Documenting the American South

Doc South header logo Home
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes banner
  • Monument Name

    Boone Trail Highway (#15) / Squire and Sarah Boone, Mocksville

  • Type

    Marker

  • Subjects

    Historic Civic Figures

    Geography

    Colonial History

    Early Republic

  • City

    Mocksville

  • County

    Davie

  • Description

    The marker is a granite tablestone shaped like the tip of an arrowhead. The marker’s front holds the primary tablet to the Squire Boone family. The Boone Trail Highway tablet has been attached to the narrow left edge when viewed from front. The front tablet is in the shape of a classical Greek building forming the frame. The Boone Highway tablet is a steel Style-2 seen as early as 1919, used through 1926 and distinguished by the BOONE TRAIL HIGHWAY caption being in block letters. It holds an image in relief taken from Alonzo Chapel’s 1861 illustration of Daniel Boone and his hunting dog. A news article from 1918 states that a Boone Highway plaque was given to the school children of the county and a Boone Highway Association Chapter was being formed to also place a marker with other historical data. If this 1918 Boone tablet is the same as the one dedicated in 1925 it would be the earliest known example of a Style-2 tablet.

    This Boone Highway marker was numbered 15 by Everett G. Marshall. His interest and research of the markers led to the book, Rich Man: Daniel Boone. The numbering system was simply the order in which he found or became aware of a marker.

    Images: Boone Highway plaque | Memorial plaque

  • Inscription

    Boone tablet, top: BOONE TRAIL HIGHWAY Bottom: METAL FROM BATTLESHIP MAINE IN TABLET / DANIEL BOONE Memorial tablet: THIS MEMORIAL ERECTED / TO / [Left side] DANIEL BOONE / HUNTER, EXPLORER / BACKWOODSMAN, SOLDIER / SURVEYOR ROADBUILDER / LEGISLATOR, MAGISTRATE / HE LIVED AND LEARNED / WOODCRAFT IN DAVIE / COUNTY 1750-1765 / [Right side] SQUIRE AND SARAH BOONE / PARENTS OF DANIEL BOONE / PIONEERS OF THE YADKIN / WHOSE REMAINS ARE / INTERRED ONE MILE NW / IN JOPPA GRAVEYARD / 1749

    ERECTED BY THE / BOONE TRAIL HIGHWAY ASSOCIATION

  • Custodian

    Davie County

  • Dedication Date

    March 16, 1925

  • Decade

    1920s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.893730 , -80.561750 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Davie County Court House, Mocksville, N. C." in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (PO77), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Link

      "J. Hampton Rich," from the "Images of North Carolina" digital collection, Davie County Public Library, (accessed January 21, 2015) Link

      Jones Randell. “Markers for Boone’s Trail Have Rich History,” Winston-Salem Journal (Winston-Salem, NC), November 26, 2013, (accessed February 15, 2017) Link

      Jones, H.G. “Rich, Joseph Hampton,” NCPedia.org, (accessed March 22, 1917) Link

      Marshall, Everett G. Rich Man: Daniel Boone (Dugspur, VA: Sugar Tree Enterprises, 2003)

      Stanford, Raney. “Shades of Dan’l Boone! Says J.H. Rich,” The Daily Tarheel (Chapel Hill, NC), February 8, 1948

      “Boone Memorial,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed March 13, 2017) Link

      “Daniel Boone Marker #15 Mocksville, NC,” Waymarking.com (accessed March 13, 2017) Link

      “Kick From Horse Results Fatally,” Winston-Salem Journal (Winston-Salem, NC), September 1, 1918

      “The Boone Tablet,” Winston Salem Journal (Winston-Salem, NC), May 17, 1916

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Steel on granite from Mt. Airy

  • Sponsors

    Boone Trail Highway and Memorial Association

  • Subject Notes

    J. Hampton Rich was a well-known figure in North Carolina’s “Good Roads Movement” during the early 20th Century when public pressure was used to force enhancements in the public highway system. Attaining minor celebrity status he eventually extended his vision beyond the borders of his home state. Using the legacy of Daniel Boone as a hook, he first began to cross North Carolina and then the United States drumming up support for commemorative highway markers. Between 1917 and 1938 Rich was one of the most prolific commemorators in the United States. He claimed responsibility for hundreds of markers, some in places that had no connection to Boone at all like Washington, D.C.; Boston, Massachusetts; Pike’s Peak, Colorado and at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

    Rich was born in 1874 on land where the family of Daniel Boone may have once lived. What is certain though is that Daniel Boone spent many of his 21 years in North Carolina living in the area near Mocksville in Davie County and surely Rich's lifelong passion for Boone was influenced by his immersion in local lore surrounding the famous frontiersman. Rich, who became a well-known newspaper man in Winston-Salem, also developed a passion for good highways in the state. Very likely taking a lead from a series of markers to Boone placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution beginning in 1912, Rich combined his two passions and came to the idea of capitalizing on the pioneer’s fame as a way to encourage the building of better roads.

    In 1913, Rich established the Boone Trail Highway and Memorial Association with the chief purpose to raise awareness of the need for better roads in North Carolina. Rich also wanted to educate the public about the history and heritage of the pioneer era and promote patriotism. Beginning with the first documented marker, placed at East Bend in Yadkin County in 1917, Rich claimed to have placed about 360 tablets across the United States by 1938. Of that number, (which came from Rich) less than 60 originals are still known to exist and it may be impossible to ever know how many were actually incorporated into a highway memorial. Although it is known that he sold some in the early years Riches method of operation was typically to give a tablet, sometimes multiple tablets, to a community with their promise to raise funds to erect the highway marker. In some cases it was years before a marker was ever constructed and it is almost certain that many markers were never completed. The number of markers with documented proof of being completed is less than 150. As more digitally preserved newspapers from the period become available this number will likely increase.

    Each tablet with the image of Daniel Boone includes wording that it contains metal from the Battleship USS Maine sunk in Havana harbor in 1898 at the outset of the Spanish-American War. In 1916 with the help of then Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, Rich had acquired 300 pounds of metal salvaged from the ship. It is questionable that each plaque actually contained some of this metal. In a 1948 article from “The Daily Tar Heel” Rich is quoted as saying “the first tablets contained... metal from the battleship.” In addition to those featuring Daniel Boone, Rich also created tablets featuring “Cherokee Chief Sequoia” and a bison in an effort to mark ancient buffalo traces used by Native American and then Colonial settlers from the coast at Wilmington through the Great Smoky Mountains in the west. Very few of these were produced and few examples remain. Other efforts include tablets to Abraham Lincoln and possibly Davey Crockett. Regardless of the image on the tablet, these are lumped together under the heading of Boone Trail Highway and Memorial Association markers. The best current resource is Rich Man: Daniel Boone by Gary Marshall. His research efforts and the book’s publication in 2003 generated interest in finding and protecting the remaining markers.

    Rich lived in Chapel Hill in the years prior to his death in 1949 where he could be seen “striding down the village streets wearing his coon skin cap and maybe with his long rifle thrown over one arm.” He was also "apt any day to walk into one of the University’s history classes clad in his furry cap, and always on these occasions he is introduced to the students by the professors as Daniel Boone."

  • Location

    The marker is located on the Courthouse Square, Main Street, in downtown Mocksville to the left of the courthouse entrance. Across the street (US-158) in front at the right corner of the Davie County Register of Deeds is the Davie County War Memorial.

  • Landscape

    Seasonal greenery and bushes are planted around the courthouse building.

Know anything else about this monument that isn't mentioned here? If you have additional information on this or any other monument in our collection fill out the form at the Contact Us link in the footer. Thank you.