Blacksmithing was an essential skill on the frontier. Every nail was made by hand. Every horse had to be shod. Every hinge, tool, and knife blade was produced at the forge. Come out and meet our expert blacksmith, Mark Ramsey, and watch him work. He’ll be glad to answer your questions and explain what he is doing.
We are really geared up for the annual Spring Muster and Trade Faire on April 18 and 19 at the Blockhouse. Our friend Charlie Brown will have his longhunter camp set up again this year and will be ready to demonstrate essential frontier survival skills such as hide tanning and leather work. He will also have beautiful handmade leather items for sale.
at the Wilderness Road Blockhouse
at Natural Tunnel State Park
April 18 & 19, 2015
Click here to view the flyer.
Please note that we have added a new button to our About page entitled 1775 Boone Trace. Our friend and DBWTA member, Randell Jones has been working on this interactive map for several months and has offered its use to groups who are working up and down the Boone Historic Corridor to preserve the original pathway that Boone blazed in 1775. We appreciate the opportunity to support Randell’s work and to offer this interactive map for our readers’ use.
Randell is a highly acclaimed author, lecturer, and storyteller from North Carolina. Linking to the map will not only give you a sense of Boone’s movements between the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina to Fort Boonesborough in Kentucky, it will also give you access to extensive information about Randell’s many books dealing with the early frontier in North Carolina, Southwestern Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and beyond as the Westward Movement progressed. We know you will enjoy learning about his many publications, and we appreciate being able to offer our readers access to this excellent interactive map.
Please follow the link below to take the tour.
Beginning on March 10, Curtis Penix, an avid hiker from Monroe, Michigan plans to walk in the footsteps of his 5X great grandfather, Joshua Penix, who arrived at Fort Boonesborough in 1779. Curtis plans a 16-day hike along Boone Trace, as did his grandfather, beginning at Kingsport, TN on March 10 and terminating at Fort Boonesborough March 26.
He will walk the entire route, carry his own food and sleep under the stars. Others have traveled the general route of the Trace; but, Penix will hike the Trace using the primitive trails as much as possible. The Boone Trace was the first road ever blazed into Kentucky.
Penix says “I thought it would be interesting to travel the road my ancestor had traveled. Even though this road helped to carry 300,000 pioneers into the land we now know as Kentucky, it does not exist today as a singular route. Much of the old path has been paved
over as residential streets or 2 lane highway. The portions which followed creeks were abandoned for wider roadways and left to grow over. Much has been tilled under for agriculture. Most of the original Boone Trace has been lost the way an artist would paint over the original painting on a canvas. In order to walk with Joshua, I need to peel back the layers of new paint to reveal the original masterpiece that Boone and his men created.”
You can follow the progress of Curtis Penix through his website, facebook and twitter feeds. To get to his website just follow the link below.
After enjoying marshmallows, hot chocolate, Santa Clause, live entertainment and all the other festivities at the mouth of the tunnel walk on over to the Carter Cabin to hear our interpreters talk about the history of the cabin and other local history.
Jean Livingston Brown has been a Natural Tunnel State Park volunteer and Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association reenactor for many years. Click here to access the full article and photos!
Click here to view our newest article!
Bob McConnell has lived his entire life in Scott County, Va., and his volunteer record reflects the passion and devotion he has for his hometown area. If you have ever visited the Daniel Boone Wilderness Road Trail or enjoyed a visit to The Blockhouse and The Wilderness Road Blockhouse Visitor Center in Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield, Va., you have benefited from the contributions of McConnell.
About the book: The Blockhouse On The Holston
The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association has published a history of the Blockhouse that was built in 1775 on the North Fork of the Holston by John Anderson. His fortified home became a landmark along the road west, the Wilderness Road, marked by Daniel Boone that same year. Over the next thirty years, some 300,000 people passed Anderson’s home on their journey through Cumberland Gap and on into what would become the state of Kentucky, and further westward.
William L. Anderson, a direct descendant of John, has written a well-researched book that tells the story, the history of the home that became known to posterity as “The Blockhouse,” and its part in the expansion westward of our new nation. The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association is proud to offer this book that tells, for the first time in such detail, the very significant part played in our nation’s history by the pioneer settlers of the western frontier during the last quarter of the eighteenth century.
Also included in the book are many brief biographies of significant players in the story, maps, an article on Fort Blackmore, and the diary of early explorer Dr. Thomas Walker.
The book may be purchased for $19.95 at Natural Tunnel State Park at the Visitor’s Center and at the Wilderness Road Blockhouse Interpretive Center (276-940-2674) and at the law offices of Lisa Ann McConnell in Duffield. Or contact Robert E. McConnell at email@example.com or 276-452-4520