Highland News Leader

Help Roland celebrate his 92nd birthday, 70th anniversary by taking a tour of the Highland Home museum

Roland and Lorna Harris celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary over the weekend with 40 family members at the Highland Country Club.
Roland and Lorna Harris celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary over the weekend with 40 family members at the Highland Country Club.

Highland Home Museum will be open, Saturday, July 1. Come help celebrate my birthday. (Sunday, July 2 is my 92nd birthday.)

The first museum tour will be at 1:30 p.m., with the last tour at 3:30 p.m.

The museum will be open the first Saturday of each month this entire year.

Many additional items have been added to the museum and North Farm Room. Please use the new entry under the portico to come to the museum. Please register in the entry room and then go to the elevator and come up to the first floor of the 1912 building, where the museum is located. Take the museum tour then visit Art Hall, where all types of art by local artists are on display, and the North Farm Room with photos and descriptions of farms in our area. This farm area has grown so fast that it has been extended into the north hall.

We have many more items and photos for your viewing. In my June 6 column, I had some items that were in the entry and main stairway. I will continue about his area today.

In this main stairway on the first floor of the 1912 building is the copper eagle that was atop the flag pole, just south of the fountain on the Square, during the Centennial in 1937. The copper eagle, who we call “Mr. Rosen,” remained there until about 10 years ago. Then, Mark Rosen, Highland’s Parks And Recreation director, saved him from being recycled. The big eagle remained in his office at Korte Recreation Center until Mark gave it to the Highland Home Museum. Now, it sits proudly in the upper northeast corner of the main stairway of the 1912 building.

Also on that wall is an original centennial plaque from the collection of the late Lola Loyet Weiss; it was donated by their son, Tim Weiss. This is followed by the sesquicentennial plaque painted by Norene Nungessor Koch and made by Keith Koch. I purchased the plaque at the sesquicentennial auction in 1987. Seven sesquicentennial plaques were made by committee, which included Don Oestringer, and he has donated his plaque to the museum.

On the southeast side of the main stairway, in the upper right hand corner, is a very old Highland street light, which may have been placed at 12th and Zschokke for the Methodist church as early as 1892. This street light and its large, long bulb were taken down in the 1950s by Alan Schulte of the Highland Electrical Department. This street light remained at his home for many years. It was given to me by Alan and now has been given to the Highland Home Museum. This street light was diagonally across the intersection and an old picture of the Methodist church on Methodist Hill that I have given to the museum. (See Page 237 of the “Centennial History of Highland” for the details.)

Also on that south wall are 10 Highland aerial photos from two collections. Four photos are in one frame from Terry Clayton’s collection, and six photos are from the Highland Historical Society and are by president Lynn Hargus. These photos are showing the streets of Highland and many old buildings and landmarks. Just above these photos are pictures of the first electric power plant, built in 1892, and other plants. This frame shows the additional power plants that Highland has had over the next century.

At the top of that wall is a 3-by-5-foot bicentennial flag, another purchase of mine at the 1976 auction. We have other bicentennial memorabilia on the back side of the book file in the museum office. Two articles from the Highland News Leader about the opening of the Highland Home Museum. These were presented to me by Phil Hardas Re/Max Realtors.

Then at the top of the main stairs, near the south wall, of the 1912 building, is the “Highland American” newspaper metal stand that held the newspapers for sale at Jim Rankin’s Family Care Pharmacy. The “American” was only published for two years. Steve Garbs, one of the owners was here, autographed the sign on the stand.

The biggest collection for any of Highland’s manufacturers is of the Hug Truck Co. It includes photos and information from Chuck Rhoads of Collinsville and my personal collection, most of it from Arthur Schmidt, who was an employee of Hug’s for many years. The Hug Truck Co. was incorporated in 1922, but actually was started in 1921, when they made their own concrete dump trucks for their first job, which was for the Helvetia Milk Condensing Co., which in 1923 became the Pet Milk Co. Hug Construction Co. made single-lane concrete roads for the milk company, so that their farmers could deliver their milk to the plant in Highland. Some of Klaus Lake Road, just east of Geiger Road, still has some of this one-lane road visible under the oiled road. (Highland is where the milk company was started in 1885).

After your tours, those who can use the stairs may exit through the old 1912 door and down the front steps, or others will take the elevator to ground level and exit the same door you came in. I hope to see you Saturday.

Highland has been a wonderful place for my wife Lorna and I to raise our family. Lorna and I celebrated our 70th wedding anniversary over the weekend with 40 of our family members at the Highland Country Club.

Highland has also been a great place to work. We had our furniture store and funeral business here. I also worked at the First National Bank and have written for the Highland News Leader. It’s also been a great place to enjoy our retirement.

We love our our new home at the Highland Home, where we have lived since Dec. 10, 2015. We enjoy the Highland Home so much, and now the home has made our dream come true of having a museum for our Highland area memorabilia for everyone to see and enjoy.

Help keep Highland the greatest little city. Can we get more manufacturers to come to Highland? Can you help? Thanks.