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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Appalachian Indian Road, Buffalo Trail (Boone Trail Highway Marker #136), UNC-Pembroke

  • Type


  • Subjects


    American Indian Monuments

    Colonial History

  • Creator

    Joseph Hampton Rich, Builder

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    This marker is in the shape of an arrowhead and stands approximately seven feet tall. The surface is a patchwork of irregular stones held with masonry, and both the front and rear faces are inset with a metal tablet. The front tablet shows the bas-relief image of a Native American intended to represent “Chief Sequoia” (Sequoyah) of the Cherokee but shows an Indian wearing a feather headdress more indicative of plains Indians. The rear shows a small tablet with the image of a buffalo (bison). This buffalo sculpture is the older of two known styles. It was cast in the shape of the bison with the word TRAIL along the bottom. Later versions were square with the word ROAD across the bottom. The marker was moved twice in its history at the university, and was reconstructed most likely after the first move. A comparison of photographs throughout the history of the marker indicates that the stones on the monument are likely not the original stones used during construction in the 1930s. The metal plaques on both sides were painted at some point after the final move.

    This Boone Highway marker has been numbered 136 on other online databases. The numbering system was simply the order in which Everett G. Marshall identified markers while researching his book, Rich Man, Daniel Boone. Everett was not aware of this marker and his book ended with number 135.

  • Custodian

    University of North Carolina at Pembroke

  • Dedication Date

    The marker was dedicated sometime around 1933.

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    34.684760 , -79.200800 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Series

    Boone Trail Highway Marker

  • Supporting Sources

      "A 98 Year Old Lumbee Indian of Pembroke, North Carolina and an Indian Arrow Head Trail Marker," in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, (accessed July 22, 2013) Link

      "J. Hampton Rich," from the "Images of North Carolina" digital collection, Davie County Public Library, (accessed January 21, 2014) Link

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

      Jones, Randell. “Markers for Boone’s Trail Have Rich History,” Journal West (Winston-Salem, NC) November 26, 2013, (accessed March 13, 2017) 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

      University of North Carolina at Pembroke. “Landmarks and Points of Interest” at, (accessed February 14, 2016) Link

      “Boone Trail Marker #136-Pembroke, NC,”, (accessed June 2, 2017) Link

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

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques

    Steel, stone and masonry

  • Subject Notes

    The marker at UNC-Pembroke also has the image of a bison on the rear face, possibly a reference to the idea that trade routes developed out of old bison paths and became the location of trade routes used by both white traders and Native Americans. The use of the Indian head and the bison, without the plaque of Daniel Boone, may reflect the history of UNC-Pembroke with its beginnings in 1887 as the Croatan Normal School, created by the North Carolina General Assembly for the training of Native American Public School teachers. The state legislature changed the name in 1911 to the Indian Normal School of Robeson County and again in 1913 to the Cherokee Indian Normal School of Robeson County. In 1941, the name was again changed to Pembroke State College for Indians and then to Pembroke State College in 1949. The UNC-Pembroke yearbook is called The Indianhead.

    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 monument is located directly in front of the Old Main building on Old Main Road (also known as West Railroad Street) in Pembroke.

  • Landscape

    The marker sits in a rectangular lawn area in the brick walkway in front of the building and is several steps from the Statue of Hamilton McMillan.

  • Relocated


  • Former Locations

    The Arrowhead Marker has been moved twice since it was erected. It was originally located on the Quad between Old Main and Sampson Hall, Pembroke, NC.

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