The Hickory Ridge Living History Museum is located in Daniel Boone Park on Horn in the West Drive in Boone. Staffed with interpreters in period clothing, the 18th century homestead gives visitors a glimpse into the past and a feeling for the daily lives of early mountain settlers including how they lived, and what constituted a 'typical' mountain homestead.
Built before 1785, Tatum is the oldest structure at Hickory Ridge. Markings in lower logs indicate it had a split log floor, and therefore was possibly a fort or trading post. It was donated in 1958 to SAHA and moved from Todd, NC, to its current site. By 1802, the already decades-old structure was inhabited by James and Amey Tatum and children. Eldest child, Sarah Tatum, married Squire Wilcoxson, the grandson of Daniel Boone's sister, Sarah.
The Coffey Cabin was built in 1875 near Blowing Rock by Jules Triplett for Thomas Carlton Coffey and his bride, Martha Ellen Cook, in anticipation of their marriage. Tom and Ellen raised 13 children in this one-and-a-half-story home. The structure was donated to SAHA in the 1950's. Roman numerals carved to help reconstruct it can be seen in the cabin's logs.
Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers in Boone built this small cabin in 1939 to use as a bunkhouse while building a downtown school. Built using a very old and traditional method of quick log cabin construction, the cabin is a good reproduction of a frontier style in the 1700s.
The Museum Gift Shop is housed in a log cabin which originally had been erected in Watauga County and later moved to Caldwell County. A mid-nineteenth century construction, it was returned home to Watauga when it was donated to Hickory Ridge by the Frazier family, long-time friends of Southern Appalachian Historical Association.
Various other cabins from the High Country have been donated to Hickory Ridge Living History Museum. Some of the buildings, including the "Black Horse Tavern" and "Blacksmith Shop," are combinations of materials from these donated cabins. A tavern was not just a place to "make merry." It was a place for a traveler to find a good meal and bed for a night. It also functioned as a trading post where a person might trade goods for supplies. The 18th century blacksmith made many necessary living items, such as horseshoes, axes, plow points, cooking/sewing tools