About three years ago local veteran Vernon Garrison and his grandson, Garrison Banks, took it upon themselves to erect a new flag pole at the historic Scott House in Hillsboro. So they said it only seemed right to help put a new one up after their former pole was damaged in high winds this summer.
“I like this building. It’s the prettiest building in town and this is the prettiest location in town,” Garrison said Tuesday afternoon as the finishing touches were put on the new pole.
As it turns out though, Garrison has a connections to the building that’s now owned by the Highland County Historical Society from long ago. He said that back in the 1950s he worked for the grandson of the original owner of the home, hauling sand and gravel around the area.
“I think that had a little something to do with it, too,” said Garrison, who also cleared a couple large truckloads of yard debris from the property when he and his grandson erected the other pole three years ago.
Originally, historical society trustee John Kellis said, Garrison agreed to foot the bill to have the latest flag pole installed. But then others stepped in to help.
“I went to the VFW to order a pole and they said they’d pay for it,” Garrison said.
In another twist, someone else had ordered a flag pole from the VFW about a year ago, but they never came to pick it up. So the VFW only had to pay $560 for it, or about half of what it would have cost otherwise.
Then Justin Harsha of Harsha Monuments, a city council member who is also a historical society trustee, provided the concrete and sand and helped erect the new pole, and Tom Dance drilled the hole for it.
The former pole was located next to the front left side of the Scott House, but the new one is located in the middle of the yard in front of the building.
“If the military posts a flag it goes in front of the building, centered on the headquarters,” said Garrison, adding that he spent 27 years in the service.
Banks said he was more than happy to help when his grandfather asked him, despite the fact that he had to take timeout between three different practices to help with the flag pole Tuesday.
“I love helping him and I helped do the first pole, so it only felt right to do the second one,” Banks said.
There have been numerous repairs taking place at the Scott House in recent months, thanks mostly to $110,000 the historical society received through Ohio’s 2017 Capital Budget bill. Kellis said the goal is to have the repairs completed by Christmas, then sometime after that the society will hold an open house to let the public view the building.
“We just want to thank Vernon for his commitment to this building and particularly the flag pole. He’s did a lot of landscaping of the grounds, too,” Kellis said. “From day one he said, ‘I’m going to put another pole up there.’ From the standpoint of the historical society, we’re grateful to him.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.