What is hoped will become an annual tradition will take place for the second year in a row on New Year’s Eve when the old bell located in front of the Highland House Museum in Hillsboro will ring to signal in the new year.
Justin Harsha, a Hillsboro City Council and Highland County Historical Society member, said the museum, located at 151 E. Main St. in Hillsboro, will open a little before the midnight bell ringing in case of cold weather, then the bell will ring as the new year approaches.
The ringing of the bell started a year ago after someone mentioned it would make a nice tradition.
“My dad rang the bell a few times on different occasions so someone said I should ring it on New Year’s Eve and it just kind of happened,” Harsha said. “It’s something different to ring in the new year. It’s a big bell that’s just sitting there so we might as well use it.”
Justin’s father, the late Sandy Harsha, was a Hillsboro mayor a longtime supporter of the historical society.
Exactly how old the bell is could not immediately be determined, but information provided by Harsha said it was originally located in front of the old C.S. Bell Company factory and that it was a mate to the largest bell ever made by the foundry. It was used in 1907 parade when the town turned 100 years old and in another sesquicentennial celebration in 1957.
Harsha said anyone that wants to join in the bell ringing is more than welcome.
A year ago the ringing started at 11:59 p.m. and continued until midnight. The ceremony included a few Highland County Historical Society board members and other interested people.
“We’d like to see if we can get some more people up there and maybe make it an annual happening,” Harsha said.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.