In honor of the village of Highland’s upcoming bicentennial, we continue to explore the community’s history.
The blacksmith trade was important to early settlers as evidenced by their numbers. The village blacksmiths who rang their anvils throughout the day were: J.C. Wright in 1878, C.S. “Sunny” Brown in 1884, Charles Hartell in 1880 and J.J. Harris in 1888.
Traveling for the pioneers was a slow, laborious task compared to today standards, so taverns or hotels were found within most communities. Highland’s founder, John Connor, opened the Savage House for travelers. Solomon Adams built the Highland House in 1828. It was later sold to J.R. Walker, who added a bank barn. The Highland House was known for its fine food. People came all the way from Hillsboro to enjoy the food and company of their friends.
An advertising card for the Highland House read:
Of all the jolly landlords; It was my lot to see; Josh Walker, of the Highland House; Is just the man for me. He lives in Highland, Highland County; In the old Ohio state; And he keeps his guests all smiling; From early until late. If you should chance to journey; Or through this county to browse; Don’t fail to see the “Ramrod;” Of the bully Highland House.
Across the street of from the Highland House on East Main Street, Theodore Mercer opened a hotel in 1879. Young Frank Hoskins started his hotel on April 9, 1888. He died only 26 years old in October. John Sweetman rented the property and opened his hotel Dec. 7, 1888.
Local barber Harvey T. Stuckey opened the Commercial Hotel on Railroad Street. He and Sadie McClure, his housekeeper, went to Cincinnati to select carpet and furniture. The hotel was ready for guests on Jan. 1, 1898. Stuckey had his barbershop in the back of the hotel. George Dunlap operated a hotel in 1912.
We shall return to businesses, but with the Highland Methodist Church Rededication coming up Aug. 6 at noon, the next Time Travels shall explore church history in the village.
Information for this article was taken from “Time Travels: 200 Years of Highland County History: by Charlotte Pack; and “Through the Years: A History of New Lexington-Highland” by the Heritage Committee of 1976 Bicentennial Commission.
Charlotte Pack is a local author and historian. She calls her column Time Travels.