The Highland Historical Society in McDowell is Featuring a New Exhibit & Planning it’s Community Yard Sale


Hello, this is Lori Botkin, with the Highland Historical Society.  The Highland Museum opened on March 11 for the 2023 season.

Maple Festival saw over 800 visitors for a great start to the new year.  This year we introduced the exhibit “There’s an App for That.”  Starting with an acquisition last year of a beautiful Edison cylinder phonograph player, I realized that I now carry my music in my pocket.  That got me to thinking, ‘What else is on my cell phone?’  Besides music, I have communication, photography, and media along with a flashlight and calculator.  You will find items that a lot of us still use or remember from recent history.  Besides the Edison player, we have a Victrola 78 record player, a 1950’s turntable and an 8-track player.  We have the last pay phone that was in Highland High School and photos of the McDowell and Headwaters phone booths.  Remember when you had to use the pay phone to get a ride home from ball practice and the secret code you used to make collect calls?

We have a wonderful collection of cameras dating from the 1800’s to the present.  In the 19th and early 20th centuries sitting for a photograph was special and expensive.  Some people had only one photograph taken during their lifetime.  We have on loan four glass negatives and copies of photographs from Archibald Suddarth’s studio in Monterey, from the early 1900’s.  The museum has on exhibit items donated, some from the museum, and some on loan from local residents.  More items than I can mention here.  Come in, reminiscence and tell me the stories so that the next generation will know what it was like before there was an app for that.

Now, don’t forget our annual Memorial Weekend yard sale at the museum.  For $10, you can set up your own table or you can donate items to benefit the Society.  We have had donations coming in since our last sale in May.  Remember all items in the Society section are donated specifically for the yard sale and not to our collection.

For more information, please call 540-396-4478 or email at

Or look for us on Facebook or at

Our regular hours are Thursday through Saturday 11 am to 4 pm.

This has been Lori Botkin for Allegheny Mountain Radio.

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.

Current Weather