Portrait of Daniel Boone by Chester Harding. Image Source: National Portrait Gallery.
Daniel Boone was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 1734 to a Quaker family. Over the course of his life, Boone was a hunter, explorer, and soldier. He rose to fame for his exploits as a frontiersman and trailblazer who played an important role in the settlement of Kentucky. He has long been remembered as one of the men responsible for opening the West to further exploration and settlement. Boone is memorialized in popular culture, which often exaggerates his exploits, including James Fenimore’s classic novel “The Last of the Mohicans.” Regardless, Boone’s willingness and desire to blaze a path into western Virginia played a key role in helping form the state of Kentucky and inspired people to move westward. The Daniel Boone Homestead in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania is where this Folk Hero and American Legend was born.
The Early Life of Daniel Boone
“Any normal and healthy boy would have reveled in a youth similar to that of Daniel Boone. He was the fourth of seven brothers; and was born on the banks of the Delaware River about twenty miles above Philadelphia. His place in history can be better remembered than by dates when you know that he was just three years younger than George Washington. When he was three years old, the family moved upstate to a frontier settlement that has since become the city of Reading. Here he spent his boyhood and his early youth, and here he took his first lessons in a school that was to help him through all his life, the Wilderness.”
— Stewart Edward White, Daniel Boone, Wilderness Scout, 1922.
The Daniel Boone Homestead
The Daniel Boone Homestead is located in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania. It is the site of the birth of the legendary American Hero, Daniel Boone, in 1734. The site offers a unique look at the community that formed in the Oley Valley during Pennsylvania’s Colonial Period. The site includes 579 acres of land, the Boone House, six other eighteenth-century structures, a lake, picnic areas, and recreational facilities.
In addition to memorializing the life of Boone, particularly his youth in Pennsylvania, the site interprets the lives of the homestead’s later residents, the Maugridge and DeTurk Families, their slaves, indentured servants, and apprentices, as a microcosm of eighteen-century life in the Oley Valley.