What started as an idea to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the historic Scott House and Highland House in Hillsboro has grown into an event called Highland County Pioneer Day.
The countywide celebration sponsored by the Highland County Historical Society will be held Saturday, Aug. 24 on the grounds of the Scott House and former Hillsboro High School location along West Main Street.
“The Scott House and Highland House were both completed in 1844, and originally we were mainly planning an anniversary celebration for both of them, but it has grown into Pioneer Day. The idea kind of is to bring kids in for some education, and for everyone to enjoy some of the things we used to do,” historical society member John Kellis said. “Everybody we’ve talked to seems to be intrigued and interested. It should be a very active day with a lot going on.”
Kellis said the Highland County Historical Society is working closely on the event with the historical societies from Greenfield and Lynchburg, as well as those trying to start a historical society in Leesburg.
The plan, Kellis said, is to make Pioneer Day an annual event.
“We’ve been really pleased with how people have responded to trying to make it countywide,” Kellis said. “We’d like to set it up here at the Scott House, if people think this is a good, central location, or if Greenfield or someone else had a reason they want it somewhere else, we could do that. We just want it to be a county event and are inviting people from all around the county.”
He said the list of invitees include representatives from Hillsboro, Greenfield, Lynchburg, Leesburg, the Sinking Spring area, Highland, Marshall, Mowrystown, Berrysville, Belfast, the Arc of Appalachia, Southern Ohio Genealogical Society, Daughters of the American Revolution and more.
On the day of the event there will tours of the Scott House, including the basement where some believe there was a tunnel that was part of the Underground Railroad, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; a pancake breakfast/brunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., a bake sale and bake competition from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a Kona Ice truck selling refreshments from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Grassy Run Historical Society will hold Appalachian skills demonstrations including rope making, quill writing, cooking, tin punching, weaving, archery, blacksmithing, hunting, quilting, painting and camping.
The Highland County Antique Machinery Club will be on hand with antique tractors and antique farm machinery including corn shellers, grain hammermills and more. The Mootz family will be there showing their father’s winning plow and tractor that won the 1957 World Plowing Contest held in Peebles.
All Highland County communities are being asked to set up booths highlighting the history of their areas.
Area Boy Scouts plan to create a primitive campground on the front lawn of the Scott House to demonstrate techniques and demands on the colonial plains. They will be camping overnight on Friday and serving as volunteers for the event.
Visitors will also be able to tour the Scott House widow’s walk on the roof the building where citizens watched for enemy bombers during World War II.
The breakfast/brunch menu will offer pancakes, bacon, sausage and drinks to help raise money for the Highland County Historical Society. A bake sale and baking contest will serve the same purpose.
The society also plans to offer visitors a free Highland County history pictorial brochure and Scott House history being sponsored by the Thompson Funeral Homes, Southern Hills Bank, Merchants National Bank and Gibbs Insurance.
For more information contact Vicki Knauff, society director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-393-3392.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.