About Daniel Boone Homestead
The Daniel Boone Homestead is the birthplace of famous American pioneer Daniel Boone, a legendary frontiersman and one of the most famous explorers of his lifetime and achieved iconic status within US folklore.
History of the Daniel Boone Homestead
Located near Reading, Pennsylvania, the Daniel Boone Homestead contains a number of historic buildings including the restored main house and an eighteenth century blacksmith’s shop.
Squire Boone, Daniel’s father, first built a log cabin (with one wall of native stone) in the Oley Valley in 1730, where his son Daniel was born in 1734. In 1741, the property was extended when Boone purchased 25 acres for pasture. Young Daniel was given the responsibility for tending the cattle.
The Boones were part of the Quaker community: they caused shockwaves when two of their children married non-Quakers. In 1750, the family moved south, perhaps to start afresh.
Daniel Boone later became known for his exploration and settlement of Kentucky, which was beyond the Thirteen Colonies in the frontier.
When they left, ownership of the house was transferred to William Maugridge, a relative from Philadelphia and an associate of Benjamin Franklin. The house was expanded around this time, adding a second story and a so-called ‘bible closet’, a small space used for personal prayer and contemplation.
Maugridge died in 1766 and the house was purchased by John DeTurk, who remodelled the house completely, rebuilding it out of stone and adding a smokehouse. After his death, the homestead changed times several more hands, before efforts were finally made to preserve it in 1926.
In 1937, the homestead was sold to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and today it is open to the public.
The Daniel Boone Homestead today
Exhibitions on display at the Daniel Boone Homestead tell the story of Boone’s youth and of the lives of the settlers who lived in the area at the time. Displays focus on the lives of the families who lived at the Homestead, the Boones, the Maugridges and the DeTurks.
Additionally, the Daniel Boone Homestead hosts a number of historic programs and has almost 600 acres of historic grounds. The house is open for guided and self-guided tours between Friday and Sunday. Grounds are open daily from sunrise to sunset, and are well worth exploring if you have time.
Getting to the Daniel Boone Homestead
The homestead is 50 miles north west of Philadelphia: if you’re driving, head up the Highway 422, also known as the Benjamin Franklin Highway, and turn off at Daniel Boone Road. The town of Reading is about 20 minutes drive away, and there are amenities on road. The homestead has plenty of parking.
You’ll struggle to find a bus to take you out here: driving or hitching a lift is the best bet.
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