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Each year the Highlands Historical Society offers a variety of programs related to Highlands history. This is an archive of those events.

To see upcoming events, click here.

11th Annual Dahlia Festival

Date Sep 11, 2021 - Sep 12, 2021

Dahlias and native plants arranged attractively at historical sites around town.

Click Here For Entries for the 11th Annual Dahlia Festival

10th Annual Dahlia Festival

Sep 19, 2020 - Sep 20, 2020

Dahlias and native plants will be arranged attractively at historical sites around town.

View 10th Annual Dahlia Festival Page

9th Annual Dahlia Festival

Sep 8, 2019 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Highlands Civic Center
Dahlias and native plants will be arranged attractively at historical sites around town

Social Event of the Season on Kettle Rock Mountain

Aug 18, 2019 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
3rd BIG HATS, BOW TIES, & FLAPJACKS
 
Annie Linn Armor of Kettle Rock used to hold a flapjack and Bloody Mary party in the 1950s. We'll hear her story, see her griddle, and enjoy the panoramic view on Kettle Rock Mountain. Donation $100 per patron

Kelsey Kids

Jun 24, 2019 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Series Weekly on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday until June 28, 2019

A Day Camp for children (8–11 years)

Learning & experiencing Highlands history and life in the late 19th century.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
https://highlandshistory.com/past-events#sigProId3fe40f2f5b

Dulcimers, Denim, & Dedication

Sep 14, 2017

"Dulcimers, Denim, & Dedication" (Dedication of the Prince House National Register Plaque folowed by the Dahlia Patron Party) at the Highlands Historic Village.

Open House for the Prince House: 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
National Register Dedication: 
5:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Patron Party: 
6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

8th Annual Dahlia Festival

Sep 8, 2017 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Highlands Civic Center
In September of 2011 the Historical Society staged its first Dahlia Festival. This fundraiser has evolved into a very popular annual event, where amateur and professional dahlia enthusiasts compete on an equal basis to celebrate the beauty and enjoyment of these gorgeous flowers that grow so well in our beautiful mountains.

All dahlia aficionados are urged to join in the competition. Prizes will be presented in multiple categories. Don’t be concerned; this is not a serious competition. Come and bring your blooms to share with other dahlia lovers.

Appalachian Dinner

Aug 8, 2017

"Appalachian Dinner" at The Inn At Half Mile Farm, sponsored by OEI.

Party at Old Howell Barn

Aug 1, 2017

"Party at Old Howell Barn," a quaint 80-year-old stone barn is the setting for a Highlands pulled pork BBQ dinner complete with all the fixin’s and full array of beverages at Highlands Country Club home of Frances and Obie Oakley

The Vittles of Summer 2017: Big Hats, Flapjacks & Bloody Marys

Jul 2, 2017

Big Hats, Flapjacks & Bloody Marys, will be held on Kettle Rock with dialogue about Annie Lynn Sullivan, who used to host the same Sunday Brunches many years ago.

Kelsey Kids (9am-3pm)

Jun 12, 2017 - Jun 16, 2017

A Day Camp for children (8–11 years)
Learning & experiencing Highlands history and life in the late 19th century

6th Annual Dahlia Festival

Sep 10, 2016 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Dazzling Dahlias!
Amateur - Professional

All dahlia enthusiasts are urged to join in the competition. Prizes will be presented in multiple categories. Don’t be concerned; this is not a serious competition. It is to celebrate the beauty and enjoyment of these gorgeous flowers that grow so well in our beautiful mountains. Come and bring your blooms to share with other dahlia lovers.

Patron Party
Thursday, September 8 @ 6:30 pm
Highlands Falls Country Club

Founders Park Day

Jul 4, 2016 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park
Corner of 5th and Pine streets

Kelsey Kids (9am-3pm)

Jun 13, 2016 - Jun 17, 2016

A Day Camp for children (8–11 years)
Learning & experiencing Highlands history and life in the late 19th century

Open House

May 28, 2016 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Highlands Historic Village

Visit the Historical Museum, Prince House, & Bug Hill.
Listen to the old-time and bluegrass music of the WellStrung Band.
Enjoy light refreshments & companionship. 

