Pioneer Day returns next month


Second event expected to be bigger and better

By Jeff Gilliland - jgilliland@timesgazette.com



Hillsboro resident Dick Donley tries his hand at shooting a flintlock rifle during Highland County Pioneer Day a year ago.

Hillsboro resident Dick Donley tries his hand at shooting a flintlock rifle during Highland County Pioneer Day a year ago.


Times-Gazette file photo

After much thought, the Highland County Historical Society has decided it will continue the annual Pioneer Day it started a year ago highlighting the history of communities across the county and more.

The event celebrates Highland County history from 1844 to 2020 and will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29 at the society’s Scott House at 338 W. Main St. in Hillsboro.

John Kellis, a trustee with the historical society, said that the society is looking for people from every corner of the county to take part.

“We want to absolutely emphasize that this is not a Hillsboro thing. It’s a countywide event,” Kellis said.

He said the society believes the Scott House grounds and area around it are large enough that things can be spread out to sufficiently allow social distancing.

“The only thing we canceled this year was tours of the Scott House,” Kellis said. “That was very popular last year — we had groups of people lined up waiting for the groups ahead of them to get done with their tour. But there is almost no way we can socially distance people inside the house.

“Our group will be wearing masks, and we encourage others to wear them, but they’re not required, and people can make their own space. If there’s too many people in one area, they can move on to another area.”

Some of the things already scheduled for this year include presentations from the Scott House’s east porch, probably on the hour or half hour, from 9 to 4 p.m. There will be a pancake breakfast/brunch from 9 a.m. to noon, a bake sale of homemade items from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and other food available for purchase in the afternoon.

Kellis said volunteers from 10 communities around the county have agreed to take part. The Grassy Run Historical Society will showcase Appalachian skills and demonstrations including rope making, quill writing, cooking, tin punching, weaving, archery, blacksmithing, hunting, quilting, painting and camping. The Highland County Antique Machinery Club will display antique tractors and farm machinery.

Local Boy Scouts and possibly others will be camping out on the Scott House grounds the night before Pioneer Day and taking care of general duties throughout the day, and there may be dulcimer and other music for people in the eating areas.

Several other ideas are being considered, but Kellis said they are not definite at this time.

“There will be people in character from back in the day walking around and talking to people, and maybe it will be an opportunity for people to come and learn a little about the history of Highland County,” Kellis said. “Hopefully we’ve done a few things this year that will make it even better than last year.”

The society welcomes representatives from areas of the county that have not already to committed to the event to set up displays.

Anyone interested in taking part in any way, or seeking more information, can contact Vicki Knauff, society director, at 937-393-3392 or hchistoricalsociety@gmail.com.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

Hillsboro resident Dick Donley tries his hand at shooting a flintlock rifle during Highland County Pioneer Day a year ago.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2020/07/web1_Pioneer-Day-pic.jpgHillsboro resident Dick Donley tries his hand at shooting a flintlock rifle during Highland County Pioneer Day a year ago. Times-Gazette file photo
Second event expected to be bigger and better

By Jeff Gilliland

jgilliland@timesgazette.com