In the sleepy town of Grafton, Massachusetts, stands the Willard House and Clock Museum, home to over 80 Willard clocks, timeless treasures that are all the creations of Simon Willard and his family of famous clockmakers. This is the oldest clock factory in the country, and a visit here is literally a step back in time.
The Willard House celebrates the work of Simon Willard – along with his four brothers and their father Benjamin, who pioneered the clock industry in colonial America. By the end of the 18thcentury, Simon had become the premiere clockmaker of his time, even working directly with President Thomas Jefferson. His clocks were so prized that even during his own lifetime, they were copied and counterfeited.
Some of Simon’s notable surviving clocks reside in the Old State House in Boston, the gallery clock in Old Supreme Court Chamber in Washington, DC, as well as the Roxbury tall clock in the Oval Office of the White House. Imagine if any one of these priceless timepieces were threatened by a leaky roof?