By Harley Nefe
Personally invited guests were able to attend a reenactment of Daniel Boone’s wedding on the grounds of the Hickory Ridge History Museum on Aug. 28 at 6 p.m.
The Southern Appalachian Historical Association, whose mission is to explore, preserve and share the region’s rich cultural heritage, held this event as a fundraiser to help restore one of the cabins on the property where rain and water damage has started to rot the logs.
The cabin that is needing to be restored is the Tatum Cabin, which is the oldest cabin on the property. It is estimated to date back as early as 1785 and was originally located near Elk Crossroads in what is now Todd. The cabin was donated to the SAHA by the Tatum family in the 1950s. It is typical of the times and represents a home Daniel Boone would have lived in.
“We are trying to raise some funds to help supplement a partial grant that we got to redo the logs,” said Marrena Greer, who is the operational manager. “We have a grant from a company that gave us part of what our estimate was to redo it, so we are having a fundraiser to help add to that fund.”
Attendants were able to make donations toward the cause.
Daniel Boone married Rebecca Ann Bryan on Aug. 14, 1756, and due to rain, SAHA had to postpone the event past the anniversary.
When Daniel and Rebecca got married, it was a triple wedding. There were two other couples who also got married at the same time; however, the names of those individuals are unknown.
For the reenactment, Cal Greene and Freda Sheppard also got married.
After the ceremony, guests were invited to the Coffey Cabin for food and refreshments.
Apart from the wedding reenactment, SAHA has been doing other events throughout the summer with the Hickory Ridge Living Museum.
“We’ve had a steady flow,” SAHA Board of Directors member Nickie Spinks said. “We space out tours and limit the number of people in the tours, and we rope the cabins off so nobody can stand close to us. Everybody has been so appreciative and sometimes I think we are Boone’s best kept secret.”
While the Hickory Ridge Living Museum has remained open, the Horn in the West drama has not been presented this summer due to COVID-19 concerns. It is the first time in the drama’s 69-year history that it could not be presented.
“Every little thing that we can do including this (reenactment) just helps our hurting hearts,” said Billy Ralph Winkler, who is the SAHA Board of Directors Chairman. “Those of us who have been with this and love everything the Southern Appalachian Historical Association has done and Horn in the West in particular, it broke our hearts to announce we weren’t doing (Horn in the West). But we are absolutely determined we are not going to stop for any reason or for anything. We are still going, and this little gathering is just something else to show that we are still alive, and we are not giving up for any reason.”