The Highland County Historical Society is planning several upcoming events, including a “huge yard sale” to be held indoors at the Highland House on East Main Street in Hillsboro on Friday, June 24, and Saturday, June 25, according to Jean Fawley, who volunteers with the historical society frequently. Fawley said the event will take place indoors as a precautionary measure, so as to prevent any impact by inclement weather, which she said has affected previous events.
“We’ve done that before.”, Fawley laughed.
The indoor yard sale is slated to occur just as extensive repairs are being completed at the Highland House, including the installation of new windows, which have necessitated the closure of the building to the public until they are completed.
“We’re getting all new windows installed.”, Fawley explained, and described the former windows as “very old, cracked, and drafty.” Fawley said the new installation has taken place after the historical society launched a fundraising campaign to “raise money and install new windows” and that, pursuant to the completion of that project, “We hope to be open by late June.”
Pioneer Day, another event sponsored annually by the historical society, is now in its third year, according to Fawley, but the date of the event this year has been moved to July 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Scott House on West Main Street in Hillsboro.
Fawley previously told The Times-Gazette that the date was changed in order to coincide with Hillsboro’s Festival of the Bells, which will be taking place nearby.
“We might get more of a crowd and it would bring more people out if they were coming to the Festival”, said Fawley, who also said she anticipated people being able to participate in all of the available events.
For the uninitiated, Fawley described the nature of the celebration as a tribute to the rich diversity of regional history.
“We showcase all of Appalachia,” she said.
Fawley previously told The Times-Gazette that “Pioneer Day will feature historical items from communities throughout Highland County” that celebrate, illustrate, and commemorate the region through re-enactment, cultural preservation, artifacts, demonstration and other narratives.
One of the hands-on and accessible activities will include historical experts who “will be set up in an area like a pioneer village and demonstrate” artisanal knowledge that was “necessary for pioneers.”
Fawley previously told The Times-Gazette that “They do all kinds of Appalachian crafts and things like that.”
She said that some of the activities will include personal instruction that allows participants to try out some of these antiquated skill-sets. Other activities and tradesperson demonstrations are slated to include “antique tractor displays and blacksmiths,” according to Fawley, who previously said, “It’s free of charge, so just come on out and have a great day!”.
The historical society is comprised of volunteers who, like Fawley, devote their time to making these and other public events happen.
Fawley said that she is motivated to help out by the need for “preserving Highland County history, from the past, going forward,” which, she said, is an ongoing process.
“We’re never done,” she said. “There is always something to learn, more knowledge to accumulate.”
For those interested in acquiring more knowledge themselves, Fawley said that the Highland House is a vast repository of local historical information which includes literary compendiums by local authors, inclusive of current members of the historical society, such as John Glaze, Dr. Tara Beery and others, who have written books about local history that are available for purchase at the Highland House.
One of the most noteworthy projects, Fawley said, are the various adaptations of the Lincoln School Story, a local story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles, of triumph against racism, determination and resilience, that continues to have an impact “statewide and nationwide,” according to Fawley, on those who are aware of it.
The film based on the story of the Marching Mothers, who petitioned tirelessly for equality and education access in a post-Brown v. Board of Education Hillsboro, plays on the second floor of the Highland House, “In the Humanities Room,” according to Fawley, and copies are also available for purchase elsewhere in the building.
For more information about the Highland County Historical Society, call 937-393-3392.