Harrison Hightower III was a member of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers based out of Hotel Hightower in New York City. Known as "The Dragon of Park Palace", Harrison Hightower was rather unscrupulous in his artifact collecting, hoarding art and antiquities from across the world in his private collection at Hotel Hightower.
- 1 History
- 2 Appearances and allusions
- 3 Connections
- 4 References
Harrison Hightower III was born in 1835 and was a member of the wealthy Hightower family. From a young-age he was rivals with one Cornelius Endicott II, having met in in 1847 at an English boarding-school. He and Cornelius would remain rivals for the rest of their lives following this.
Harrison would become a member of S.E.A., a high-ranking member of the colonial thieves known as the Pillagers Brigade. He was often accompanied by his loyal manservant Archibald Smelding and frequent affiliate Billamongawonga AKA Trader Bill, a South American headhunter and merchant who supposedly worked as Hightower's right-hand man. In 1872, Harrison went on a river expedition down the Yangtze River of Asia which was subsequently commemorated by the S.E.A.. In 1875, Harrison traveled to Asia with Smelding to go on expeditions for his plunder such as Japanese samurai armour.
In 1881, Hightower traveled to Oceania where he stole a massive moai from Easter Island. Also in 1881 Harrison went to the Philippines where he forced the locals to carry him around rather than walking. In 1882, Harrison III and Smelding went on a Mediterranean expedition.
In 1883, Harrison Hightower III and Smelding traveled to Cuzco, Peru in a region known as the Lost River Delta. Hightower seized one of the Water God snake heads for his ill-gotten collection however this resulted in the gods of the temple being angered and causing natural disasters in the delta. While here, they happened upon the lost Temple of the Crystal Skull which Hightower took a photograph of himself in-front of.
Also in 1883 they travelled to Guatemala where they went grave-robbing. In 1887, he and Smelding grave-robbed tombs in Egypt before making off in a hot-air balloon. Around 1889, Harrison hired architect Oscar Klinovski to design the Hotel Hightower for him.
Construction of Hotel Hightower took place over the course of three years with the hotel finally being opened to the public on the January 24th of 1892 to much fanfare. However concurrent to the opening of the hotel was a mass riot acted against Harrison due to his many misdeeds. In 1894, Harrison travelled to Canada where he claimed several Indigenous art-pieces for his personal-collection.
In 1898, the Hotel Hightower won the Waterfront Park Norticultural Society's presidents award for best show garden. This was for the gardens outside the hotel which possessed psychoactive flowers that could induce madness and several statues likely taken from Harrison's pillagings.. At some unknown point in time, Harrison travelled to the Himalayas and Mount Everest where he became fixated on hunting down the legendary cryptid known as The Yeti. Hightower likely travelled to the Asian kingdom of Anandapur for this expedition which was presumably unsuccessful but he later wrote a book on the expedition.
In 1899, Harrison and the Pillager's Brigade travelled to the Congo where on June 16th he was given shelter by the local Mtundu tribe. The Mtundu were in possession of a wooden idol representing the deity Shiriki Utundu which Hightower attempted to purchase from the tribe. When the Mtundu declined his offer, Hightower stole it from them for his collection. Later in this same year, Hightower hosted a meeting for the S.E.A. within Hotel Hightower where he flaunted his stolen idol. This would however prove to be his downfall when on New Year's Eve, 1899, he used the idol to extinguish a cigar only to awaken the deity. The wrathful god blasted energy at Hightower and sent him plummeting down an elevator shaft to his untimely demise.
Following this Shiriki Utundu has terrorized the halls of the hotel while Hightower's ghost became trapped in the Penthouse, forever punished for his live of misdeeds. In 1912, the New York City Preservation Society reopened the abandoned hotel to tours to share Hightower's collection with the world, though the idol has remained at large and Hightower's ghost is said to still haunt his old penthouse. This was secretly arranged by Archibald Smelding who wished to sacrifice tourists to Shiriki Utundu in hopes it might appease the deity into releasing his master's spirit, restoring Smelding to his former status. Hightower however had grown more moral in the afterlife and worked to try and aid visitors in escaping a similar fate to himself.
Appearances and allusions
At this Aulani kid's activity area, a portrait that was once seen in the Adventurers Club is displayed on the wall alongside a letter from Adventurers Club president Pamelia Perkins. She describes the painting as being of the Pillagers Brigade, a less ethical predecessor to the Adventurers Club that a young Harrison Hightower belonged to and that it was during one one of their expeditions, that Hightower first heard tales of Shiriki Utundu. This portrait originates from the Adventurers Club where it was originally described as portraying Harrison's fellow S.E.A. member Merriweather Adam Pleasure.
In Captain Mary Oceaneer's ship the R.V. Oceaneer Lab are newspapers from when the Hotel Hightower opened, a newspaper detailing Hightower's disappearance, and the portrait of the S.E.A. within Hotel Hightower from before Harrison's demise.
Hightower appears in the S.E.A. group portrait with Shiriki Utundu in his arms, which was painted at his final S.E.A. meeting on New Year's Eve 1899, just hours before the fatal elevator accident. This portrait has appeared at other attractions related to S.E.A..
Materials within Tower of Terror's queue show Hightower plundering the ancient temple in the Lost River Delta. Subsequently, crates near the Raging Spirits attraction are labeled as containing artifacts due for shipment to the Hightower Trust.
Hightower has contributed several titles to the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen's library including MINE!, Treasures of the Animal Kingdom, and Everest Expedition: Search for the Yeti. The latter titles references Hightower's status as being portrayed by Imagineer Joe Rohde.
As guests tour through Hotel Hightower and walk past various monuments to his own greed and the treasures he claimed, a NYPS tour guide takes us into his Office to listen to an old recording of his New Year's Eve 1899 press conference interview. Hightower's spirit suddenly takes over the presentation, telling of how he became a victim of his arrogance and the dark magic of Shiriki Utundu. The idol disappears from a shelf in the room like a grinning Cheshire Cat and a door opens to the storage vault and maintenance service elevators.
When arriving in Hightower's penthouse, his ghost appears and is attacked by Shiriki Utundu, who proceeds to unleash chaos on the guest elevator before finally letting them go.
In this bar is a letter sent from Director Vanessa Capshaw of the New York Preservation Society to Trader Sam about one of Hightower's associates. This associate being Billamongawonga, or, "Trader Bill" who is described as having been Hightower's right-hand man. According to the letter, Trader Bill might be the grandfather of Trader Sam.
Hightower has left an expedition paddle from a trip down the Yangtze River in 1872.
Pamelia Perkins identifies Harrison III as having bee an ancestor of the Adventurers Club and the portrait of Hightower is a recycled prop from the Adventurers Club restaurant, having been originally slated to represent Merriweather Adam Pleasure.
One of the books written by Harrison Hightower III is Expedition Everest: Search for the Yeti. This is a reference to Imagineer Joe Rohde, the lead Imagineer of Expedition Everest and the model for Hightower.
Harrison shares his surname with the character of George Hightower from the Haunted Mansion. George was a wealthy owner of the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans until he was murdered by his bride Constance Hatchaway in 1877.
In addition to having excavated in the Lost River Delta, Hightower also had a photo taken of him in-front of the Temple of the Crystal Skull. Both of these are locations affiliated with Indiana Jones.
Harrison Hightower IV is mentioned as screenwriter on a poster for Bride of Frankenollie (a parody of James Wales' Bride of Frankenstein) within the Hollywood dressing room of Minnie Mouse. Harrison Hightower IV is an implied relative of Harrison III for obvious reasons.