The Highland County Historical Society is in the midst of a capital campaign that so far has allowed the repair of the back wall of the Highland House Museum and is leading to more maintenance, repair and preservation at both the museum and the historic Scott House, which the society owns.
Rotarian Larry Dukes, a former member of the Historical Society board, updated Hillsboro Rotarians on Tuesday about the reorganization of the board over the past couple of years, and touted 25 accomplishments in 2014, including the hiring of two grad student interns, establishing priorities and beginning a major project to digitize photos and documents.
Dukes then introduced John Kellis, the finance chair and leader of the capital campaign drive.
Kellis said the campaign has received about $115,000 in pledges toward its $375,000 goal. He said that repairing the back wall of the Highland House cost about $80,000, and said that on the to-do list is maintenance at the museum and the Scott House, the need for a Building and Grounds Fund, expanding the society’s financial holdings, and creating more endowments.
Dukes and Kellis presented a slide show during their presentations, with one slide showing a cornerstone from the old Union School that was placed in the back wall of the museum, which Kellis said helped make up for bricks from the old wall that could not be reused when the wall was rebuilt. He said more windows still need to be purchased for the museum.
Kellis said the Scott House is being put to good use, and named organizations that are located there now, including the Highland County Chamber of Commerce. But he said “there’s a lot of work that needs to be done,” although eventually the Scott House could serve as “the front door to Hillsboro.”
Kellis said the members of the capital campaign committee are “just beginning to reach out” to businesses and individuals to grow the campaign. The society hopes to raise funds through expanded membership, more grants, an estate planning component, the museum shop and donations and programming.
Plus, a “Society of Angels” has been formed “to recognize individuals who have chosen to leave a planned gift for the Highland County Historical Society. As a member of the Society of Angels, the commitment of a donor serves as a foundation for the future,” according to fundraising literature.
While the campaign “represents a big commitment for the society and the community, it offers us the opportunity to set HCHS on a very stable and exciting path for decades to come,” according to society literature.
Various donor levels have been established that will include having donor names engraved on a plaque at the museum.
Those wishing to make donations can send them to HCHS Campaign Fund, P.O. Box 984, Hillsboro, Ohio, 45133. Contributions are tax-deductible. For more information, call 937-393-3392, or visit www.hchistoricalsociety.weebly.com.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.