Watauga County :: Blowing Rock, Boone, Sugar Grove, and Valle Crucis
Watauga County is located in North Carolina. The 2000 U.S. Census listed the county's population as 42,695; the 2010 U.S. Census listed the population as 51,079. Its county seat is Boone.
The county was formed in 1849 from parts of Ashe County, Caldwell County, Wilkes County, and Yancey County. It was named for the Watauga River, whose name is said to be a Native American word, the meaning of which is in dispute among various histories with translations ranging from beautiful water, whispering waters, village of many springs, and river of islands, to name a few.
In 1861 parts of Watauga County, Burke County, Caldwell County, McDowell County, and Yancey County were combined to form Mitchell County. In 1911, parts of Watauga County, Caldwell County, and Mitchell County were combined to form Avery County.
Ashe County, North Carolina
Wilkes County, North Carolina
Caldwell County, North Carolina
Avery County, North Carolina
Johnson County, Tennessee
Boone took its name from the famous pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone, who on several occasions camped at a site generally agreed to be within the present city limits. Daniel's nephews, Jesse and Jonathan (sons of brother Israel Boone), were founders of the town's first church, Three Forks Baptist, still in existence today.
Boone was served by the narrow gauge East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (nicknamed "Tweetsie") until the flood of 1940. The flood washed away much of the tracks and it was decided not to replace them.
Boone is the home of Appalachian State University, a constituent member of the University of North Carolina. Appalachian State is the sixth largest university in the seventeen-campus system.
Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute also operates a satellite campus in Boone.
"Horn in the West", a dramatization of the life and times of the early settlers of the mountain area, which features Daniel Boone as one of its characters, has been performed in an outdoor amphitheatre above the town every summer since 1952. The original actor in the role of "Daniel Boone" was Ned Austin. His "Hollywood Star" stands on a pedestal on King Street in downtown Boone. He was followed in the role by Glenn Causey, who portrayed the rugged frontiersman for 41 years, and whose image is still seen in many of the depictions of Boone featured in the area today.
The late guitarist Michael Houser was born in Boone. He is best known as a founding member of and lead guitarist for the band Widespread Panic. The Grammy Award-winning guitar player Doc Watson also comes from the Boone area, as do many bluegrass musicians and Appalachian storytellers.
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