Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, June 25, 2001

Every year, the faithful return for Highland picnic

By Lynda Jensen

Highland Lutheran Church delivered its last service more than 55 years ago, when it closed in 1946, six miles north of Howard Lake on Wright County Road 7.

This doesn't stop about 50 faithful former Highlanders from attending an annual picnic every year, the second week in June.

This year, the picnic and a "fun auction" was enjoyed by a nice crowd June 10, said former Highlander Harriet Zander.

"There was much conversation with old friends, with a few new ones being made," commented another former Highland resident, Burt Kreitlow.

"The food was great, but fellows like me remember when we were kids and the Highland ladies topped all the pie makers in the county," Kreitlow said. "It was not unusual for teenage boys to have at least 10 pieces," he said.

Kreitlow gives short stories during the picnics, which included a story about Pastor Sand who served Highland church and Mt. Hermon for many years. Mt. Hermon continues to exist an active congregation.

The Highland church has been painted and repaired since and remains as an historic site, Kreitlow said.

Originally, it was part of the Augustana Synod, which eventually joined the ELCA, Zander said.

A monument was erected by the descendants of the Swedish immigrants that erected the church, at the edge of the cemetery.

The marker reads: "1891. On this site, the Highland Lutheran Church was built by Swedish immigrants. 1991. This memorial is dedicated in their honor by their descendants."

Proceeds from the auction are used for upkeep of the cemetery, Zander said. "There continues to be burials every year and presently many lots have been purchased," Zander commented.

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