By Andrew Bethel, Staff Writer
SCOTLAND -- The Haig family and its numerous branches have never held a reunion. On Sunday they broke that habit and came together to share in their family history, as well as celebrate the 130th anniversary of the family-run Bloomfield State Bank.
Family, friends, and bank employees came to the reunion in Scotland outside of the Scotland House.
The hotel was originally built by the Haig family, themselves immigrants from Scotland.
"It was important that the reunion happened in Scotland," The Rev. Billy Ed Hostettler said.
The family's Scottish heritage, as well as the family's history in the town, made it a perfect location for this family event.
Bloomington's Colorado Steakhouse catered the event, pleasing the tastes of all present. Good food lent itself well to good spirits, and many jokes kept the entire family laughing throughout the reunion. People met family members they may have met once before, or never at all.
Hostettler lead the program by introducing members of the family, who then introduced others.
His unique sense of humor entertained the family and its guests for the better part of an hour.
But it was not merely a family reunion; it was also a celebration of the 130th year the Bloomfield State Bank has existed as a family-run business. Though it has been known by other names, it has remained locally owned for the whole of its history.
The bank has existed by one name or another since 1856. In the past, a bank robbery of $4,000 cleared out the vault. Today, however, the bank boasts deposits of over $330 million. The bank has been in the Haig family for the last 100 years.
Though the bank may have changed in operation through four generations, it has not changed in spirit. It is still run by a family committed to helping the community. It is also still locally owned and operated.
"We've experienced a lot of growth, and the implementation of new machines," bank chairman Stanley Barkley said. "Things are no longer hand done, but the family is still dedicated to the success of the bank and helping the community."
Also invited was the Greene County Historical Society, who was running tours of the Scotland House and raising money by selling items such as suncatchers and small books.
Historical Society president Betty Cox was more than eager to invite everyone to tour the Scotland House, as well as the old barber shop in Scotland, which had the original mirror replaced for the pleasure of those touring the building.
Adrian Hughes, also with the Historical Society, found the family to be "very friendly and accepting."
Hughes is attending Ball State University where he plans to attain a degree in urban development. He wants to come back to the area and help its communities.
The bank paid for a framed family tree which was given to the Scotland House. It was presented at the end of the day's program.
The happiness of the day's events were not without tears born of memories. Reflection on stories of departed family members brought on a sense of sad, yet at the same time pleasant, remembrance.
As the program came to a close outside the Scotland House, Hostettler invited family members to caravan to the old Haig family residences before gathering at another location for more opportunities to gather with the rest of the family.
"The Haig family ought not wait so many years before having another reunion," Hostettler told his family.
Laughter and applause signaled the family's agreement.