Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, Boone

#12 of 34 in Things to do in Boone
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Mountains of North Carolina are rich in history. The Cherokee Indians, Daniel Boone and other early explorers and settlers are an important part of the history of our country.

At the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum you can learn what life was like in the 1700s as our country was formed and expanded. Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, located on the grounds of "Horn in the West," is an eighteenth-century living history museum highlighting the daily lives of our mountain ancestors. The museum is a production of Southern Appalachian Historical Association.


Southern Appalachian Historical Association celebrates and preserves the diverse cultural heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountain region. Centered around Daniel Boone and the fight for American Independence, SAHA engages individuals through historical education and cultural entertainment.


May through October: Saturdays, 9 am to 1 pm

June 27 through Aug. 16: Tuesday through Sunday 5:30 to 8 pm

The museum will begin spring hours when the Farmers' Market opens on May 3, 2014. Summer hours began June 27 with the opening of HORN IN THE WEST and will continue through the close of Horn in the West on Aug. 16. Fall hours begin Aug. 23 and run through the end of October.

Hours of operation are subject to change. Contact directly at (828) 264-2120 for the most current information.


Hickory Ridge Living History Museum does not require visitors to pay an admission fee, so the museum operates solely on donations and the generosity of people like you.

Admission is a donation to the preservation of the Museum. The recommended donation is $3 per person.

Financial gifts are always needed and appreciated. We depend on our donors to help us perform our mission and to offer high quality tours and programs. All donations are tax-deductible as the museum is part of a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status. Donations can be made by sending a check to: Southern Appalachian History Association, Inc. (or SAHA), PO Box 295, Boone NC 28607. (see also www.facebook.com/southernappalachianhistoricalassociation)


The Mountains of North Carolina are rich in history. The Cherokee Indians, Daniel Boone and other early explorers and settlers are an important part of the history of our country. At the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum you can learn what life was like in the 1700s as our country was formed and expanded.

Hickory Ridge Living History Museum is located on the grounds of Horn in the West, the nation's oldest Revolutionary War drama, in Boone, North Carolina. Hickory Ridge Living History Museum was created in 1980 to foster a better understanding of the life of the settlers in the Horn in the West outdoor drama. (See also www.facebook.com/horninthewest)

Staffed with interpreters in period clothing, the 18th century homestead gives visitors a glimpse into the past and a feeling for the daily lives of early mountain settlers including how they lived, and what constituted a 'typical' mountain homestead. The museum also provides insight into the self sufficiency of our forefathers by showing the routines and skills they possessed such as hearthside cooking, weaving, making candles, spinning, blacksmithing, etc.

The museum strives to recreate the atmosphere of a small mountain community around the time of the Revolutionary War when furnishings were sparse but the family was diverse with its religion, humor, and self sufficiency, creating a warm atmosphere.


We invite you to step back into the past and learn about everyday life on an early American mountain homestead. Hickory Ridge Living History Museum offers a variety of educational programs that focus on the local settlement period 200 years ago (1785 - 1805) when folks who settled into this region had to grow, create, and trade for the necessities of life. Hickory Ridge's educational programs allow participants to sample a taste of pioneer life as well as learning a variety of domestic skills.

All of Hickory Ridge Living History Museum's educational programs stress the inter-relatedness of the early settlers with nature, allowing participants to see and experience the self sufficiency of the people who made their homes in the hills and coves of the region.

The educational programs of Hickory Ridge Living History Museum include the general tour and children's craft workshops. In the general tour people of all ages enjoy exploring the historic buildings on the grounds, such as the Tatum cabin built in 1785, and learning the ways early settlers lived and survived. Optional craft workshops are available for pre-arranged groups who are interested in stepping into the past. Ask about what craft workshops are available when you call or email to schedule your group's visit. Popular craft workshops include corn husk doll making and candle dipping.

To schedule a school group call (828) 264-2120 or email hickoryridge@hickoryridgemuseum.com


The Hickory Ridge Living History Museum is located on Horn in the West Dr., just off US 321 / Blowing Rock Rd. in Boone. Or reach us from NC 105 Ext., by taking Horn Avenue one block to our venue.

Hickory Ridge Living History Museum

591 Horn in the West Drive

PO Box 295

Boone NC 28607

The museum shares a parking lot with Horn in the West, so if you see signs for Horn in the West you are in the right place.

Hickory Ridge can be found at the top/back of the parking lot.

The museum is easily accessible from any of the 3 incoming highways into Boone, 105, 421, and 321.

