Displays of the way early settlers lived in Highland County will be part of Pioneer Day, a new event being hosted by the Highland County Historical Society from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Scott House in Hillsboro.
George West, a member of the Grassy Run Historical Arts Committee, said members of the group will have displays demonstrating how to make rope, write with a quill pen, spin wool into yarn, weave yarn into various items, play a dulcimer, and how a flint lock rifle works. He said there will also be someone demonstrating what early hunters took into the woods to survive long hunting expeditions.
“We’re hoping maybe a couple more people will come,” West said. “It’s not going to be our whole group, but it should be enough to keep people interested.”
West said the group originated in 1988 when a couple people got together and realized the significance of an Indian battle that took place in Clermont County.
“We just stuck together over the years. We’re all pretty passionate about history in general, but the history of Southwest Ohio in particular,” West said.
The battle West mentioned took place on April 10, 1792, and involved frontiersmen Simon Kenton, Shawnee warrior Tecumseh and their followers at a place where Grassy Run empties into the East Fork of the Little Miami River in Clermont County, according to the group’s website.
“This was the day two cultures collided,” the website says. “The members of one culture prided themselves as serving as caretakers of their great creator’s earth from whose soil grew forth beans, corn and squash. Streams provided pure water, forest provided game for the cooking pots and wood for shelter and fire. For those who belonged to the second culture, the vast fertile land beyond the great OYO River and between the Miamis — the Great and the Little — nurtured their dreams and fed their desires to claim a piece of land for their own… Little did they know that this confrontation would be recorded as the largest skirmish between the red man and white man in Clermont County.”
West said the group travels to several other events throughout Southern Ohio each year.
“We love to talk about the history of this area,” West said.
There will be plenty of other attractions at Pioneer Day, including representatives from most corners of the county telling the history of their respective areas. Those areas include: Greenfield, Leesburg, Lynchburg, Belfast, Berrysville, Brush Creek Township/Sinking Spring, Buford/Pricetown, New Market, Mowrystown and Hillsboro.
The Highland County Historical Society will cover the county as a whole, while Greenfield will have a display highlighting the 70th anniversary of the Greenfield Historical Society through photos and other memorabilia. The Leesburg Area Historical Society will focus on the ongoing restoration of the railroad depot in Leesburg, and Lynchburg will have artifacts from the Freiberg/Workum Distillery that once was largest employer in the village.
Belfast will display a doctor’s buggy that was used in the 19th century and a painting of a covered bridge, and Berrysville will showcase its history in photos and artifacts. Brush Creek Township and Sinking Spring will highlight photos of the octagonal school and the Gov. Charles Byrd home, and Buford and the Pricetown area will have information about the southwest corner of the county. Willa Stanforth paintings and a Presbyterian church silver communion set will be on display plus photos of Highland County’s first jail in the New Market area. The Mowrystown Brick and Tile Factory will be the focus of Mowrystown’s booth. The city of Hillsboro will highlight the various businesses, the historic district and changes the city has gone through since the 1840s.
There will be 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 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 from the 1957 World Plowing Contest held in Peebles.
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.
Visitors will also be able to tour the Scott House widow’s walk on the roof the building.
The breakfast/brunch menu will offer pancakes, bacon, sausage and drinks to help raise money for the Highland County Historical Society. The 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.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.