Boone, North Carolina

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Boone, North Carolina
Town of Boone
West King Street
West King Street
Official logo of Boone, North Carolina
Coordinates: 36°12′41″N 81°40′7″W / 36.21139°N 81.66861°W / 36.21139; -81.66861Coordinates: 36°12′41″N 81°40′7″W / 36.21139°N 81.66861°W / 36.21139; -81.66861
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
CountyWatauga County
Named forDaniel Boone
 • TypeCouncil-manager
 • MayorRennie Brantz [1]
 • Total6.07 sq mi (15.72 km2)
 • Land6.07 sq mi (15.72 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation3,333 ft (1,015.9 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total17,122
 • Estimate (2016)[2]18,834
 • Density2,800/sq mi (1,100/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes28607-28608
Area code(s)828
FIPS code37-07080[3]
GNIS feature ID1009539[4]

Boone is a town located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, United States. Boone's population was 17,122 in 2010. Boone is the county seat of Watauga County and the home of Appalachian State University. The town is named for famous American pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone, and every summer since 1952 has hosted an outdoor amphitheatre drama, Horn in the West, portraying the British settlement of the area during the American Revolutionary War and featuring the contributions of its namesake. It is the largest community and the economic hub of the seven-county region of Western North Carolina known as the High Country.

In 2012, Boone was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the U.S. by U.S. News.[5]


Boone as seen from Howard's Knob

Boone took its name from the famous pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone, who on several occasions camped at a site generally agreed to be within the present city limits. Daniel's nephews, Jesse and Jonathan (sons of brother Israel Boone), were members of the town's first church,[6] Three Forks Baptist, still in existence today.[7]

Boone was served by the narrow gauge East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (nicknamed "Tweetsie") until the flood of 1940. The flood washed away much of the tracks and it was decided not to replace them.

Boone is the home of Appalachian State University, a constituent member of the University of North Carolina. Appalachian State is the sixth largest university in the seventeen-campus system. Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute also operates a satellite campus in Boone.

"Horn in the West" is a dramatization of the life and times of the early settlers of the mountain area. It features Daniel Boone as one of its characters, and has been performed in an outdoor amphitheater near the town every summer since 1952. The original actor in the role of "Daniel Boone" was Ned Austin. His "Hollywood Star" stands on a pedestal on King Street in downtown Boone.[citation needed] He was followed in the role by Glenn Causey, who portrayed the rugged frontiersman for 41 years, and whose image is still seen in many of the depictions of Boone featured in the area today.

Boone is a center for bluegrass musicians and Appalachian storytellers. Notable artists associated with Boone include the late, Grammy Award-winning bluegrass guitar player Doc Watson and the late guitarist Michael Houser, founding member of and lead guitarist for the band Widespread Panic, both Boone natives, as well as Old Crow Medicine Show, The Blue Rags, and Eric Church.

The Blair Farm, Daniel Boone Hotel, Jones House, John Smith Miller House, and US Post Office-Boone are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[8]

Geography and climate[edit]

Boone is located at 36°12′41″N 81°40′7″W / 36.21139°N 81.66861°W / 36.21139; -81.66861 (36.211364, −81.668657)[9] and has an elevation of 3,333 feet (1015.9 m) above sea level. An earlier survey gave the elevation as 3,332 ft and since then it has been published as having an elevation of 3,333 ft (1,016 m). Boone has the highest elevation of any town of its size (over 10,000 population) east of the Mississippi River. As such, Boone features, depending on the isotherm used, a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb), a rarity for the Southeastern United States, bordering on a subtropical highland climate (Cfb) and straddles the boundary between USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6B and 7A;[10] the elevation also results in enhanced precipitation, with 52.7 inches (1,340 mm) of average annual precipitation. Compared to the lower elevations of the Carolinas, winters are long and cold, with frequent sleet and snowfall. The daily average temperature in January is 31.2 °F (−0.4 °C),[11] which gives Boone a winter climate more similar to coastal southern New England rather than the Southeast, where a humid subtropical climate predominates. Blizzard-like conditions are not unusual during many winters. Summers are warm, but far cooler and less humid than lower regions to the south and east, with a July daily average temperature of 68.5 °F (20.3 °C).[11] Boone typically receives on average nearly 35 inches (89 cm) of snowfall annually, far higher than the lowland areas in the rest of North Carolina. On January 18, 1966, the temperature fell to −18 °F (−28 °C).[12]