5th Annual Dahlia Festival

Sep 12, 2015 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Dazzling Dahlias!
Amateur - Proffesional

All dahlia enthusiasts are urged to join in the competition. Prizes will be presented in multiple categories. Don’t be concerned; this is not a serious competition. It is to celebrate the beauty and enjoyment of these gorgeous flowers that grow so well in our beautiful mountains. Come and bring your blooms to share with other dahlia lovers.

Patron Party on Thursday, September 10 @ 6:30pm

Kelsey Kids (9am-3pm)

Jun 15, 2015 - Jun 19, 2015

A Day Camp for children (8–11 years)
Learning & experiencing Highlands history and life in the late 19th century

SPECIAL EXHIBIT A Botanical History of the Highlands Plateau: In the Footsteps of the Ancients

Jun 1, 2015 - Oct 31, 2015

In the Footsteps of the Ancients Created by the Land Stewards of the Highlands Plateau in collaboration with the Highlands Historical Society, this exhibit is open for viewing June through October.

Highlands Historical Museum in the Highlands Historic Village
Fridays & Saturdays
10:00 - 4:00

Dedication of the Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park

May 30, 2015 10:00 am

Dedication of the Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park
Corner of 5th and Pine Streets

4th Annual Dahlia Festival

Sep 18, 2014 - Sep 20, 2014

Dazzling Dahlias!
Amateur - Professional

Highlands Recreation Center

All dahlia enthusiasts are urged to join in the competition. Prizes will be presented in multiple categories. Don’t be concerned; this is not a serious competition. It is to celebrate the beauty and enjoyment of these gorgeous flowers that grow so well in our beautiful mountains. Come and bring your blooms to share with other dahlia lovers.

Kelsey Kids (9am-3pm)

Jun 23, 2014 - Jun 27, 2014

A Day Camp for children (8–11 years)
Learning & experiencing Highlands history and life in the late 19th century

SPECIAL EXHIBIT A Botanical History of the Highlands Plateau: In the Footsteps of the Ancients

Jun 1, 2014 - Oct 31, 2014
Highlands Historical Museum in the Highlands Historic Village

Created by the Land Stewards of the Highlands Plateau in collaboration with the Highlands Historical Society this exhibit is open for viewing June through October.

Highlands Historical Museum in the Highlands Historic Village
Fridays & Saturdays
10:00 - 4:00

3rd Annual Dahlia Festival

Sep 14, 2013 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Dazzling Dahlias!
Amateur - Professional

All dahlia enthusiasts are urged to join in the competition. Prizes will be presented in multiple categories. Don’t be concerned; this is not a serious competition. It is to celebrate the beauty and enjoyment of these gorgeous flowers that grow so well in our beautiful mountains. Come and bring your blooms to share with other dahlia lovers.

The Mystery of George Masa Solved

Jul 19, 2013 7:00 pm

A celebration of 100 photographs by George Masa on display in the Frank Cook Gallery at the Highlands Historical Museum. Audio-visual presentation by Dr. Ran Shaffner.

Kelsey Kids (9am-3pm)

Jul 15, 2013 - Jul 19, 2013

A Day Camp for children (8–11 years)
Learning & experiencing Highlands history and life in the late 19th century

Indian Cultural Heritage Talks

Jun 28, 2013 - Jun 29, 2013
"Mystery of the Trees"
"In the Presence of the Elders"

Don Wells, President of the Mountain Stewards, will give two talks about (1) Indian Trail Trees and (2) Native American Culture, Spirituality, and Wisdom.

6 - 7:15pm

Reception for the Restoration of Dr. Mary Lapham's Dress

Jun 20, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Funded by the Cullasaja Women's Outreach

Dedication of the N.C. Highway Historical Marker Honoring André Michaux

Jun 15, 2013 11:00 am

The French botanist André Michaux made his first foray into North Carolina and the North American wilderness when he camped near modern Highlands on June 15, 1787.

