On the same grounds as outdoor drama Horn in the West are a handful of log cabins showcasing how life in the mountains was during Revolutionary days. These eight cabins make up the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, staffed by interpreters in period garb.
Started in 1980 by the Southern Appalachian Historical Association, the Museum came together to help educate the public about Boone-area colonists’ lives around the time of the American Revolutionary War. At the Museum, you will learn about the ways of life 230 years ago including the difficulties early settlers faced while adapting to this region. Docents show visitors ways of life such as blacksmithing, candlemaking, weaving and spinning, and fireside cooking. Each building is open to visitors to enter, and it is interesting to note the small size of these cabins compared to today’s sprawling homes. Our forefathers truly did not spend as much time inside as we do today!
Independence Day at the Museum is not to be missed, either. In true Revolutionary-era style, guests will hear the Declaration of Independence read aloud to the public in the same manner as it would have been in 1776, offer 13 toasts, and watch a black powder musket salute to the 13 colonies- then cheer as King George III is burned in effigy!
Hickory Ridge Living History museum is a fascinating peek into the life of early settlers. Be sure to check out the gift shop as you exit for more information about the area and to make a donation to the Museum.
Where Is It?
591 Horn in the West Drive, Boone NC 28607
The Museum shares a parking lot with the drama. You will see signs for Horn in the West, not the museum. Walk past the ticket house for the drama and you will see the museum gift shop a few feet down the hill.
The Daniel Boone Native Gardens are on the grounds as well, and are certainly worth a visit before or after your tour of the Museum. And on Saturdays Spring-Fall, the Watauga County Farmers Market is set up in the drama’s parking lot.
Hours & Admission:
$5 admission for Adults, $3 for children.
* Note that many websites indicate that the museum is free with donations appreciated- this had to change in 2016.
Hours are seasonal, Summer through Fall. It is open daily Tuesday through Friday, June 28 through November from 9AM-3PM.
Tours depart at 10:00AM and 2PM. On nights Horn In the West is running (June 25 – August 6) the Museum is open 5:30-8:30pm.
For more information, please call 828-264-2120 or visit the museum’s website.
Note that the Museum, as an authentic recreation of life in those days, is not situated on level, paved ground. Cabins are on the side of the hill with grass and mulch paths between, and most cabins have steps to enter. Guests in a wheelchair or strollers may enter the museum through the level staff gate to one side, once they have alerted the gift shop staff for help. Inside the museum, assistance will be required for wheelchair-bound guests to get around between the cabins.
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All text & photos copyright 2016 Cassandra Ellison, Blue Ridge NC Guide. No portion of this article is to be copied, saved, or otherwise distributed without express written consent. Author received no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this article.