Happy National Boone Day! Established by the Kentucky Historical Society, it is observed each year on June 7 to commemorate the day that frontiersman Daniel Boone first began exploring the valleys and forests of present-day Kentucky in 1769.
While the name Daniel Boone is most often associated with Kentucky and the West, residents of Davie County know that Daniel acquired much of his fortitude, courage, endurance, resourcefulness, and marksmanship during his early adulthood living along the Forks of the Yadkin.
A legend in his lifetime, Daniel remains an iconic figure in American history. Davie County celebrates his life and accomplishments during the Daniel Boone Family Festival held each year on the first Saturday in May.
At festival time, you can retrace the steps of Daniel Boone, visit local sites from the Revolutionary War, and view historic homes during tours throughout the county. These tours include stops at historic Joppa Cemetery, where Daniel’s parents Squire and Sarah Boone and his brother Israel are buried (Israel’s grave is the oldest in the cemetery); the Boone Tract at Bear Creek, a 640-acre parcel of land granted to Squire Boone in 1753 and later sold to his son Daniel; and the Daniel Boone Marker in Farmington.
The annual festival also features local artisans, food, contests, live music, and a free children’s area with fun activities. There’s something for everyone at the all-day event. View the event details HERE every year.
Daniel was born on November 2, 1734, in Berks County, Pennsylvania, the sixth child of eleven born to prosperous immigrant Quaker parents, Squire and Sarah Boone.
Squire Boone sold his 158-acre farm in Pennsylvania and purchased a 640-acre tract of land in Davie County along Elisha Creek on April 13, 1753.
On August 14, 1756, at the age of 22, Daniel Boone and Rebecca Bryan, age 17, were married by his father, Squire Boone, who was a Justice of the Peace. Tradition tells that Daniel and Rebecca first lived in a cabin in Squire Boone’s yard. They then lived for about 10 years near the fork of Sugartree (or Sugar) Creek, approximately two miles east of Farmington. Four of his ten children are believed to have been born there.
During their time living on Sugartree Creek, Daniel farmed, explored, and worked as a wagoner. He supported his family by hunting and trapping and often disappeared for months at a time during the fall and winter and returned in the spring to sell his pelts to traders.
According to the records, he received bounties for killing wolves, wildcats, and panthers.
Daniel and Rebecca purchased the Bear Creek site from his father in October 1759 but left the dangerous and troubled Yadkin River area until the Indian danger and other disturbances were over. They returned to Davie County in 1762 but moved from their home in Davie County to Holman’s Ford on the Yadkin River about 8 miles north of the present Wilkesboro in the summer or fall of 1766.
Between 1767 and 1775, Boone helped blaze the Wilderness Road across the Appalachian Mountains via the Cumberland Gap and lead three expeditions into Kentucky, opening the west for settlement. In 1775, he founded the village of Boonesborough, Kentucky, and moved his family there, along with some North Carolina friends and neighbors. By the end of the 18th century, more than 200,000 European people had migrated to Kentucky/Virginia following the route marked by Daniel.
Daniel and Rebecca finally settled in Missouri about 1800. Rebecca Boone died in 1813, and Daniel died seven years later in 1820.
Daniel’s father, Squire Boone, died January 2, 1765, and his mother, Sarah, died in 1777. Both are buried in the Joppa Cemetery, one-half mile west of Mocksville on Highway 601.
Are you a Boone buff? Looking for an historic day trip? Walk in the footsteps of America’s pioneer hero. Experience the landscape where he lived, hunted, married, and reared his young children during his 21 years in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Daniel Boone Heritage Trail will help you experience history by taking you to the markers, monuments, museums, statues, outdoor dramas, and more that celebrate his life and times.
Reference: HISTORY OF DAVIE COUNTY by James W. Wall, 1997.