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Chris Bennett has questions about the D Boone carvings

Daniel Boone credited with carvings on two trees in Adair County and they can both be found in one place, in Columbia, KY, today, revealed in this essay.
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By Chris Bennett

When I was growing up my boyhood hero was the legendary hunter and explorer, Daniel Boone. I remember going to the library and checking out books about Daniel Boone before I was old enough to read. My mother would often read them to me at night before bedtime.

My father actually built a log cabin / club house where I spent many hours as a child.


The fort was complete with gun ports to shoot at the pretend redskin Devils that rode by on their appaloosa ponies. (Now my great grandmother was a full-blooded Native American so I'm not trying to be culturally insensitive here) After all, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Roy Rogers and Fess Parker had taught us that it was OK to fight with the Indians, as long as we all shook hands at the end of the movie.

On our way to town from our home my mother would tell me about the tree that once stood near the border of Tabor and Gadberry on Highway 704. The one that Daniel Boone had carved on when he visited our area over 200 years before. Daniel Boone carved many trees in Kentucky Tennessee and Missouri on his long hunts. He is credited with carving two trees in Adair County one was in the Gradyville area and the most prominent one was on the road to Fairplay.

Sadly over the years other folks have carved Daniel Boone's name on trees for dubious reasons. Maybe it was just their way of remembering the great woodsman and explorer, maybe it was for attention. Many of you will remember that in the movie Sergeant York, one particular scene in the movie shows a carving that was done by Daniel Boone, the first white man in the valley of the three Forks of the Wolf River where Alvin York grew up and lived in the movie.

As a young man growing up in Fairplay with Daniel Boone as your hero, it's hard to describe how much pride I had knowing that Daniel Boone was the first white man to explore the area that was my home.

I have always wanted to see that highway 704 tree, she told me when the tree died it was cut down and the block of wood bearing the inscription was on display in the old library which is now City Hall. She did not know what had happened to it after they moved into the new library. Years later I was told that block of wood was moved to the Trabue Russell house which I had never been in untill a few weeks ago.

Several years ago I purchased a book about Daniel Boone that I put on a shelf and said I'm gonna read that one of these days. Finally I got around to reading it. It is called Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer by John Mack Faragher, published in the 1990s. I thought it was a fantastic book, it reignited my fascination with Boone. After I finished the book I went and took a tour of the Trabune Russell house to see the famous tree carvings.

I was accompanied by another Boone fan, the infamous Tim Green. Actually both Adair county tree carvings that are credited with Boone are there.

So my question: On display with the Boone carving was a newspaper article on how the tree carving had been analyzed by experts and declared to be authentic. On top of the carving however there is a piece of paper glued to a cardboard that kind of says this carving is a fake, or that is how I took it. Tim Green said it was better for us to not question it and just believe. I really want to know "was my whole childhood a lie?" Do the historians of Adair County believe that Boone actually carved on this tree or was my childhood A lie? I will say this, there is other carvings that I have seen of Boone's that appear to be in the same hand writing style.

When I was in the seventh grade Mr. Curry took us to Frankfort and we toured the old capital building, at that time it was a Kentucky history museum, there we saw Daniel Boone's honest to goodness rifle "tick-licker" I was awestruck. Of course when I got to be an adult I found out that the state historical society and bought that rifle from a snake-oil salesman, It was probably manufactured after Daniel Boone was already dead, so it's probably not his rifle.

Can anyone help me?

Thank You

Chris Bennett



This story was posted on 2016-11-10 08:17:40
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D. Boone carving at TRH - Chris Bennett wants to know more



2016-11-10 - Trabue-Russell House, 201 Jamestown Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Chris Bennett.
"My question: On display with the Boone carving was a newspaper article on how the tree carving had been analyzed by experts and declared to be authentic. On top of the carving however there is a piece of paper glued to a cardboard that kind of says this carving is a fake, or that is how I took it. Tim Green said it was better for us to not question it and just believe. I really want to know "was my whole childhood a lie?" Do the historians of Adair County believe that Boone actually carved on this tree or was my childhood A lie? I will say this, there are other carvings that I have seen of Boone's that appear to be in the same hand writing style. - Chris Bennett

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