Daniel Boone Self-Guided Driving Tour
The Association’s initial project was the creation of a self-guided driving tour of the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail. A special ISTEA appropriation of $55,000 was awarded to the Association to underwrite the cost of developing the tour. Twenty- five sites between Netherland Inn in Kingsport, TN and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park with Daniel Boone era (1750 – 1800) significance were identified. Special signs featuring Daniel Boone were commissioned by the Association and placed along the route in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia to provide driving directions and pinpoint the 25 identified sites.
The Association Historian provided a detailed narrative describing the historical significance of each of the 25 sites which was published under the title Driving the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail. The driving tour was officially opened with a dedication ceremony held on September 9, 2000 at Netherland Inn in Kingsport. The proclamation to “open” the trail was signed by TN Governor Don Sundquist, Congressman Rick Boucher (VA), Congressman Bill Jenkins (TN), Delegate Terry Kilgore (VA) and others, including Daniel Boone (aka Grant Hardin).
In conjunction with the dedication the Netherland Inn Association issued a Commemorative Edition postcard featuring the Daniel Boone Cabin. Local tradition (but unproven from primary sources) holds that Daniel and Rebecca Boone built this cabin in 1773 in Scott County, VA. Several years ago it was donated to the Netherland Inn Association and moved to its present location at the Netherland Inn complex in Kingsport where it serves as a children’s museum. The US Postal Service provided a special first day of issue stamp for the postcard. Following the ceremony the Daniel Boone Antique Car Club led the inaugural drive of the trail.
The Wilderness Trail Association produced a companion audio version of the driving narrative. Dr. Lawrence Fleenor, Association Historian, provided the narration, a local music group (Ralph Blizzard and the Island Road Revelers) was commissioned to produce background music (a five tune CD titled Fiddle Tunes for Tour) and professional announcer Carl Swan mixed the final production.
A four-color pamphlet describing the driving tour has been published and given wide spread distribution along all major highways in the region. This project was awarded the 2002 NETTA Pinnacle Award – Heritage Tourism Division.