If you’re traveling along the Blue Ridge Parkway, be sure to visit the Hickory Ridge Homestead Museum, a beautiful live museum featuring the Appalachian Frontier tradition. Staffed with historical actors in period clothing, the 18th century homestead gives visitors a feeling for the daily lives of early mountain settlers including how they survived on weaving, making candles, spinning, and blacksmithing.
Appalachian Mountain Food
– Food enthusiasts will enjoy learning about traditional Appalachian mountain food like stack cakes, shuck beans, chicken ‘n’ dumplings, soup beans, and fried apple pies. Homesteaders learned Native American trapping skills and hunted black bear, buffalo, elk, and whitetail deer. The early settlers also gathered hickory nuts, black walnuts, American chestnuts, persimmons, and fox grapes; and they domesticated corn, pumpkin, squash, and beans.
Located on the grounds of Horn in the West, the nation’s oldest Revolutionary War drama, in Boone, North Carolina, the museum was created in 1980 by Curator Dave Davis, a descendent of Revolutionary War hero Wm. Landrine Eggers and homesteader Daniel Boone. Davis hopes to foster a better understanding of the life of the settlers, including the Cherokee Indians, Daniel Boone and other early explorers, who played an important part of the history of our country in the 1700’s. The museum recreates the atmosphere of a small mountain community around the time of the Revolutionary War when furnishings were sparse, but the family was warmed by its religion, humor, and self-sufficiency. The staff at Hickory Ridge Living History Museum is comprised of interns from Appalachian State University’s public history department and volunteers from the community.
Traditional Fourth of July Events
– Throughout the year, the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum offers period special events that are a great pastime for visiting families. On the Fourth of July, the museum reads the Declaration of Independence aloud and offers the audience will have an opportunity to participate in the reading. A dummy of King George III is burned, and visitors make toast with apple cider, reminiscent of the Toasts of Halifax in 1789. The museum also gives a military salute to the new nation by firing 13 shots from the black powder rifles, one shot for each of the original colonies.
Daniel Boone Parades & Games
– Every year the museum participates in the Town of Boone’s Annual Fourth of July and Christmas Parades with volunteers of the museum dressed in their period costumes travelling along King Street from Horn in the West Drive to Water Street. The museum also holds Hickory Ridge Period Games where museum’s volunteers come in period dress and participate in traditional settler games like catching an apple on the end of a bayonet, throwing a frying pan or a tomahawk, and a race which involves sewing on a button, diapering a baby and peeling an apple.