Climate data for Boone, North Carolina
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 41.6
Daily mean °F (°C) 31.2
Average low °F (°C) 20.7
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.78
Average snowfall inches (cm) 10.3
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 11.4 11.0 11.6 12.0 13.3 13.5 13.5 12.6 10.0 9.1 9.7 11.3 139.0
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 4.5 4.0 2.2 1.3 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 0.8 3.2 16.2
Source: NOAA (normals 1981–2010)[11]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201618,834[2]10.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 13,472 people, 4,374 households, and 1,237 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,307.0 people per square mile (890.7/km²). There were 4,748 housing units at an average density of 813.0 per square mile (313.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.98% White, 3.42% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 1.19% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. 1.64% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[3]

There were 4,374 households out of which 9.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 21.0% were married couples living together, 5.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 71.7% were non-families. 38.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.97 and the average family size was 2.63.[3]

The age distribution is 5.8% under 18, 65.9% from 18 to 24, 12.1% from 25 to 44, 9.1% from 45 to 64, and 7.1% who were 65 or older. The median age was 21 years. Both the overall age distribution and the median age are driven by the presence of the local university, Appalachian State. For every 100 females, there are 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.7 males.[3]

The median household income is $20,541, and the median family income is $49,762. The per capita income is $12,256. 37.0% of the population and 9.2% of families were below the poverty line.[3]

Men had a median income of $28,060 versus $20,000 for women. However, poverty statistics that are based on surveys of the entire population can be extremely misleading in communities dominated by students, such as Boone. Out of the total population, 6.3% of those under the age of 18 and 9.1% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.[3]



Boone is mainly served by three local newspapers:

A smaller newspaper, The Appalachian, is Appalachian State University's campus newspaper; it is published twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In addition to the locally printed papers, a monthly entertainment pamphlet named Kraut Creek Revival has limited circulation and is funded by a Denver, NC-based newspaper.


Law and government[edit]

Boone operates under a mayor-council government. The city council consists of five members. The mayor presides over the council and casts a vote on issues only in the event of a tie. As of December 2015, the Town Council members are: Rennie Brantz, Mayor, and Councilors: Lynne Mason (Mayor Pro-Tem), Jennifer Teague, Loretta Clawson, Charlotte Mizelle and Jeannine Underdown Collins.


Industrial, commercial, and residential development in the town of Boone is a controversial issue due to its location in the mountains of Appalachia. On October 16, 2009, the town council accepted the "Boone 2030 Land Use Plan."[16] While the document itself is not in any way actual law, it is used by the town council, board of adjustment, and other committees to guide decision making as to what types of development are appropriate.[17]

In 2009, the North Carolina Department of Transportation began widening 1.1 miles of U.S. 421 (King Street) to a 4-to-6-lane divided highway with a raised concrete median from U.S. 321 (Hardin Street) to east of N.C. 194 (Jefferson Road), including a new entrance and exit to the new Watauga High School, at a cost of $16.2 million.[18] The widening has displaced 25 businesses and 63 residences east of historic downtown King Street.[19] The project was slated to be completed by December 31, 2011, but construction continued into the spring of 2012.

Points of interest[edit]

Notable residents[edit]

Doc Watson sculpture in downtown Boone


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-08-06. Retrieved 2015-07-31.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ The 10 Best Places to Retire in 2012 Archived 2015-10-16 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Philosophy of Ministry". Three Forks Baptist Church. Retrieved 2017-01-13.
  7. ^ Arthur, John Preston (1915). A History of Watauga County, North Carolina. Richmond: Everett Waddey Co. p. 30. Retrieved 2017-01-13.
  8. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  10. ^ "What is my Hardiness Zone?". Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  11. ^ a b c "NOWData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  12. ^ "BOONE, NORTH CAROLINA – Climate Summary". Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on 2015-05-12. Retrieved 2015-06-04.
  14. ^ "About Us | Site". Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  15. ^ "WFDD in the High Country on 100.1". Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  16. ^ "Boone2030Blogspot". TownOfBoone. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
  17. ^ "Boone 2030 Land Use Plan PDF" (PDF). Lawrence Group. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
  18. ^ "NC DOT US421 Widening Project". NCDOT. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
  19. ^ "statedotpaves". 2007-03-16. Archived from the original on 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  20. ^ The baseball Cube. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  21. ^ Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  22. ^ The Baseball Cube. Retrieved 15 November 2018.

External links[edit]