United States Post Office, Boone, NC
By 1940, the New Deal era and its programs reached the farthest corners of the nation, including mountain towns such as Boone, NC. It was during this year that a beautiful stone post office was dedicated in Boone, NC. Yet, it was not merely the exterior that was a treasure for the town but the interior, as well. Along with the Works Progress Administrations building project that resulted in the construction of this post office was an artwork program to decorate the walls of federal post offices. The artwork that emerged from this program, specifically “Young Daniel Boone on a hunting expedition in Watauga Country,” helped to not only assert but solidify Boone’s identity within the nation.
Frank A. Linney House
Home to one of Boone’s prominent families the Linney House stands overlooking West King Street, as it has since the 1890s. Belonging to Frank A. Linney, and later his daughter, Margaret Linney Coffey, the house has expanded as the land it sits on has shrunk significantly in size, changing in purpose and boundaries alike.
Rivers Printing Company
The Rivers Printing Company building on West King Street in Boone, North Carolina housed the offices and print shop of the Watauga Democrat from 1933 until the mid 1980s. Initially published in 1888, The Watauga Democrat served the Town of Boone and Watauga County as the leading local newspaper, documenting the life of the small town and advocating for civic improvement projects such as highways, railroads, electricity and schools.
Watauga County Jail (Proper)
The Watauga County Jail built in 1889 is located in downtown Boone, just off main street. Boone maintained the fascia of a suburban house, while serving a more serious function. Built in 1889, the jail was the fourth jail built chronologically speaking in Boone. The building has not functioned as a jail since 1925 when it was decommissioned. Today the building, which features a mid-century facade, is home to Proper, a southern style restaurant.
The Rivers House, also known as the R. L. Clay House, was constructed circa 1930 for R. L. Clay. This one and a half story “period cottage” house, was in turn purchased by Robert Campbell Rivers, Jr., circa 1940. Situated on a thirteen-acre property, this house was donated to the town of Boone by Rachel Rivers-Coffey in 1998, the daughter of Robert Rivers, Jr. The Rivers family served the region with their role in the newspaper business, running not only the Watauga Democrat at the peak of their existence, but also the Blowing Rock Rocket and the Avery Journal.
Tweetsie Railroad Depot/Cafe Portofino
Near the campus of Appalachian State University is a building that now houses Café Portofino, a popular local bar and eatery; however, this building once served another purpose as the Tweetsie Railroad maintenance station, also known as the Linville River Railway Depot. For over half a century, people have been drawn to the Tweetsie attraction in Blowing Rock, NC. Tweetsie was originally more than a loop of track for tourists to experience, it was a railroad that connected Boone to other places thus driving business. Little do visitors know, the original Tweetsie depot is not in Blowing Rock but in the heart of downtown Boone, NC.
Farmers Hardware, located on West King Street in downtown Boone, North Carolina, was a quintessential part of downtown from its original opening as a hardware retailer in 1924. Adapting to the changes and pressures of technology and big-box stores, Farmer’s Hardware closed its doors in 2004, changed its business model, and reopened the following summer as an eclectic emporium called The Shoppes at Farmers Hardware. To this day Farmers has remained a local, family business, with Greene’s descendants providing a 21st-century vision for the business.
Built in 1938, the Appalachian Theatre was Boone’s only example of Art Deco architecture and the cultural hub for the High Country. Non-white audiences were not allowed until 1948, though, and the theater remained segregated into the 1960s. The theater showed movies and hosted live performances. Headline live performers included the Foggy Mountain Boys, Minnie Pearl, and Doc Watson. It closed in 2007, but the nonprofit organization Appalachian Theatre of the High Country is currently restoring its original architecture and bringing movies back to Downtown Boone.
Town of Boone Cemetery
The Boone City Cemetery is one of the oldest in Watauga County. The cemetery is nestled between Howard Street, Brown Street, Cone Hall and the parking lot behind Plemmons Student Union. Many leading citizens of the community are buried within its confines, including D.D. Dougherty and B.B. Dougherty, who founded Watauga Academy in 1899 (which would later become Appalachian State University), Dr. Walter Jones, his son John Walter Jones Jr., and wife Mattie Jones, and Manly and Martha Blackburn to name a few.
Kraut Creek (Boone Creek)
Kraut Creek, known more formally as Boone Creek, is a designated trout stream that flows through Downtown Boone and Durham Park, the heart of Appalachian State’s campus. It takes its name from Carolina Mountain Shredded Kraut, whose cannery was located near the creek’s headwaters on the northwest end of town close to the present-day Cooperative Extension building. The creek, which flows into the New River, has been damaged and distorted as Boone has grown. The town continues to expand and put pressure on natural resources, but the local government, university, nonprofits, and citizens have renewed their commitment to promote Kraut Creek’s health and opportunities for all to enjoy it.