ASU Student Research Suggests Junaluska May Be Oldest Black Community in Western North Carolina

Watauga Democrat’s Anna Oakes recapped the May 7th presentations of research conducted by Appalachian State University students. Two separate projects sought to uncover the cultural importance of Boone’s Junaluska community and to survey the neighborhood’s existing structures and homes for historic designation possibilities. Among the significant findings, Oakes summarized the bibliographic work of Appalachian State University history major and Historic Preservation Commission intern, Emily Bastress. While exact dates for the community’s founding remain hard to pinpoint, Bastress suggested that:

Junaluska could be the first continuing black community established in Western North Carolina.

Read the full story here.

First Annual Junaluska Jubilee, A Great Success

The Junaluska Heritage Association hosted the first annual Junaluska Jubilee this past Saturday, April 21st at the Boone Mennonite Brethren Church. The rain held off for the Ronda Horton memorial service and bench dedication as well as for the afternoon meal and entertainment. Check out The Appalachian Online, Appalachian State’s student newspaper, for some great photo coverage of the Jubilee by photography editor Olivia Wilkes.

High Country Press published a video clip from the service and some wonderful photos of the bench dedication and food!


Junaluska Heritage Association Celebrates One Year

Last Saturday, February 4, the Junaluska Heritage Association celebrated its first year at the Boone Mennonite Church with a planning retreat for the Junaluska Jubilee, scheduled for April. More details on this exciting event are forthcoming.

Junaluska has received some news coverage in the past couple months. On January 18, the Watauga Democrat ran this editorial: “Our View: Unburying the Past” In January, Kellen Moore wrote an article in the Watauga Democrat about the Junaluska History Project, a JHA initiative, and its ongoing work to unearth the African American history of Boone and Watauga County. She also discussed the JHA’s one year celebration retreat and building community interest in being considered for historic district designation. Boone’s Historic Preservation Commission held a public presentation of its draft historic preservation guidelines on December 6, 2011. Anna Oakes’ High Country Press article covering the public charrette mentioned the presence of Junaluska residents and JHA members and their concern that the community be considered for historical designation based on Junaluska’s historical and cultural significance.

Here are some photos from the recent retreat, courtesy of Jim Casey.

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