The town of Boone, North Carolina, (population 14,942) is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, and is the county seat of Watauga County. Originally inhabited by Cherokee Indians, Daniel Boone was a frequent visitor to this area on his hunting trips, first passing through in 1760. The community, named for him, began as a single row of houses in 1850. The town was incorporated in 1872, with a population of about 850 people.
Boone's economy was built around sawmills, but it was also a haven for tourists escaping the summer heat. The town expanded with the establishment of the Watauga Academy, today Appalachian State University, as well as the introduction of skiing in the 1960s, which expanded tourism into a year-round business.
The Downtown Post Office in Boone was constructed in 1938. It uses native stone and features a mural, painted by Alan Tompkins in 1940, depicting "Daniel Boone on a Hunting Trip in Watauga County." The Postal Service decided to sell the building, which was still in good condition, in 2008. Almost immediately, the Boone Historic Preservation Commission, Boone Town Council, and other government and private groups met to try to save the landmark. In September of the same year, the town purchased the building and is working to maintain the historic structure and its mural.
Every summer since 1952, Boone citizens produce Horn in the West, an outdoor Revolutionary War drama, which portrays the story of early settlers in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Located on the grounds of Horn in the West is the Hickory Ridge Homestead, a living history museum that has year-round educational programs focusing on daily life on the Colonial frontier. The town also celebrates annual "Daniel Boone Days," a festival of pioneering spirit involving music, educational symposiums, living history, and presentations on Daniel Boone.
Designated a Preserve America Community in February 2010.