Pioneer Day returning to the Scott House


Pioneer Day, an event first held two years ago by the Highland County Historical Society but canceled a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is returning to Hillsboro next month.

This year’s event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14 at the Scott House on West Main Street in Hillsboro. For the time being at least, the hope is to make Pioneer Day an annual event, according to John Kellis, one of the event organizers.

“The acceptance from the community after the first one was really, really super,” Kellis said.

Historic-themed booths featuring the Hillsboro, Belfast, Buford, Pricetown, Marshall, Mowrystown, Sinking Spring and New Market, along with booths from the Highland County, Greenfield, Leesburg and Lynchburg historical societies, are expected.

“We want them bring whatever they have of the history of their little communities,” Kellis said. “Some people don’t realize these little towns were pretty self-sufficient back in the day.”

Some of the other attractions will include the Highland County Antique Machinery Club; Tim Mootz displaying the tractor his father used to win a 1957 world plowing contest in Adams County; and the Grassy Run Historical Arts Committee presenting things like rope-making, dulcimer music, a tin punch, quilted dolls, sewing and black powder long guns. Blacksmith Jack Miller will be blacksmithing items, there will be an archery trailer where visitors can actually try archery; and the local Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution and Southern Ohio Genealogical Society will be on hand.

There will be an all-day bake sale, plus Hillsboro Boy Scouts will serve a pancake breakfast in the morning and Lynchburg Boys Scouts will serve hot dogs, hamburgers and other items in the afternoon.

There will be tours of the Scott House, but Kellis said that unlike the event two years when there were guided tours, this year the tours will be self-guided with someone stationed on each floor of the house to answer any questions.

Presenters dressed in period costumes will be on hand, and Kellis said some of them will give presentations about various historic topics from the front porch of the Scott House. Hillsboro resident Tara Beery will be selling copies of her most recent historic publication and former Hillsboro resident Kim Fairley will be selling copies of her second book “Shooting Out The Lights.”

The historical society will hold some type of raffle, and sometime during the day there will be a flag retirement ceremony presented by the Boy Scouts.

“We’ve tried to identify the types of things we used to do in Highland County that we don’t do anymore,” Kellis said. “We hope those are things the community enjoys, and maybe we can spark some interest in history in some of community’s younger residents.“

The inaugural Pioneer Day in 2019 was an outgrowth of the Highland County Historical Society’s observance of the 175th anniversary of both its Highland House Museum and the Scott House.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

Scenes like this one of a Grassy Run Historical Arts Committee member displaying quill writing will be part of Pioneer Day on Aug. 14 at the Scott House in Hillsboro. like this one of a Grassy Run Historical Arts Committee member displaying quill writing will be part of Pioneer Day on Aug. 14 at the Scott House in Hillsboro. Times-Gazette file photo
Historical society event planned for Aug. 14

By Jeff Gilliland

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