Society diversity

The Historical Society plans upcoming events

The Highland County Historical Society is planning several upcoming events, including a “huge yard sale” to be held inside the Highland House on East Main Street in Hillsboro on Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25, according to Jean Fawley, who volunteers with the historical society frequently. Fawley said the event will be held indoors as a precaution to avoid any impact from the weather, which she said has affected previous events.

“We’ve done this before.”, Fawley laughed.

The indoor garage sale is set to take place just as major repairs are underway at Highland House, including the installation of new windows, which have required the building to be closed to the public until completed .

“We are installing all new windows,” Fawley explained, and described the old windows as “very old, cracked and drafty.” Fawley said the new installation came after the historical society launched a fundraising campaign to “raise money and install new windows” and that, in line with the completion of this project, “we hope to be open end of June.

Pioneer Day, another event sponsored annually by the historical society, is now in its third year, according to Fawley, but the date for this year’s event has been moved to July 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Scott House on West Main Street in Hillsboro.

Fawley previously told the Times-Gazette that the date had been changed to coincide with the Hillsboro Festival of the Bells, which will take place nearby.

“We could have more people and it would attract more people if they came to the Festival,” said Fawley, who also said she expected people to be able to attend all available events.

For the uninitiated, Fawley described the nature of the celebration as a tribute to the rich diversity of regional history.

“We feature all of Appalachia,” she said.

Fawley previously told the Times-Gazette that “Pioneer Day will feature historic elements from communities across Highland County” that celebrate, exemplify and commemorate the area through re-enactments, cultural preservation, artifacts , demonstrations and other stories.

One of the hands-on and accessible activities will include historical experts who will “set up in an area like a pioneer village and demonstrate” craft knowledge that was “necessary for the pioneers.”

Fawley previously told the Times-Gazette that “they do all kinds of Appalachian crafts and things like that.”

She said some of the activities will include personal instruction that will allow participants to try out some of these antiquated skills. Other artisan activities and demonstrations are expected to include “vintage tractor displays and blacksmiths,” according to Fawley, who previously said, “It’s free, so come and have a great day!”

The historical society is made up of volunteers who, like Fawley, dedicate their time to making these and other public events happen.

Fawley said she was motivated to help by the need to “preserve Highland County’s history, from the past, into the future,” which she said is an ongoing process.

“We were never done,” she said. “There is always something to learn, more knowledge to accumulate.”

For those wishing to acquire more knowledge themselves, Fawley said the Highland House is an extensive repository of local historical information that includes literary collections by local authors, including current members of the historical society, such as John Glaze, Dr Tara Beery and others, who have written books on local history which are available for purchase at Highland House.

One of the most notable projects, said Fawley, are the various adaptations of the Lincoln School story, a local story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds, triumph over racism, determination and resilience, which continues to have a “statewide and national scale” impact. according to Fawley, on those who are aware of it.

The film based on the story of the Marching Mothers, who tirelessly demanded equality and access to education in a post-Brown v. Board of Education Hillsboro, plays on the second floor of Highland House, “In the Humanities Room”, according to Fawley, and copies are also available for purchase elsewhere in the building.

For more information about the Highland County Historical Society, call 937-393-3392.

Highland County Historical Society volunteer Jean Fawley speaks at a 2021 Highland County Historical Society event in the backyard of the Highland House on East Main Street in Hillsboro. Fawley and other volunteers help plan and execute public events like the upcoming Pioneer Day event.

Fawley says renovations are almost complete