West Main Street (US 64/NC 28)
Reception afterwards at Highlands Historic Village

Highlands Motoring Festival

Jun 6, 2013 - Jun 9, 2013
Highlands Recreation Center

Highlands Arts & Craft Show

Oct 13, 2012 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Books and objects relating to Highlands history on sale at the Highlands Woman’s Club’s Annual Arts and Craft Show

Business After Hours

Oct 4, 2012 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce for networking opportunities in a low-pressure setting

2nd Annual Dahlia Festival

Sep 15, 2012 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Highlands Recreation Center
Amateur - Hobbyist

All dahlia enthusiasts are urged to join in the competition. Prizes will be presented in multiple categories. Don’t be concerned; this is not a serious competition. It is to celebrate the beauty and enjoyment of these gorgeous flowers that grow so well in our beautiful mountains. Come and bring your blooms to share with other dahlia lovers.

Wine & Cheese Festival

Jul 13, 2012 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Promotional Benefit for the Highlands Motoring Festival

HISTORY LIVE!

Jun 22, 2012 - Jun 24, 2012

(formerly A Walk in the Park)
Our Mountains and the People Who Named Them
will celebrate Herman Alley, Billy "Dismal" Barnes, Lilla Nourse, Mack Wilson, Rising Fawn, Julia Dryman, and Jule Phillips and feature Whiteside, Big and Little Fodderstacks, Big and Little Bearpen, Queen and King mountains, Satulah, Scaly, and Shortoff and Yellow.

Events Garden of the Highlands Historic Village
Park your car at the Recreation Center.

Performing Arts Center
on Chestnut Street

Friday-Saturday June 22-23 6:00 - 7:15 pm
(single performance each evening)

Sunday, June 24 4:00 - 5:15 pm

Kelsey Kids (9am-3pm)

Jun 11, 2012 - Jun 15, 2012

Five days of interactive sessions
devoted to learning about life in 19th-century Highlands, including field trips to Foxfire, Highlands Country Club, a chicken farm, a hike on the Ranger Trail, and demonstrations of crafts, milking, dogging, mountain music, and more. Lunch will be served daily.

Museums in Partnership Meeting

Nov 3, 2011 11:15 am - 1:15 pm

Museums-in-Partnership Meeting for Western North Carolina

Presentation on Archival Techniques,
includes tour of Highlands Historical Museum and Archives, the oldest home in town, and a cottage from the State's oldest sanatorium

Kelsey Kids (9am-3pm)

Oct 10, 2011 - Oct 14, 2011

Five days of interactive sessions
devoted to learning about life in 19th-century Highlands, including life stories of some of its earliest residents.

1st Annual Dahlia Festival

Sep 17, 2011 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Amateur - Hobbyist

Highlands Historic Village
All dahlia enthusiasts were urged to join in the competition. Prizes were presented in multiple categories. This was not a serious competition. It was to celebrate the beauty and enjoyment of these gorgeous flowers that grow so well in our beautiful mountains.
(Exhibitor fee was $10.)

View the embedded image gallery online at:
https://highlandshistory.com/past-events#sigProId0c9314be7a

HISTORY LIVE!

Jun 24, 2011 - Jun 26, 2011

(formerly A Walk in the Park)
Road Builders of Early Highlands
will celebrate Samuel Kelsey, Celia Hill, John Jay Smith,
Herman Wilson, Florence Ravenel, and Prioleau Ravenel, Jr.
(Tickets are $10 each, students free)

Events Garden of the Highlands Historic Village
Park your car at the Recreation Center.
Refreshments 5:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Performing Arts Center
on Chestnut Street

Friday-Saturday
June 24-25
6:00 - 7:30 pm
(single performance)

June 26
Sunday 4:00 - 5:15 pm

Dining Out for HHS

Aug 18, 2010 5:30 pm - 10:30 pm

15% of your meal's cost
will be donated to the Highlands Historical Society

Lakeside Restaurant
Smallwood Avenue

 

Tour of Historic Homes

Aug 7, 2010 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Homes in the Highlands Country Club area
including Cobb Road and North Cobb

Take the shuttle from the Community Building near the Ball Park.
(Last shuttle leaves at 3:00 pm)

Boy Scouts Reception

Jul 18, 2010 3:30 pm

Honoring all current and former Scouts of Highlands

Grand Opening
of a new Boy Scout exhibit at the Museum

A Walk in The Park

Jun 25, 2010 - Jun 27, 2010

Early Highlands Women Speak from the Grave
will celebrate Mary Amanda Davis, Charlotte "Charlie" Elliott, Corinne Froneberger, Martha Norton "Mat" Gottwals, Eléonore Raoul Green, Vinetta Norton Rice, & Albertina Staub.

