The outdoor theatre Horn in the West and the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum are undergoing revitalizations beginning this year thanks in part to Carson Sailor, a public history graduate student at Appalachian State University.
Owned and operated by the Southern Appalachian Historical Association, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve the cultural heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountain region through education and entertainment, Horn in the West was designed and built in 1952 by John Lippard and four students from N.C. State University’s School of Design. It is the oldest Revolutionary War outdoor drama space in the United States. Hickory Ridge Living History Museum was created in 1980 to foster a better understanding of the life of the European settlers depicted in the outdoor drama. Both the museum and the theatre are located in Daniel Boone Park in Boone.
“For 65 years we have told the story of the intrepid people of North Carolina who decided to rise up and fight against the British,” said Sailor. “The living history museum portrays what is going through the people’s minds…a lot of people up here were running from something… Either they were in some legal trouble and they found themselves up here, or they had finally found a way to work themselves out of the rigged indentured servitude system.”