It’s that time of year


The Highland House Museum held a ribbon cutting and grand opening for its themed Christmas trees and Merry Mercantile Christmas Shop last Friday.

Trees in 15 rooms in the Highland County Historical Society’s Highland House Museum in Hillsboro have been decorated with items paying tribute to Ohio history, and the Christmas shop is filled with handcrafted and handmade items from 25 artisans.

“Different clubs and organizations come in and decorate each tree, and this event goes back to the 1970s, so it’s been going on for quite a while,” said Highland House Museum Director Vicki Knauff.

The Highland House and the Christmas shop are open Thursdays from 1-4 p.m. (closed on Thanksgiving) and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. They will also be open from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20 through Friday, Dec. 23. The shop will be in the museum until Christmas.

The main tree in the entrance to the Highland House was decorated by Highland County Historical Society volunteers Kathy Levo and Helen Ford. The ornaments tell the stories of long-running soap operas, the companies that sponsored them and the many products they manufactured.

The Southern State Community College Theatre Group has decorated the music room with memorabilia of Ohioans who have found fame in movies, on stage, and from radio and television.

The front parlor was decorated by the Wayman Chapel AME Church Missionaries. The decorations used ornaments and decor that may be homemade or have been tucked away in attics for many years.

The dining room, decorated by Lori Gunderman and Diane Jolitz, has a theme of U.S. presidents from Ohio.

Members of the Lynchburg 3 Arts Club decorated the kitchen with items related to Smuckers jams and jellies as the headquarters for the company is in Ohio. Members took a field trip to the company in preparation for decorating the room.

Carolyn Hastings decorated the two trees next to the back entrance with 55 ornaments that identify prominent native Ohioans.

The Towne Club decorated the second floor hallway with a display about Quaker religion and the cultural contributions of the group in the local area.

The Altrusa Club decorated the tree in the children’s room with a collection of ornaments that display children’s books and authors from Ohio. Children are invited to take home a wrapped book from under the tree.

The decorations in the Weaver’s Room of the house were done by Women in Ministry from Sinking Spring, and they feature cardinals (the official bird of Ohio) and local churches. Many of the local churches were formed by circuit riders who provided various religious functions in Highland County before many brick and mortar churches were built.

The Southern Ohio Genealogical Society decorated the Victorian bedroom with a focus on today’s women in government highlighting women serving the country who have run for and held public office in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The decor in the Humanities Room of the house features parts of history when local people made a difference with examples of the Underground Railroad, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and the Lincoln School story. The room was decorated anonymously.

The entertainment hallway, decorated by the Hillsboro Garden Club, features native plants and the state bird.

The Casper Collins Room, decorated by Highland County Historical Society member Lynn Neal, tells about the lesser-known side of Ulysses S. Grant.

The School Room, decorated by the Highland County Retired Teachers Association, shows the one-room schoolhouses that existed in Highland County.

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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