Editor’s Note: The following is the fourth in a series of stories highlighting homes and other structures that will be featured during the Highland County Historical Society’s annual Tour of Homes and Historic Buildings on Sunday, June 11 from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. This story features the Walker home, located at 112 E. Main St., Hillsboro.
Betty Ann Walker’s home is not what you might consider a “normal” home, but it suits Betty Ann just fine. Her flair for decorating with antiques and collectables lends itself to her unique location.
She purchased the building from Kenneth and Catherine Meade, who had refurbished the building (including the sweet little balcony porch), turning it into Caryl’s Dress Shop in the mid 1970s. But the building had history long before that.
The building may have started its life as Humphrey’s Eggs & Creamery. It has also been found that in 1905, the building was the “new home” to T. J. Sprinkle & Sons Music Store. A June 22, 1905 newspaper ad stated that in addition to new pianos and organs, “We have in stock two second-hand square pianos and one slightly used upright piano that we will sell at a great bargain; also a number of second hand Esty Organs, $5.00 and up.” By 1907, they had added Victrola to their inventory.
A 1963 newspaper article stated that 84-year-old Pricetown native and optometrist Dr. Charles Foster Faris had called the building home for his business beginning in 1936 after having been located on West Main Street, then taking on a 12-year stint as Hillsboro’s postmaster. The building was also home to Dr. Clifford Foor.
Sometime in the mid to late 1960s, 112 E. Main St. became home to the Marvin Wilson Company. In 1970 it was home to Cadet Cleaners, and in 1973 Pru-Dee’s Clothing Store called the building home. And then there was Caryl’s Dress Shop. After that, the businesses were short lived … until Betty Ann moved in.
Taking her time, she slowly transformed the upstairs from an uninhabitable space into a cozy one-bedroom place to call home. Finding that the staircase from the street was inconvenient and took up way too much square footage, she had the stairs removed and an elevator installed. The kitchen is stunning with warm butter-colored cabinets that provide big storage in a small area. Currently, she is undergoing the addition of a small room over the garage to serve as storage and a walk-in closet area. There is also an entrance into the kitchen from a back staircase that brings you from the garage through a tiny landscaped space filled with plants and flowers up to a deck-style patio that is the perfect place for morning coffee and a donut from her neighbor down the street, White’s Bakery.
The Highland County Historical Society is happy to be collaborating with the Brush & Palette Guild in an effort to raise awareness of it talents and to help it promote its 60th show and sale at Southern State Community College in Hillsboro on Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25. The historical society is featuring artwork of the homes or buildings on the tour at each of the sites. By attending the tour, you will have an opportunity to see some work created by these talented artists and talk with them about their organization and upcoming event. Melissa Bourne will be the featured artist at the Walker home.
Submitted by Avery Applegate, Highland County Historical Society.