Highlands Memorial Cemetery
Friday & Saturday, take the shuttle from the Recreation Park.
(Last shuttle leaves at 7:30 pm)

Performing Arts Center
on Chestnut Street

Friday-Saturday
June 25-26
6 - 7:30 pm

June 27
Sunday, 4 pm

Kelsey Kids (9am-3pm)

Jun 17, 2010 - Aug 19, 2010

Two months of interactive sessions
devoted to learning about life in 19th-century Highlands, including lifestories of some of the earliest residents.

Thursdays

Christmas Showhouse

Dec 5, 2009

The Downing/Stewart/Michael House, ca. 1889
after the 11:00 am Christmas parade
on Saturday and on Sunday

Dec. 5 (Saturday)
1-4:30 pm
& Dec. 6 (Sunday)
1-4:30 pm

Tour of Historic Homes

Aug 8, 2009 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Homes in East Highlands

Take the shuttle from the Civic Center.
(Last shuttle leaves at 3:00 pm)

Highlands Historical Society 10th Anniversary and Mortgage Burning Party

Aug 2, 2009 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Historic Village
524 North 4th Street
(next to the Recreation Park)

A Walk in The Park

Jun 26, 2009 - Jun 28, 2009

Highlands Pioneers Speak from the Grave
The tenth anniversary of Walk in the Park

will celebrate Samuel Kelsey, Baxter White, Margaretta Ravenel, Henry Bascom, Mary Chapin Smith, Dr. Mary Lapham, and Prof. Thomas Harbison.

Highlands Memorial Cemetery
Take the shuttle from the Recreation Park.
(Last shuttle leaves at 7:30 pm)

Performing Arts Center
on Chestnut Street

Friday-Saturday
June 26-27
6 - 7:30 pm

June 28
Sunday, 4 pm

Christmas Showhouse

Dec 6, 2008 - Dec 7, 2008

A Joe Webb House on Satulah
after the 11:00 am Christmas parade

Dec. 6 (Saturday)
1-5 pm
& Dec. 7 (Sunday)
1-5 pm

Tour of Historic Homes

Aug 9, 2008 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

The Clemson Colony in Highlands
(including two Joe Webb Cabins)

Take the shuttle from the Civic Center.
(Last shuttle leaves at 3:00 pm)

Center For Life Enrichment Class

Jun 25, 2008 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

"The Early Highlanders: A Visual Record"
Dr. Randolph Shaffner, Archivist

A Walk in The Park

Jun 20, 2008 - Jun 22, 2008

Early Highlands Artists Speak from the Grave
featuring Louis Zoellner, Henry Scadin, Huger Elliott, Louise Bascom Barratt, Almetta Picklesimer Brooks, Polly Knipp Hill, and Fred Allen

Highlands Memorial Cemetery
Take the shuttle from the Poplar Street Conference Center.

Performing Arts Center
on Chestnut Street

Friday-Saturday
June 20-21
6 - 7:30 pm

June 22
Sunday, 4 pm

Bug Hill Cottage

May 25, 2008 2:00 pm

Ribbon-cutting ceremony

Christmas Showhouse

Dec 1, 2007 - Dec 2, 2007

A Joe Webb log cabin
built for N. T. Ragland in 1925

Take the shuttle from the Civic Center

Dec. 1 (Saturday)
1-5 pm
& Dec. 2 (Sunday)
1-5 pm

CLASS: Pickens High School 12th Grade

Oct 15, 2007

Class on the History of Highlands at the Historical Museum. Randolph Shaffner, Archivist

Angie Jenkins Autographing

Sep 28, 2007 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

HIGHLANDS, N. C. . . . THE EARLY YEARS

Volunteer Garden Party

Sep 16, 2007 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Tour of Historic Homes

Aug 4, 2007 10:00 am - 3:30 pm

Homes in the Bowery-Playmore Historic District

Take the shuttle from the Recreation Park

LECTURE: "Henry Tanner's Landscape Paintings of Highlands, 1889"

