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SAHA welcomes new board members

Article Published: Feb. 6 | Modified: Feb. 6

The Southern Appalachian Historical Association, nonprofit producer of “Horn in the West” and Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, rings in the New Year with three new board members.

The SAHA Board of Directors held its first monthly meeting of the year and welcomed three new members, who each filled vacant seats.

Al Ernest, who has more than 30 years international business experience, Greg Williams, co-owner of Positive Contrast, a photography and production management business in the area, and Clyde Burleson, Boone native and owner of South Fork Property Management, make up the now 12-member board.

Michelle Ligon, who served as SAHA’s chair for two years, reached the end of her term, and a new chair was to be selected at the first meeting of the year. Ernest was selected to serve in this role.
Ernest has been volunteering as a reenactor at Hickory Ridge for four years and can often be seen cooking a rabbit on the fire at the museum.

“I enjoy history, and it’s great that I can drive just seven minutes down the road to Hickory Ridge museum every Saturday to reenact,” he said. “I am thrilled to be serving on the SAHA board.”

Williams was selected to serve as vice chair, taking the place of Steve Canipe. Andy Stallings and Stephanie Ward chose to remain serving in their current positions as treasurer and secretary, respectively.

SAHA is collaborating with Boone officials to begin construction on backstage areas in preparation for its upcoming season this summer.

“We have a lot of work to do, but I am confidant that, with a strong plan, we can fundraise and do the necessary repairs,” Ernest said. “There will be a show this summer.”

Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, which offers guests a glimpse into the 1700s as costumed interpreters demonstrate pioneer life and culture, will open the first weekend in May and run through the end of October.

“Horn in the West,” the nation’s longest-running Revolutionary War outdoor drama and Boone’s first family attraction, will run late June through mid-August. For more information about SAHA or its productions, visit, or call (828) 264-2120.

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