One hundred years ago, the Daughters of the American Revolution left for us all a legacy of patriotic commemoration — Daniel Boone’s Trail. During 1912-1915, the Daughters inNorth Carolina,Tennessee,Virginia, andKentucky erected 45 metal tablets across four hundred miles to honor the life of Daniel Boone and to mark for future generations his path through the Appalachian Mountain barrier, a path that enabledAmerica’s Western Movement.
The idea for such a trail sprang from the creative mind of the industrious Mrs. Lindsay Patterson ofWinston-Salem,North Carolina. She served as chairman of the trail-marking effort and ushered the private project to completion with the participation of Daughters, volunteers, and advisors. A patriotic public gathered to dedicate each marker, and newspapers eagerly wrote accounts of local ceremonies including the joint ceremony atCumberland Gapattended by thousands. But the world did not stand still during this project, and the effort took place against a backdrop of the Progressive Era, presidential elections, campaigns for temperance and equal suffrage, war in Europe, and the opening of thePanama Canal.
This is a story that has been too long forgotten, one resurrected now from the pages of century old newspapers, the annals of the DAR, and a diligent search across the countryside to find the remaining 27 markers and to discover what happened to those which have disappeared.
Randell Jones is the author of the award-winning book, In the Footsteps of Daniel Boone, and the award-winning companion DVD, On the Trail of Daniel Boone. His 2011 release, Before They Were Heroes at King’s Mountain, also received a Willie Parker Peace History Book Award. He lives inWinston-Salem,NC.
The public is invited to attend this special holiday luncheon. The cost is $28 per person and reservations will be received through November 26. Please mail your check made to the Bristol Historical Association to: Roxann Coulthard,140 Peachtree Circle,BristolVirginia24201.
The Bristol Historical Association was founded in 1979 and currently owns a number of historic properties, including the birthplace of Tennessee Ernie Ford and the Robert Preston house. The association recently purchased the acreage around the 200-plus year old residence and is firming up plans for fundraising and then renovation of the property. Contact Tim Buchanan, program chairman, for further details on this or other association programs, 276-669-3885.