Editor’s Note: The following is the eighth 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 Wilkin home located at 7980 U.S. Route 50, Hillsboro.
The cozy cabin-like home of Buck Wilkin is situated on 5.5 acres on the eastern edge of Hillsboro.
This land was at one time part of the Dr. Robert Lilley property (1837) which stretched between U.S. Route 50 and SR 124. Other portions of that original property now include the Lilley Hill Condominiums as well as the original brick homestead owned by Tara and Jeff Beery.
In 1977, Wilkin purchased the major section of his land from Ashland Oil, which had intended to build a bulk oil plant on the site.
Wilkin purchased a book of vacation home plans from the News Reader bookstore in uptown Hillsboro many years ago with the idea of building on the land one day. In 1990, Midwest Builders put up what is now the attached garage. Two years later the “vacation home” started becoming a reality. Ford Excavating did the excavating work, Joe Rammel did the concrete basement and foundation, Larry Barr was the main contractor, with Bob Roark doing electric and Dave Blair doing plumbing.
Wilkin notes that every earth mover in Highland County has probably moved dirt somewhere on this property at some point in time.
Wilkin has a love for landscaping and plants. He has two ponds on the property with colored light fountains to keep the water fresh for the fish and wildlife that call them home. He has manicured and groomed the little stream that flows under the bridge on his driveway. Lots of shade provides a great backdrop for a variety of hostas and shade-loving plants. Many of the ash trees are having to be removed, but many are also being treated so that they may continue to produce shade on warm summer days.
Despite all the trees, there is still plenty of open land. It takes about 4.5 hours to mow the rolling lawn. The historical thinks you will enjoy seeing inside as well with its lofty ceiling, second floor balcony, mural map of the world, and an eclectic collection of art and artifacts from Wilkin’s many travels here and there.
The Highland County Historical Society is happy to be collaborating with the Brush & Palette Guild in an effort to raise awareness of its talent and to help it promote its 60th show and sale at Southern State Community College in Hillsboro 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. Sandy Pence will be the featured artist at the Wilkin home.
Submitted by Avery Applegate, Highland County Historical Society.