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Monday, August 18, 2014

Boone Trail Highway Marker - Wytheville, VA

Boone Trail Highway Marker - Wytheville, VA

This dates back to the days of Auto Trails where the highways had names and not the numbering system we have today. Unlike most other auto trails, the Boone Trail wasn't a creation of a new route, but these markers were placed along existing routes.

The Boone Trail was the brainchild of J. Hampton Rich of North Carolina who was looking for a way to keep the memory of Boone alive. He contacted communities to raise funds to place an arrowhead shaped marker in their town. From 1913 to 1938 he was able to place 358 of these from coast to coast. He started a group called the Boone Trail Highway Association and for about a decade had a publication discussing the installation of new markers called the Boone Trail Herald.

Today, most of the 358 are gone. As highways are decommissioned or widened, the marker is often removed, often without thought about what is being taken away.How many of the markers are still out there? There is a group out there called the Boone Trail Highway & Memorial Re-Association dedicated to finding out, and they've located about 60.

The marker in Wytheville was originally placed in 1928 and rebuilt in 2005 according to the modern marker next to it. This marker was located along The Lee Highway, which became US11 in Wytheville.

Boone Trail Highway Marker's Marker  - Wytheville, VA

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