The Highland Center Building Celebrates 100th Birthday


The Highland Center in Monterey is celebrating a milestone birthday this year and throwing a big party on Saturday, August 13.

Elizabeth Lohr-Myers is the Executive Director at The Highland Center.

“We are preparing to celebrate the 100th birthday of the building that is now known as The Highland Center, but it started it’s life back in 1922 as the Monterey High School,” says Lohr-Myers.  “This building has always been central to the Highland community, so we just wanted to recognize that fact and celebrate it and invite people to come back to this building to enjoy it and use it.  It’s really interesting, in my research, I discovered that this building was only built because the community was able to raise $10,000 to initiate the contract from the Board of Education and that continues to be true today.  This building is supported by the community and it’s here to serve the community, so we just wanted to celebrate that with a big community party.”

“Inside of the building will be open for people to walk through,” says Lohr-Myers.  “We will also have a display about the history of the building inside the auditorium.  The Highland Center is inviting people to come and contribute photographs, documents or other memorabilia to that display.  We will be accepting those between August 8 and 12.  Obviously, they will be returned to you after the event, but we’d love to fill out our display and really share the true history of this building.”

“We are planning to have a variety of foods available for sale,” says Lohr-Myers.  “We have invited a number of different civic organizations to provide food.  The Lions Club will be here with their chicken, the Ladies from the Fire Auxiliary will be here with food, the Highland Homemakers and the Girl Scouts will be here selling desserts.”

“The Little Switzerland Cloggers will do a performance at 6pm and then starting at 7pm we will have a Street Dance with callers Eugene and Ellen Ratcliffe and Juanita Fireball and the Continental Drifters performing the music,” says Lohr-Myers.  “The summer Street Dances have been such a highlight of the summer season for people.  I know it was always a big deal for me growing up and I know it’s difficult for civic organizations to pull that together these days with declining membership and less labor force, so I wanted to be able to provide that for the community this year when it looked like no one else was going to be able to do that.  So, I’m hoping that this could become a summer tradition here at The Highland Center.  I should thank the Highland County Arts Council for bringing in Juanita Fireball and the Continental Drifters for this event.  This 100th birthday celebration is standing in place of their usual Second Saturday performance. “

The 100th Birthday Celebration of The Highland Center is Saturday, August 13.  The building will open and food will be available for purchase beginning at 5pm.  The Little Switzerland Cloggers performance begins at 6 and the Street Dance starts at 7.  The performance, music and the dance are free.

For more information, call The Highland Center at 540-468-1922.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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