Five late local residents will will temporarily come to life when the annual Highland County Historical Society Ghost Walk is held Thursday, Aug. 22 at the Hillsboro Cemetery.
The first visitor will be Dr. Jasper Hand, who was born in Lancaster, Pa. on Feb. 2, 1784 to Edward and Catharine Ewing Hand. He married Phoebe Ogden Smith and had seven children. He died Feb. 19, 1828. Hand will be portrayed by Bob Brown.
The next ghost, portrayed by his great-great-great-grandson, Justin Harsha, will be Paul Harsha. Paul Harsha was born Oct. 30, 1829 to Thomas Harsha, who was born in Ireland, and Rosanna Young. The Harsha Monument Company in Hillsboro was founded by Paul Harsha.
Hazel Beach Durnell was born Dec. 19, 1894 to Uri and Jessie Flanagan Beach. She was married to Donald Scott Durnell in 1918. Mrs. Durnell earned her doctorate degree at the age of 66 and her portrayer, Sandra Ferrell, will tell guests of the fascinating life and career she had from that point throughout the rest of her life. Her reach was worldwide.
The first African-American resident of Highland County was Thomas Trimble. His son, Moses Trimble, was a soldier in the Civil War, serving in the Union Army. Moses was born on June 5, 1836, one of seven children. When he was 21 he married Lucy Elliott and together they had 12 children. Their descendants have spread far and wide, evidenced by the annual family reunion which is attended by more than 100 descendants. Tim Hennison will be portraying Moses Trimble and will tell you about his service to his country. His monument was recently obtained through the cooperation of historical society, Turner Funeral Homes, the Highland County Veterans Service Office and the U.S. government.
Jeff Beery will portray Kirby White, who was a professional baseball player for the Boston Doves and later the Pittsburgh Pirates. White was born Jan. 3, 1884 as Oliver Kirby White. He had six siblings and his brother, John, was also a ball player. He quit school at the age of 16 and began working in a machine factory, as well as working on his pitching. Beery will tell the story of White’s rise through the ranks of professional baseball.
“Attendees should meet in Hillsboro Cemetery at the chapel from which a mythical character, an early 20th century gravedigger named Digger (portrayed by John T. Willis) will be leading the group from grave to grave to meet our ghosts,” the historical society said in a news release. “Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. Digger will lead you on paved paths whenever possible, but there will be some walking on grass, which may have uneven areas.”
There is no charge for this event. It is open to the general public.