of “Wellington 200,” a documentary commemorating the village bicentennial.
Production of the 85-minute film was led by Wellington High School teacher Dave Conklin and Lindley Center director Dottie Cianciola with the help of area students who acted as interviewers.
DVDs and flash drives containing the film quickly sold out after the show was over but will still be available for $15 in the coming months at www.lindleycenter.com.
Copies can also be found at village businesses including Special Effects, Village Market, Bread N Brew, Platinum Pedal, Wellington Music, Main Street Wellington, and the Spirit of ’76 Museum.
Mayor Hans Schneider addressed the crowd just before the film began, thanking those who worked on the project as well as his fellow bicentennial committee members.
He said donations toward the year’s many bicentennial events totaled roughly $30,000.
“Almost all of our events this year were free due to the kind and generous nature of these sponsors,” Schneider said. “This year has gone so quickly and I hope everyone has enjoyed the chance to celebrate our 200 years here. I expect the next 200 to be just as fruitful and successful for this community going forward.”
The film began with a dedication to Bill Brumfield and Patricia Lindley, saying they showered Wellington with passion and love.
“The premier of this film gave me more butterflies than any of the big productions we do here,” said Conklin, who also directs Wellington Friends of Theater shows. “Putting it out there and Dottie and I working for over a year makes it a relief to have it done and it feels great to see it be well-received.”
Sweeping drone shots document Wellington’s vast farming lands before moving into the downtown area as narrators discuss historical buildings, the Oberlin-Wellington Slave Rescue, and the accomplishments of Myron T. Herrick.
Archibald Willard’s famous “Spirit of ’76” painting is talked about in great detail and some of his lesser known works are also highlighted. Some of his earliest artwork around the village was found on surfaces like outhouse exteriors and doors, the film showed.
“Dave and I viewed it at the Lindley Center this week and I think we both felt good about it,” Cianciola said. “I think it’s a great representation of Wellington over the past two centuries. We’ve covered a lot of different areas and tried to touch on everything. The high school students are going to have a special showing sometime in December.”
Former village police chief and zoning inspector Mo Furcron, who passed away in August at age 90, was heavily featured in a portion of the film honoring those who served in the military.
The history of the Dukes marching band and sports teams is shown along with sections on Union School and the old McCormick Middle School, Findley State Park, the Lorain County Fair, the year’s other bicentennial events, and the Lindley Center itself.
Feedback from audience members was positive as they enjoyed post-show refreshments and door raffles.
“I really enjoyed when they showed people in the older dress style,” said Mike Schneider. “The buildings haven’t changed a whole lot over 200 years but the clothes sure have.”
“I’ve lived here all my life and I remember things like Isaly’s Restaurant on the corner where Verizon is now,” said Spirit of ’76 Museum trustee Gary Feron. “Buildings change a little bit but people stay the same. This is a nice community with good people who want to help each other out when it comes down to it. It’s a great community.”