If you arrive in Boone via:

Highway 105 North

Cross the intersection of Hwy 321 and Hwy 105, go through the next stoplight (jct. with State Farm Rd.), take the first left onto Horn Avenue (First Citizens Bank is on the left corner). At the first stop sign, Hickory Ridge is on the left.

Highway 321

From the 700 block of 321 / Blowing Rock Rd. in Boone, turn onto Horn in the West Drive. Follow around the block, keeping right, until you reach our venue parking lot.

Highway 421

If traveling South, cross the intersection of Hwy 421 and Hardin St. (where Hwy 321 splits to the right) Take the 3rd road on the right, Horn in the West Drive, there will be signs to Hickory Ridge there. Follow this road until it intersects with Horn Ave. on the left. Hickory Ridge is at the top/back of the large parking lot of Horn in the West.

If traveling North, take a left at the Hwy 421 : Hwy 105 intersection. Then take the first right onto Horn Ave. At the first stop sign, Hickory Ridge and Horn in the West are on the left.


Horn in the West and Hickory Ridge Living History Museum are productions of the Southern Appalachian Historical Association Inc. (S.A.H.A.). It is supported by the town of Boone and over 1,000 local business in various ways. S.A.H.A is responsible for the continuation of the Horn in the West, Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, and related productions and events.


Museum Curator : Dave Davis

Dave Davis helped set up the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum in 1980. He left the museum in 1983 to pursue another career and returned in 2009. Dave has an intimate knowledge of the history of this area because he is descended from Revolutionary War hero Wm. Landrine Eggers, who was one of the first settlers of this area, and he has ancestral connections to Rebecca Bryan Boone.

The majority of the staff at Hickory Ridge Living History Museum are volunteers from the community and interns from Appalachian State University's public history and archaeology departments.


New volunteers are always welcome at the museum. Come and join us as a volunteer, and for a short time you can become a part of history. You will not only help to give our guests a brief look into the past and see how people lived in the 1800s, but you will become more knowledgeable about history and have a lot of fun in the process.

The areas of opportunity include interacting with the public or working behind the scenes. Interacting with the public would include: interpretation or craft demonstrations. Behind the scenes would include: gardening, maintenance, or costuming.

Volunteers may work a few hours a week, a month, or for certain special events or projects. We appreciate the generosity of your time, and we are sure that once you try it, you will want to come again!

If you would like to volunteer your time and talents, please email us at hickoryridge@hickoryridgemuseum.com or come by the museum when it is open and talk to Dave Davis, the museum's curator, about volunteering.


Come spend the Fourth of July with us as we celebrate our nation's independence in the style typical of the 1780’s and '90’s in North Carolina. The Declaration of Independence will be read aloud and members of the audience will have an opportunity to participate in the reading. The audience will also hear a eulogy for King George III while his dummy is burned in effigy. Those in attendance will toast with apple cider, reminiscent of the Toasts of Halifax in 1789. There will also be a military salute to the new nation by firing 13 shots from the black powder rifles, one shot for each of the original colonies. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.


Every year the museum participates in the Town of Boone's Annual Fourth of July (always July 4) and Christmas Parades (always the first Saturday in December). Come out and see the volunteers of the museum dressed in their period costumes. The parade route will travel along King Street from Horn in the West Drive to Water Street. For more information, call 828-268-6200.


Every year the museum's volunteers come in period dress and participate in the Hickory Ridge Games. The Hickory Ridge Games include events such as catching an apple on the end of a bayonet, throwing a frying pan, throwing a tomahawk and a race which involves sewing on a button, diapering a baby and peeling an apple.
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Hickory Ridge Living History Museum reviews

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  • What a cute little place tucked in the middle of nowhere There is a walking tour on the hour where a narrator in period costume takes you around cabins that have been created to portray the history....  more »
  • Very much enjoyed our visit to the Hickory Ridge Museum. Guide was wonderful in explaining the lives of the early settlers who occupied the cabins on the property. Beautiful grounds also.  more »
  • If you've ever been to Greenfield village then just know, that this place is absolutely nothing like that. There were like four cabins to look at, and it was a tour, not living history. The tour guide gave us a very long history lesson in the gift shop before we started and wasn't very charismatic about the topics. I never saw the show so I can't say anything about it. The bathrooms were disgusting and the gutter were about to fall off. All in all, not the experience that was advertised. I probably would not go back again.
  • A Walk back In Time. How Much Simpler Life Was , And HARDER.
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