Highland News Leader

There’s much to see at the new Highland Home Museum

Roland Harris
Roland Harris

Here are some stories about items in the Highland Home Museum that are unusual and I hope you will enjoy — or have enjoyed — at the new museum.

Zurgar Store

The Zurgar Store of John Zurgar was an early, small “corner grocery,” a one-person store that opened in Highland, probably in the early 1860s.

John Zurgar died while preparing to return to Belgium. He is buried in the Highland City Cemetery, before the cemetery was owned by the village. Zurgar’s daughter, Rosa, ran the family store for a few more years after her father’s death.

Rosa Zurgar married Frank X. Berthold. (I can find no record of a Berthold in Highland, but do have a Berthoux family, who lived in Sebastopol, but they didn’t have a son named Frank listed.)

Here is what I have on Berthold: “In 1851, three Berthold brothers were sailing from Stuttgart, Germany. The two older brothers went to a saloon the night before sailing, but only 14-year-old, Frank X., sailed on the ship. Frank landed in New York and worked his way to St. Louis … Frank worked on a boat that went from St. Louis to New Orleans, regularly. Then he met Rosa Zurgar, and they married in 1865.

“After the marriage, Frank and Rosa moved to Columbus, or Columbia, Illinois and Frank went into the wagon business, and they did quite well.”

The next information was they moved to Bible Grove, Illinois and had seven children: William, Edward, George (born in 1875), Fred, Frank Jr., another son and a daughter, Rosa Elizabeth. This one page is all the information that I have and don’t have down who gave me this information. Do you have this information, or any additional Zurgar or Berthold information?

Hole ’n One Doughnut Shop

Have you ever visited the Hole ’n One Doughnut Shop? I did many times, as doughnuts were one of my family’s favorite breakfasts. We also had wonderful donuts from Rikli’s Swiss Kitchen and Bill Mueller’s at the Highland Store Co., later called the Highland IGA store.

The museum has the following information: “Hole ’n One Doughnut Shop at 501 Broadway in Highland (formerly Siegrist 66 Service Station) was started in 1985 and was owned by Cletus and Phyllis Holliger Bielong.”

Do you have any photos or other information? I believe it had another later owner and then it became Michael’s east parking lot.

The rocker

The following is the story of the rocker that sits at the top of the stairway on the first floor of the 1912 building:

“Mrs. Leta Pfister (Orville) Plocher, in her mid-80s rode, to Van Buren, Missouri, with her daughter Juanita and son-in law, Dewey Parish to his parents’ estate sale. Leta purchased this old rickety rocker, it was ‘Pot Black’ and wired together. They brought it home and her husband Orville Plocher, restored this rocker. It is ‘tiger oak.’ Leta stitched the tapestry, and Orville restored the seat.

“The next time Dewey Parish visited, they surprised him with this old, restored rocker. Dewey was shocked and said, ‘You wouldn’t?’ That’s the kind of parents they were — always doing for others.”

Juanita Plocher Flamm

This rocker is in the hallway leading to the 1912 stairs and entry. (Please remember, DO NOT SIT on this old rocker.)

Juanita is now living at the Highland Home and has assisted me with the sorting of our original 98 boxes of Highland memorabilia and assists with the tours, telling about the 1912 air-conditioning that some of the rooms had at that time.

I should also adds that Leta Plocher was the chairperson for the first quilt show for the new Highland Historical Society in 1971 that was at the Louis Latzer Memorial Library in Highland.

Sitting closer to the stairs, also on the north side, is another antique rocker, on it is a patchwork coverlet, which was made in 2004 by Clara Hohrein of rural Lebanon, when she lived at the Highland Home. Clara is the mother of Rosemary Hohrein Seifried of Rosemary’s Fabric & Quilts. It was Rosemary’s late husband, Donald Seifried Sr., who produced the book of photos of Highland businesses and homes, called “Highland in Focus”. Don’s book is also in the Highland Home Museum. Don’s book is in the office, in the book file, as you enter. It given to me by Don.

Clara Hohrein and my mother were across-the-hall neighbors at the Highland Home for many years, and after my father died, Clara would come over for a visit, almost every evening, and Mom would fix their favorite, popcorn and a soda. Clara would keep my mother company until the evening “sitter” would come. Clara would piece her quilts, and Mom would do her hand sewing and cut work. They were great friends and companions. Thanks again to the late Clara Hohrein.

Next tours

The next scheduled museum tour is Saturday July 1, starting at 1:30 p.m. with the last tour staring at 3:30 p.m. The museum is also open by appointment, call 654-5005 or 618-303-0082, to set up an appointment.