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King Street
Nickname(s): The Heart of the High Country
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
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Watauga County
Incorporated 1872
 - Mayor Loretta Clawson
 - Total 6.07 sq mi (15.72 km2)
 - Land 6.07 sq mi (15.72 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 3,333 ft (1,015.9 m)
Population (2007 Est.)
 - Total 13,843
 Density 2,384/sq mi (920/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 28607-28608
Area code(s) 828
FIPS code 37-07080[1]
GNIS feature ID 1009539[2]

Boone is a town located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, USA. Boone is the county seat of Watauga County and the home of Appalachian State University. The town is named for famous pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone, and every summer since 1952 has hosted an outdoor amphitheatre portrayal of the life and times of its namesake. A statue of Boone (photograph below) is located on the Appalachian State campus near the "duck pond". The statue was sculpted by Appalachian State University art department member the late Sherry Edwards. Garey Durden, a retired Professor Emeritus of Economics at Appalachian State was the body model for the Boone sculpture.



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 founders of the town's first church, Three Forks Baptist, still in existence today.[citation needed] Boone was served by the narrow gauge East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (nicknamed "Tweetsie") until the flood of 1940.

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

"Horn in the West", a dramatization of the life and times of Daniel Boone, has been performed in an outdoor amphitheatre above the town every summer since 1952. Its original "Daniel Boone" was Ned Austin. His "Hollywood Star" stands on a pedestal on King Street in downtown Boone.

The late guitarist Michael Houser was born in Boone. He is best known as a founding member of and lead guitarist for the band Widespread Panic. The Grammy Award-winning guitar player Doc Watson also comes from the Boone area, as do many bluegrass musicians and Appalachian storytellers.

Geography and climate

Daniel Boone statue on the campus of Appalachian State University

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)[3] and has an elevation of 3,333 feet (1015.9 m) above mean 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 a subtropical highland climate, a rarity for cities in the South. During summer, high temperatures in Boone are typically 78 °F (25 °C) or below, noticeably cooler than the lowland areas to the east and south, and summers are also considerably less humid than in other parts of the Carolinas. In comparison to other cities in the Carolinas, winters are long, harsh, and cold, with frequent sleet and snowfall. Blizzard-like conditions are not unusual during most winters. Boone's winters are more similar to that of New England than the South. Boone typically receives on average nearly 40 inches of snowfall annually, which is far higher than the lowland areas in the rest of North Carolina, which receive less than 10 inches of snowfall annually on average.

Climate data for Boone, North Carolina
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 38
Average low °F (°C) 21
Precipitation inches (cm) 4.5
Source: Weatherbase 2007


As of the census[1] 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/sq mi (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.[1]

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.[1]

The age distribution is 5.8% under the age of 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 years of age or older. The median age was 21 years. Both the overall age distribution and the median age are typical for communities dominated by a large university, here Appalachian State. For every 100 females there are 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.7 males.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]




Boone is served by three local newspapers. The Watauga Democrat is published on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week. The Mountain Times and High Country Press are weekly publications. The Appalachian State University campus also has a newspaper, The Appalachian, published twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


WATA 1450 AM is predominantly News Talk.
WASU 90.5 FM is a college radio station run from the Appalachian campus.
MIX 102.3 WECR FM is an adult contemporary station, mostly music, also Carolina Tar Heels sports network, and Carolina Panthers football.

Law and government

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 October 2009, the City Council members are: Loretta Clawson, Mayor; Lynne Mason, Councilor, Mayor Pro-tempore; and Councilors: Rennie Brantz, Janet Pepin, Stephen Phillips, and Jamie Leigh.[4]

Development controversy

Boone currently has zoning laws and defined urban/rural growth areas, but lacks a long-term land use plan that dictates how the city can grow. There is no clear indication as to the future of Boone's development. Some signs indicate that local government bodies are beginning to examine the long-term effects of development more closely – for example, a 2005 moratorium [5] that limited multi-family developments to 24 or fewer units while the town examined the impact of such developments. The North Carolina Department of Transportation plans to begin widening 1.2 miles of King Street / US 421 in 2009. As planned, the widening project will stop short of the historic downtown stretch of King Street, but will nonetheless displace 25 businesses and 63 residences east of that point.[6]

Points of interest

Notable Residents


External links


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