Did you ever work for The Times-Gazette, whether by its current or former names, or any of the newspapers that are part of its heritage? Did you ever deliver the newspaper, the Highland County Shopper or any other publication we produced? Are you a subscriber or an advertiser, either past or current?
If you fall into any of those categories – and it’s hard to find anyone around here who doesn’t – you’re invited to take part in The Times-Gazette’s 200th anniversary celebration.
Here’s the plan: On Monday, June 18, 2018 – the 200th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of the Hillsborough Gazette and Highland Advertiser, the forerunner to The Times-Gazette – we’re planning an all-day open house featuring food, cake and soft drinks and various displays. It’s a casual affair, and anyone is welcome to stop in any time throughout the day.
Then, at 6 p.m. that same day, we’re hoping that anyone who ever worked here (full-time or part-time), or contributed articles or pictures as a “stringer,” or delivered any of our products either by motor route or bicycle or walking house to house (today that would include the Post Office), supported us with advertising, or feels a kinship to the newspaper in any other way, will gather on the street at the front of our offices, with our “Times-Gazette” awning in the background, for a big group photograph. We’ll follow up with a short program and recognition.
Let me make a couple of things clear. We don’t care if you once worked here but left the newspaper under less-than-ideal circumstances. We don’t care if you walked off the job in a huff and told someone where to go, or if you got fired, or if you just didn’t show up for work and never came back. If you were ever part of this newspaper, you’re invited and welcome.
I got fired from here in 1991. They hired me back 20 years later, because, I assume, that’s how long it took for everyone to forget I had been fired. So we’re not excluding anyone. In fact, we’re sincerely hopeful that anyone who was ever associated with The Times-Gazette will help us celebrate two centuries of providing news, information and advertising to local readers.
Everyone who ever worked here was an important part of keeping this enterprise alive and well for 200 years, whether you retired with a gold watch (the gold watch probably didn’t happen) or said take this job and shove it. Being in business 200 consecutive years is a pretty amazing accomplishment, and it’s always been a team effort — except maybe when Moses Carothers started it himself with the first edition on June 18, 1818.
From the publishers, editors, reporters, ad reps and circulation personnel to kids who used to ride bikes and toss the paper onto people’s front porches (or into the bushes), everyone who has been affiliated in any way with this newspaper played an important role in keeping it alive from generation to generation.
The invitation also applies to anyone who was ever associated with the Greenfield Daily Times. We didn’t have a shared history going back to Moses Carothers, but the Greenfield paper merged with ours more than 20 years ago, so it’s all in the family now.
We’re also asking for your help. If you have any significant old editions, or keepsakes, or memorabilia (even if maybe you shouldn’t have forgotten it was in your pocket or briefcase when you left for the last time), we hope you’ll bring it in so we can display it in our offices for a few days. Then we’ll give it back, promise.
By the way, I’ve spoken with Mel McKenzie, the safety and service director, about the work being done on Governor Trimble Place in front of our offices. While it’s possible everything could be finished by June 18, even if it’s not he’ll make sure it’s safe and accessible for people to gather and celebrate our big day. Thank you.
After our June 18 open house event, we will continue to exhibit our display through the end of the month for anyone who would like to stop in but can’t make it on that date.
We also plan to feature some guest columns, stories and interviews with people who have worked here over the course of the last several decades.
On Sunday, Moses Carothers was inducted into the Highland County Historical Society Hall of Fame, perfect timing for the man who began this enterprise two centuries ago. There aren’t many businesses of any type that have survived without interruption for 200 years, and countless individuals can lay claim to having a hand in making that possible. We’ll provide more details in the coming days and weeks, and we hope you’ll join us in celebrating this milestone.
Any questions, please drop me an email at [email protected].
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456, or follow on Twitter @AbernathyGary.