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Remembering uptown Hillsboro dining in the 1960s

Lead Summary
Steve Roush-
Ladies and gentlemen, before we decided to spend some time in Highland County in 1942, we had been hanging out in the 1960s.

We had visited grocery stores like Albers, auto companies like Baker Auto Sales, and other iconic businesses of yore like Stockwell’s, Limes Jewelry, Ellison Brothers and Kaufman’s.

Quite a few folks have told me how much they have enjoyed these offerings and reminiscing about those days, and considering there are still a lot of places we haven’t visited, let’s go ahead and drive the Way Back Studebaker Machine up a couple of decades.

I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry, so let’s find something to eat. In Hillsboro back in the early 1960s, we have several places to choose from, and none of them are pizza joints. We’ve got A&W Root Beer, Dairy Queen, Dickerson’s Restaurant, Greenroof Restaurant, Highlander Restaurant, Lang’s Smokery, Magee’s Snack Shop, Maroy Restaurant and Stanforth’s Steak House, among others.

Maroy Restaurant, located at 126 South High Street, opened in March of 1948. When it celebrated its grand opening, it advertised that it would be serving lunches, dinners, short orders, soups, coffee, home-baked pies and Borden’s ice cream. It said to “Visit us soon – visit us often.”

The Highlander Restaurant was located on West Main Street. The Highlander referred to itself as “Hillsboro’s Finest,” and many meetings, receptions and celebrations were held there.

Donald and Pauline Dickerson owned Dickerson’s Restaurant. They operated the Dickerson Paint and Wallpaper Store on South High Street for 25 years and then the Dickerson Restaurant, which would later be home to the Skyscraper restaurant, at 127 North High Street.

Of course, we all know where the Hillsboro Dairy Queen is located, as it has been a fixture in town since the 1950s on “Cincinnati Pike,” with Howard and Betty Ellis as the owners. On its spring opening in 1955, a free sundae was given for every customer. The DQ was open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and an advertisement said to phone 723 to give them a call in the 1950s, and 3-2344 in the 1960s. When it had its last day of the season on Nov. 11, 1962, it urged residents to “stock up your deep freeze at these low prices: Dillies for $1 a dozen, D.Q. Sandwiches for $1.05 a dozen, a quart of ice cream for 50 cents and a half gallon for 90 cents.” Sounds like a good deal to me!

Likewise, a lot of folks remember Magee’s Snack Shop at 129 West Main Street. Back in the 1960s, it boasted that breakfast was its specialty. One review said that at Magee’s, “You’ll dine in pleasure, knowing that you are receiving the best in prepared foods. The Snack Shop has maintained a reputation throughout this area for fine eating pleasure, offering you a wide selection of delicious foods. You’ll enjoy the pleasant atmosphere that is so conducive to thoroughly enjoying a fine meal prepared in the most modern of kitchens. The service is quick and efficient, the food is suitable to the most discriminating of taste. Breakfast, lunch or dinner the year round will be enjoyed and remembered when you dine at Magee’s. It is for you, the family and friends, offering you hospitality with a capital H. Only the most quality foods are served by those with years of experience. They offer you food you will always remember.”

Do you remember those?

Well, we’ve not quite checked in on the entire list, but I’m getting rather full, so let’s pause for now, and we’ll continue next time.

Steve Roush is vice chairman of the Highland County Historical Society Board of Trustees, a vice president of an international media company and a columnist and contributing writer for The Highland County Press. He can be reached by email at

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