Walter Guenther and Melanie Henley-Heyn
Walter Guenther and Melanie Henley-Heyn stand near historical society display. Photo courtesy of Highlands Historical Society

HIGHLANDS – Local historian Walter Guenther addressed the Highlands Historical Society at its first afternoon meeting at the newly renovated Highlands Auditorium at the Twin Lights Museum, highlighting each of the local persons recognized in this new and continuing exhibit.

Guenther, a member of the Highlands Historical Society and a volunteer at the Twin Lights, worked with Twin Lights Historical Society administrator Jena Paterno and State Historian Nicholas Wood in designing the Auditorium, created so it can be rented both for small private parties, conferences or meetings while still displaying historic data and displays significant to the history of the Twin Lights and the borough in which it is located.

Guenther, whose family has summered in Highlands for more than a century, told stories to the nearly two dozen persons in attendance at the meeting, about each of more than half dozen people connected with Highlands and featured in the life size wall displays as well as the two cases of artifacts and the Revolutionary Corner and its Highlands connection, citing numerous sources he has referenced to ensure accuracy.

The historian’s personages ranged from the watermen and entrepreneurs to the professionals and generous donors who worked both together and individually to create and preserve a community from the 18th through the 21s centuries, ranging from Blub Parker , Lloyd Cottrell and Chris Kohlenbush to Esther Bolster, Gertrude Ederle, Henry Sandlass and Haik Kavookjian, as well as Joshua Huddy, who was hung by the British in Highlands near a marker now citing that history.

Bob Zilinski and Walter Guenther
Bob Zilinski and Walter Guenther stand next to historical society display. Photo courtesy of Highlands Historical Society.

Society president Sheila Weinstock welcomed members and guests to the meeting, thanked historian Nick Wood and Twin Lights Historical Society administrator Jen Paterno for their work with the local Society, and urged all interested persons to become members of the Highlands Historical Society and learn more about its activities. Weinstock praised society volunteers for the success of recent fundraisers, and expressed thanks to the Montecalvo family for their generosity in picking up all costs for the society’s storage of artifacts and memorabilia, saving the Society more than a thousand dollars each year.


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The next meeting of the Highlands Society will be a Zoom meeting on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. in response to requests. The president said a Zoom meeting last year enabled numerous local time residents and ‘bennies’ to recollect and reminisce about their lives in the borough and was so widely received she has scheduled a similar session for Oct. 28. It is not necessary to be a member of the Society to participate in that meeting, Weinstock said, and notices will be sent out and the date advertised closer to the date of the meeting


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Muriel J Smith

Muriel J Smith an award-winning journalist, former newspaper editor, book author and historian, Her newest venture is her blog, www.venividiscripto.com in...

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