Daniel Boone in Ashe County

Ashe mountain view

West Jefferson as seen from Mount Jefferson, NC - See It on a Topo Map

Ashe County has long been said to have been home to frontiersmen hunters. Archeological evidence of Native Americans is found along the New River and the area named Old Fields is generally a term for the forest crop areas they left behind. We do have our own local legend of the type, Wilburn Walters. And it is said that some extraordinary expeditions were carried out by Benjamin Cuthbirth and fellows, long before Boone started for Kentucky through Cumberland Gap. In fact, the adventurers went to the Mississippi River, and perhaps down to New Orleans in their travels. While it was a year or two journey, still pretty Impressive for wilderness scouting and foot travel!

But we also own a bit of Daniel Boone history, in addition to the familial relationships in the area of Ashe County, and the friends of Boone who lived around New River and Obids. Now a lot of researchers point to Boone crossing the area at Cox's Gap or the Boone Trace up to Meat Camp, but as a natural explorer, familiar with the region and off on expeditions for food and knowledge, he also easily followed the route from the Boone cabins near Ferguson along Lewis Fork of the Yadkin River, the branches of which multiply into the mountains north all the way up near Calloway gap. I'll spectulate that he likely crossed Calloway Gap for visits, which are said to have brought him to a campsite along the New River, close to the family relation's farms.

Boone Map 1

Here Boone is reported to have visited while hunting or seeing the Calloways, two daughters of which were once been captured by indians along with Boone's own daughter Jemima from Booneborough. Benjmain Cutbirth also lived here and married Elizabeth Wilcoxen, a niece of Boone. The map below shows his campsite area, said to across the New River from Calloway Cemetery.

Boone Calloway map

From the New River campsite, it is said that Daniel Boone found a tall rock stele, looking like a petrified split rail fencepost, in the New River, and used it to mark his campsite for some years, then Tom Calloway admired it and wanted it for his grave marker. Boone was said to have proudly offered it for that purpose, and it stands even today in Calloway Cemetery, see the pictures below. However, some suggest that it may not be Tom calloway buried beneath it, who is said to have been placed in a wooden coffin made from the two halves of his dugout canoe. In fact, they suggest, it was actually one of his slaves buried there. Either way, it is a nice little story of the old days in Ashe County.

You can see the initials TC said to be carved by Daniel Boone into the stone.

calloway stele

Callowat stele initials

Also you can read the Marking Daniel Boone's Trail Through North Carolina, from the North Carolina Daughter's of the American Revolution (DAR) Magazine April 1914 or view it Here.





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Copyright 2011 by Jack Lynch. All rights reserved.