The Boone and Blowing Rock, NC area is rich with historic sites, museums, and experiences that celebrate Native American heritage, pioneer spirit and much more.
Native American Artifacts Museum
Part of the Appalachian Heritage Museum at Mystery Hill, The Native American Artifacts Museum offers a glimpse at one of the largest private collections of artifacts in the world. The Moon and Irene Mullins Native American Artifacts Collection represent 20 states and features over a quarter million different pieces. Actor John Wayne coveted the collection but wasn’t able to talk Moon Mullins into selling. A must-see for history buffs! More info >>
Tweetsie Railroad’s Historic Locomotives
The theme park features Locomotive No. 12, the last surviving steam locomotive of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC), which ran service from Johnson City, Tennessee, to Boone, North Carolina, from 1919 to 1940. When the Tweetsie Railroad theme park opened with its first steam locomotive ride (one mile to a picnic area and back) in 1957, this was its sole locomotive. They also feature Locomotive No. 190, a narrow-gauge steam locomotive originally from Alaska’s White Pass & Yukon Railway( WPY), which linked the port of Skagway, Alaska, with Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon. Tweetsie Railroad added the “Yukon Queen” in 1960. tweetsie.com.
Grandfather Mountain was named “Grandfather” by pioneers who recognized the face of an old man in one of the cliffs. The Mountain itself is a geological historical marvel, and the museum at Grandfather celebrates their diverse rocks and gems, foliage, birds and animals indigenous to it. In addition, the museum showcases early explorers to visit Grandfather Mountain including Daniel Boone, Andre Michaux and Asa Gray, Native American artifacts found on Grandfather Mountain, a scale model of the Mountain, photo exhibits about each of the animals found in the Mountain’s wildlife habitats, and more. grandfather.com.
Horn in the West
“Horn in the West” is an outdoor drama in Boone, NC that brings to life the famous frontiersman Daniel Boone and the mountain settlers of the Blue Ridge Mountains in their struggle to preserve their freedom during the years before and during the War for Independence. The drama highlights those settlers who came to the region seeking freedom and escape from British tyranny. Fun for kids of all ages. If the nighttime performance is too late, the Saturday 10:30 am performance is family-friendly. horninthewest.com/
1903 Dougherty House & Historic Farmyard
The 1903 Dougherty House Museum is a part of Mystery Hill’s Appalachian Heritage Museum and gives visitors a fascinating look at a turn-of-the-century Appalachian home. Built by the founders of Appalachian State University, Dauphin and Lillie Dougherty, the museum features artifacts from the early 1900s, when this home was one of the first in the area to have electricity.The hone housed classrooms and administration offices during the early years of the college. In addition, Mystery Hill has recently added the historic farmyard, a representation of an early 1900s farm with chickens, rabbits and other animals. Enjoy storytelling the first Saturday of each month, demonstrations and traditional crafts. More info >>
Blowing Rock Art & History Museum
The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) prides itself in bringing visitors to the museum, artists of great talent and renown, and the voices of our region’s rich heritage together. Featuring impressive revolving art exhibitions, a permanent collection and and history exhibits plus art talks, seminars, and more. brmuseum.org
Hickory Ridge Homestead & History Museum
Hickory Ridge History Museum is located on the grounds of Horn in the West, the nation’s longest-running Revolutionary War outdoor drama. There you will find some of the oldest building structures in the area and gain insight into the self-sufficiency of our forefathers by showcasing skills including hearthside cooking, weaving, candlemaking, spinning, blacksmithing, etc. You will be guided through a collection of authentic log cabins by a knowledgeable docent and historian who will give you a very interesting understanding of what life on the frontier was like in the mid-to-late- 1700’s..horninthewest.com
The Original Mast General Store
In 1882, Henry Taylor started construction on the general store, located in Valle Crucis, NC and soon was partnered with William Wellington Mast, to create the Mast General Store, selling everything from cradles to caskets. The current store offers wares from bygone years including cast iron cookware and toys from yesteryear in addition to fine outdoor and hiking apparel, footwear, gifts, candy and more. The original location also operates the corner post office and is a great spot to hang out by the pot-bellied stove, and enjoy a 5¢ cup of coffee (paid for on the honor system). Truly a historic place of significance for our mountain community which has grown into a successful franchised store. mastgeneralstore.com
The Blowing Rock
The Blowing Rock is an incredible natural attraction with amazing views and is also the oldest attraction in North Carolina. Learn about the history of the Rock, the Cherokee Legend of The Blowing Rock, and more. theblowingrock.com
Moses Cone Memorial Park
The summer estate of the “denim king” textile mogul Moses Cone, includes a beautiful gilded age manor house that is now home to the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, not far from Mystery Hill, you can also hike the trails around the estate, through former orchards and fields, and to two lakes. nps.gov/