Well before Ohio became a state or Highland County existed, the major industry in Southern Ohio was agriculture. The land that now composes the county was part of the Virginia Military District Survey in the late 1700s. This period was when many local farms were established as soldiers were granted land deeds for their military service.
The Highland County Historical Society is hosting a presentation by Dr. Robert Carey and historical society member John Levo regarding the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Ohio Historic Farm Program. Both Levo and Carey own farms in the program and each were recently made ambassadors for the program by Ohio Governor John Kasich. The presentation is scheduled for Thursday, July 7 at 7 p.m. at the Highland House Museum in Hillsboro
Highland County was first established in 1805 from lands that were previously part of Ross, Adams, Warren and Clermont counties. It was changed a couple times until in 1810 when its boundaries were changed to reflect what it looks like today.
Some years ago, through the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the state of Ohio established a Century Farm program to recognize the individual farms throughout the state that have remained in the same family ownership for at least 100 years. Presently, close to 1,300 Ohio farms have been recognized by the program. There are 24 in Highland County, but several others would qualify if the applications were submitted to the ODA. There is now a move to recognize bicentennial farms as well.
The historical society extends an invitation to the public wishing to hear more about the historic Highland County farms. The presenters will also describe how Highland County came to be and the evolution of the county.
Information for this article was provided by John Kellis, a trustee for the Highland County Historical Society.