The Highland County Historical Society’s most busy time of the year will kick off with two events this weekend.
A ribbon-cutting will take place at the society’s Highland House Museum at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at 151 E. Main St. when the Merry Mercantile Gift Shop opens to the public.
Then Sunday at 1 p.m. the society will host a walking Veteran’s Banner Tour in the uptown Hillsboro area.
The following weekend the society will start hosting expanded hours from 1-5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, when visitors can stop by the gift shop and tour the museum, where all rooms have been decorated in a Nature’s Christmas theme. Each room has been decorated by a different local organization.
The gift shop has products from 21 local artisans. Gifts range from jewelry to home decor; homemade jams, jellies, candies and peanut brittle; floral arrangements; crocheted items; and many other items. Books on local history and books written by local authors, plus Ohio State and other sports memorabilia, are also available.
“There are seven new artisans this year,” said Liz Odland Keister, Merry Mercantile coordinator. “I believe the news is spread by current and former artisans that the Highland House is a wonderful place to their sell their products while helping the historical society, a non-profit organization.”
Vicki Knauff, director of the museum, said, “the historical society is committed to supporting local artisans, authors and businesses because they are the ones who support us through their membership, visits to the museum and attending our events. The board of trustees and I are very appreciative of the support we receive from the community. Our mission is to preserve, protect and promote the history of our great county and we hope we are fulfilling that goal.“
In addition to the new artisans this year, a book signing by local authors will be featured on Saturday afternoons. Debbie Williams, author of “Rocky Mountain Way” and several other books, will kick off the authors’ series Nov. 3. Other authors who will be visiting include Jack Hope, Paula Kitty Wright, Frank Hedges and Dorothy Countryman. A couple more are yet to commit.
“A book is a wonderful gift for that hard-to-buy-for person. Topics vary, so there’s something anyone could enjoy,” Knauff said. “I’m excited to add this event to our celebration for our visitors during the holiday season.”
Historical society membership gift certificates are also available this year.
“There are 14 rooms in the building and every room has a tree decorated by an organization or individuals in the county. This year’s theme is ‘Nature’s Christmas’ and it’s interesting to see how the groups have interpreted the theme,” said Kathy Levo, decorations coordinator.
The Highland House will be open for visitors and shopping Thursday through Saturday from 1-5 p.m. until Saturday, Dec. 22. It will be closed Thanksgiving. Watch for more information on Facebook, the society’s website at www.hchistoricalsociety.weebly.com and The Times-Gazette, or you call the museum at 937-393-3392.
The Veteran’s Banner Tour is being organized by society President Sandy Shoemaker. Those who would like to participate should meet at the parking lot at the Highland House Museum around 12:30 p.m. Sunday and the walk will begin promptly at 1 p.m. Shoemaker said the group will stop and talk about each banner.
“As we near Veteran’s Day and the banners being removed soon, this walking tour will give everyone one last chance to see them flying,” Shoemaker said.
According to the Highland County Veteran’s Service Office, the 120 veterans’ banners will start coming down Nov. 18. They will go back to whoever purchased them.
In the spring, around mid May, the VSO said another group of banners will go up. They can be new ones or the same ones that were placed this year, although a new fee will need to be paid.
Anyone that would like to order a banner can contact Steph Roland, Kevin Barreras or Becky Williams at the VSO office, Knauff at the Highland House Museum, or Alex Butler.
The Highland County Historical Society provided some of the information for this story.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.