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  • Founding of the Historical Society
  • The Historic Village
  • Board of Directors
  • Archivists
  • Board of Advisers
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  • Highlands Historic Village, photo by Randolph Shaffner Historical Documents
    Highlands Heritage Trail Guide
    List of Historic Structures
    List of Green Spaces
    Joe Webb Cabins
    Greenway Trail Guide

    founding of the highlands historical society

        In 1979 a small group of Highlands residents began to meet because they shared a concern for the history of the town. The area was changing rapidly and historic structures were disappearing. These concerned citizens formed the Highlands Historical Preservation Society, Inc., a non-profit organization, which unfortunately fell into inactivity, but in 1999 it was reactivated as the Highlands Historical Society, Inc., for the same reasons it was originally formed. By 2000 the new society had appropriately bought for its home the oldest house still standing in Highlands and by 2002 was honored by the North Carolina Society of Historians for its progress over three short years—from when it had no building to call its own, no funds in the treasury, and no archives to speak of—to what it stands for today: an active society intent on preserving and promoting the heritage of Highlands.

    creation of the historic village

    House-Trapier-Wright Home, photo by Randolph ShaffnerThe Highlands Historical Society's Historic Village is located at 524 N. 4th Street in Highlands, North Carolina. It is composed of (1) the Prince House, (2) the Highlands Historical Museum and Archives, and (3) the Highlands Sanatorium Tent or Bug Hill Cottage. The House-Boynton-Trapier-Wright Prince House is the oldest existing house in Highlands, built in 1877 by millwright Arthur House, and serves as a living history museum. See inside tour here.

    Highlands Historical Museum & Archives, photo by Randolph Shaffner The Highlands Historical Museum and Archives was originally constructed in 1915 on Main Street to house the Hudson Library, one of the oldest libraries in the State, and was moved in 2002 to the south side of the Village to serve the community as a state-of-the-art museum and archives.

    Bug Hill Cottage, photo by Randolph ShaffnerThe Highlands Sanatorium Tent was one of 60 open-air cubicles built in 1908 at today's Recreation Park for patients under the care of Dr. Mary E. Lapham, whose TB sanatorium was one of the first in North Carolina. Although moved to Chestnut Street when the sanatorium ("Bug Hill") burned in 1918, it was returned to its original site in 2006 to memorialize Dr. Lapham's role as a devoted savior of many Highlanders from the most virulent and dreaded disease of early twentieth-century America.




    May 27-28 (Memorial Weekend) - end of October
    Fridays & Saturdays

    10:00 am

    4:00 pm

    The Highlands Historical Society is a (501)(C)(3) organization.

    board of directors

    Obie Oakley, President
    Bill Edwards, Vice President
    Brian McClellan, Recording Secretary
    Glenda Bell, Corresponding Secretary
    Linda Clark, Treasurer
    Sally Caffery   Tommy Chambers   Linda David
    Mary Ann Hardman   Fran Leftwich   Eric Nielsen
    Bob Trevathan   Judy Taylor
    Randolph Shaffner, ex-officio


    Randolph Shaffner - Archivist
    Sue Potts - Associate Archivist
    Anne Sellers - Assistant Archivist

    board of advisers

    Mary Berry   Martha Betz   Nina Burke   Isabel Chambers   Jeannie Chambers  
    Tommy Chambers   Leila Chapman  Geri Crowe   Dennis DeWolf   Donnie Edwards
    Joyce Franklin   Jim Green   Ginny Harris   Betty Holt  LaDonna Keener
    Dennis Leftwich   Tammy Lowe   Alan Marsh   Raya McArthur   Gladys McDowell
    Kitty Moore   Carolyn Patton   Sue Potts   Terry Potts   Tony Potts   Beverly Quin
    Ran Shaffner   Wiley Sloan   Ann Sullivan   Ed Talley   Derek Taylor   Mike Thompson
    Sandie Trevathan   Allen "Buck" Trott   Luther Turner   Ronnie Waller
    Elaine Whitehurst   Jim Whitehurst   Dennis Wilson   Kathleen Wilson
    Wade Wilson   Walter Wingfield   Mary Lou Worley


    Mary Jo Askew   Laree Benton   Mary Berry   Jeannie Chambers   Leila Chapman
    Linda Clark   John Cleaveland   Wynn Cleaveland   Geri Crowe   Bill Edwards
    Joyce Franklin   Ginny Harris   J. Jay Joannides   Dennis Leftwich   Brian McClellan
    Kitty Moore   Edwin Poole   Kay Poole   Martha Schmalo   Nathalie Sato
    Anne Sellers   Wiley Sloan   Ann Sullivan   Sue Starr   Carolyn Tanner
    Sandie Trevathan   Luther Turner   Elaine Whitehurst   Jim Whitehurst   Kathleen Wilson

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    This website is constantly under construction. For more information about the Highlands Historical Society, please
    email us; phone us at (828) 787-1050; or write us at 524 N. 4th Street, P. O. Box 670, Highlands, NC 28741-0670.
    Last modified on January 7, 2017.