Aug 1, 2007 7:30 pm

Richard Gantt, UNC-G Department of Art

A Walk in The Park

Jun 29, 2007 - Jul 1, 2007

Early Highlanders Speak from the Grave

Highlands Memorial Cemetery
Take shuttle from the Conference Center

Performing Arts Center
on Chestunut Street

Friday-Saturday
June 29-30
6-7:30pm

Sunday, July 1
4:00pm

CLE CLASS: "Wit and Wisdom Within Spittin' Distance of Highlands"

Jun 21, 2007 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Randolph Shaffner, Archivist

Membership Appreciation

Jun 9, 2007 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

MEMBERSHIP APPRECIATION
and Open House

CHRISTMAS PARADE: Bug Hill Float

Dec 2, 2006
Main Street, Highlands

The Prince House Christmas Show House 2006

Nov 25, 2006 - Dec 30, 2006

On Saturday, November 24, 2006, the Historical Society held its annual Christmas Show at the newly restored Prince House, the oldest house in Highlands. Spearheaded by volunteers under the direction of Isabel Chambers, the rooms of the house were refurbished with furnishings from various periods, and walks back in time were being conducted from 1:00pm to 4:00pm each Saturday thereafter on December 2, 9, and 16, 2006.


Some of the rooms visited were Amelia's Room, named after Amelia Wright Bryson, who was born in this room 90 years ago.

The Victorian furniture in Amelia's Room belonged to Miss Susan "Tudie" Rice, who claimed to have worked for the author Thomas Wolfe (not yet documented) and, after his death, was given a bedroom suite.Amelia

Lizzie's Room was named after Mrs. Elizabeth Prince, who was the last of the Wrights to own the house.

The furniture in Lizzie's Room was made by Louis Edwards of Highlands, who made it from a log of curly burl poplar that grew in Horse Cove.
Lizzie

 

The Children's Room is filled with antique toys, and the walls and ceiling are covered with historic restoration paper. Some of the furniture was given to the Society anonymously, but the student desk came from Horse Cove School.

Children

Children

The Kitchen, usually the busiest room in the house, has an extensive collection of typical utensils. Sue Potts reminisces, "You can imagine the warmth that came from the stove as biscuits were baking. When they were done, you can visualize everyone sitting around the table, with fresh churned butter and wild strawberry jam for their biscuits." The sink was added after the advent of running water in 1927.

Kitchen

Kitchen


The fireplace in the Parlor, which had been faced with brick, was restored to its original granite, and Tommy Chambers fashioned the mantel after one of the same period at Fairview Inn, today's 4 1/2 Street Inn.

Parlor

The Library now houses much of Professor Thomas G. Harbison's collection, which in his time, when he founded the Highlands Academy in 1886, was being extolled as "the best school library in Western North Carolina." The Bennett grand piano was the first piano brought to Highlands by T. Baxter White in 1876. And the pictures on the walls are unique collages of Highlands scenes, beautifully crafted from mosses, lichens, bark, ferns, and the wood pulp of hornets' nests by John Jay Smith in 1929.

Library


The Dining Room  has seen very few changes. It has still has its original wallpaper, and a small framed section of the wall reveals the lath and butcher paper that served as backing.

Dining Room

The Student's Room at the back upstairs still contains the wood heater that kept the room warm when young relatives from out of town boarded while they attended school in Highlands. They usually helped with the cooking, looking after the children, and various chores around the house to offset the cost of their room and board. Boarders also used what is now the library, which had a separate door onto the front porch to allow them entrance and exit without bothering the family.

Student


Some of the many visitors who have enjoyed a walk into the past at the Prince House

Visitors in Amelia

Visitors in the Parlor

Visitors in the Dining Room

CLASS: Pickens High School 12th Grade

Nov 15, 2006

Class on the History of Highlands at the Historical Museum. Randolph Shaffner, Archivist

CLASS: Highlands School 5th Grade

Nov 7, 2006

Introduction to the Highlands Historical Museum

Tour of Historic Homes

Aug 5, 2006

Homes at the Highlands Country Club

A Walk in The Park

Jul 7, 2006 - Jul 9, 2006

Early Highlanders Speak from the Grave

Highlands Memorial Park

View Event Photos

LECTURE: "A Window on the Creative Soul of Highlands"

Jul 5, 2006

Randolph Shaffner, Archivist