Hickory Ridge Museum brings the past to life

By Rennie Brantz (Special to The Mountain Times)

Article Published: May. 1 | Modified: May. 1
Hickory Ridge Museum brings the past to life

Dave Davis is director of the Hickory Ridge Museum in Boone.

Photo submitted

This is the first in a series of articles detailing the history and service of the Southern Appalachian Historical Association, producers of the celebrated outdoor drama, ‘Horn in the West,’ returning to the Daniel Boone Amphitheater June 27 to Aug. 16.

Have you ever made a candle? Cooked a rabbit on an open hearth? Made a corn husk doll? Looked at a flintlock rifle?

If you had lived in the Boone area 200 years ago, you might have done all of these things. Today, you can still learn some of these early American survival skills at Boone’s Hickory Ridge Museum, an 18th-century living history museum.

Located in the Daniel Boone Park, next to the “Horn in the West” amphitheater, this unique museum features historic buildings, like the 1785 Tatum cabin, and interpreters in period clothing explaining pioneer life and culture.

Demonstrations of spinning, blacksmithing, hearthside cooking and early crafts are also offered. The goal of the museum is to capture what daily life was like in this area more than two centuries ago.

Educational programs for children and adults include craft workshops, summer day camps and museum tours that introduce visitors to frontier life, domestic skills and the beautiful natural environment of the Daniel Boone Park. Visitors are also encouraged to visit the Daniel Boone Native Gardens and Watauga County Farmers’ Market, while experiencing the Hickory Ridge Museum.

The Hickory Ridge Museum is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 3 to Oct. 11. It is also open in the summer from 5:30 to 8 p.m. before each performance of the “Horn in the West” outdoor drama, which runs June 27 to Aug. 16.

Admission to the museum is a $3 donation. More information about the museum can be found at http://www.hickoryridgemuseum.com. To make group reservations, call (828) 264-2120, or email (hickoryridge@hickoryridgemuseum.com)

Rennie Brantz has taught history at Appalachian State University since 1973 and serves on the board of the Southern Appalachian Historical Association and Boone Town Council. He is interested in how history shapes the lives and identity our community.

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