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New Monument by Brenda Councill Will Honor Founders and Development of Boone

Clay Sculpture of pioneer portrait for Boone Monument by Brenda Councill

Boone, NC– A community-based project created by renowned artist, Brenda Councill is well underway.

The design includes life-size bronze portraits of representative pioneers that will crown the top of the stone monument and be placed along the King Street corridor. Families, businesses and organizations will be prominently and permanently displayed on four large bronze plaques. As early as 1823 Councill’s Store and Post Office existed on maps, but the settlement was renamed Boone in 1849 and finally incorporated as the county seat in 1872. Even the founders agreed to rename the town after Daniel Boone, whose love and skill for hunting and whose pioneering spirit led others to join him in the lush mountain region of North Carolina, including present-day Watauga County.  This monument honors all the early Appalachian pioneer families and African Americans whose courage, strength, and hard work laid the foundation upon which the town was built. Supporter Mary Bohlen and President of the NC Daniel Boone Heritage Trail, stated, our organization is honored to be part of this worthy endeavor.

Advocates continue to propose recommended placement for the Town of Boone and private property owners to consider. Financial support from descendants of early families, individuals, businesses and organizations are making this project possible.  Business donors include; Boone Drug, Inc., Creekside Electronics, Deal, Mosely & Smith, LLP., Eggers, Eggers, Eggers & Eggers, Attorneys at Law, Goodnight Brothers, Inc., Greene Construction, Inc., Miller and Johnson, PLLC. Featured organizations to date are Three Forks Baptist Assoc., heritage and historical groups such as The Daniel Boone Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and The NC Daniel Boone Heritage Trail, Inc. Family sponsors include Blair, Bingham, Brown, Clawson, Coffey, Councill, Critcher, Curtis, Deal, Dougherty, Eggers, Greene, Hardin, Harrison, Hodges, Howard, Linney, Miller, Moretz, Norris, Robinson, Triplett and Wilcox.

Loretta Clawson added, “As former Mayor of Boone I would like to say that I think this public art sculpture will be a great addition to our town. The concept is perfect. I look forward to seeing it completed.” Regional and state historians and genealogists are working with the supporters to insure accuracy and to help narrate the history, educational and cultural significance of this Appalachian region.

Artist rendering of the planned Boone Monument

Boone historian and retired educator, Mary Moretz exclaimed,  “It is my privilege to endorse this public art sculpture. Designed and created to honor the founders of Boone, the County Seat of Watauga County, in celebration of its sesquicentennial.  The artist carefully researched historic busts evoke the courage, strength, and determination necessary to settle the High Country. It is especially meaningful that this award-winning, nationally and internationally recognized artist is herself a descendent of the founders.” Rebecca Triplett-Johnson, Philip Triplett, Elizabeth Triplett Beam, Rex Triplett respectfully honor our descendants from the Triplett, Harden, Brown, Clawson families, we applaud and endorse the vision and work of the artist in the creation of this historic monument celebrating the history of Boone, NC along with its placement being on or near the historic site of Councill Store and original post office where once stood the beginning foundations of the town of Boone.

Supporters, Fred Councill and Martha Councill Leak stated, “As relatives of Jordan Councill we are thrilled and excited to support Brenda Councill and the extraordinary effort she has made to research the Councill family and bring forth a tribute to honor their pioneering achievement which has benefitted the development of Boone.”  Former resident Tracy Councill adds,  “ I grew up in Boone and my roots there still run deep. Such a concrete record of Boone’s early days would invite visitors and future generations to learn more about the history of our community.” 

Travis Critcher, a fifth generation resident relates, “The early settlers of Watauga and the Appalachian mountain region embodied many of the American cultural ideals of innovation, hard work, independence, faith, and community in unique ways.  These ideals empowered them to endure and adapt to the difficult climate and remoteness to cultivate a healthy self-reliant community which continues to this day.   This commemorative memorial not only acknowledges the early settlers of Watauga but has the opportunity to preserve how the culture and ideals of Watauga earliest settlers have contributed to the community that has made Watauga a desirable place to live throughout the generations.”  

The owners of Boone’s oldest surviving farmstead listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Blair Family, endorse the 150th Anniversary Commemorative Monument. “The artist brings her lifelong artistic expertise and skillfully merges it with her passion for honoring and preserving the diverse heritage of Boone.  Furthermore, permanently locating the monument in downtown  Boone, will tangibly link the 150 year history of Boone with the early township’s founding institution once known as Councill’s Store.” 

Well known author and historian, Randell Jones endorsed this project early on and commented, “The Town of Boone has a long and celebrated history of commemorating its connection to the life and legacy of Daniel Boone, America’s pioneer hero. Forty years after it’s first mayor, William L. Bryan, began his responsibilities in 1872, the good “colonel” single-handedly built the Boone Cabin Monument in 1912, a purposeful nod to attract tourism as had been done two years earlier along the lower Yadkin River in Davidson County with a monument of their own. The Daughters of the American Revolution arrived in 1913 to erect six cast iron markers in Watauga County alone of the 50 such markers spread across 400 miles in four states to establish their commemorative Daniel Boone Trail. And 50 years later, the Daniel Boone Wagon Train arrived annually for a dozen years to celebrate with a parade down King Street the region’s connection to a pioneer past, perhaps not historically accurate in its interpretation, but with the right spirit and intention to remind people of those who had come before and brought them to where they were. The 150th Anniversary monument planned for the Town of Boone is a wonderfully timed and appropriate continuation of heritage appreciation, civic pride, patriotism, and community promotion that every resident of the Town of Boone should value and every visitor welcome as evidence of a community who knows who it was before and is today, one who cares about its legacy into tomorrow. “

Levels of giving include a permanent place for your family tribute, business or organization on the bronze plaques. Your tax-deductible donation will be made to our fiscal agent The NC Daniel Boone Heritage Trail, Inc.  For more information please call 828.295.9277 or email: [email protected].

For more information on the artist visit: www.councill.net and Daniel Boone ncdanielboonetrail.org   

Artist Brenda Councill working on wax cast before the final bronze cast  
African-American pioneer clay portrait by Brenda Councill 
Clay sculpture of Pioneer Boone settler by Brenda Councill                                                                              photos by Phyllis Bumbaugh 2022