By Jesse Wood
The Town of Boone and the Daniel Boone Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution sponsored a dedication for the restoration of a historic mural located inside the Downtown Boone Post Office on Monday afternoon.
The dedication featured remarks from officials with the local chapter of DSAR – Regent Zela Beckett and Chair Mary Moretz; officials with the state DSAR chapter – Regent Elizabeth Chandler Graham, State Historian Robynn Rutledge, Organizing Secretary Cricket Crigler, and Historic Preservation Chair Miriam Smith; and Boone Mayor Pro-Tem Rennie Brantz, who said the mural is of “enormous importance” to the town’s heritage.
The mural restoration is the “finishing touch” on the renovation of the Downtown Boone Post Office, according to architect Randy Jones in a prior article in High Country Press.
In November 2013, the Boone Town Council hired Raleigh-based conservationist David Goist to preserve Alan Tompkins mural titled “Daniel Boone on a Hunting Trip in Watauga County” for $8,610. The Daniel Boone Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution helped to fund the costs of the restoration.
This mural originated as part of a national 1939 contest sponsored by the WPA and the Treasury Department, according to research by Eric Plaag that was published in the December 2013 High Country Magazine.
Has Plaag noted, the original mural, which featured “a couple of hungry-looking tobacco growers in a low-land field,” was “cloaked in controversy,” so much so that the local and federal officials brought Tompkins back to Boone to create a painting that was more representative of Boone.
In the end and based on the feedback, he created the painting depicting the frontiersman on a hunting trip.