On April the 11th, 2001, Dr. Kermit Hunter passed away in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Hunter wrote the script for "Horn in the West" as well as forty other historical productions. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he wrote "Unto These Hills" as his Master's Thesis under Dr. Paul Greene.

He had been working on a script titled "Wilderness Road" and when asked to write a script for the Boone area, adapted that one into "Horn in the West."

Dr. Hunter was an eloquent spokesman for the outdoor drama art form. He was an accomplished musician  who attended the Julliard School of Music and often composed the scores for his shows. He was also an accomplished indoor theatre playwright and poet. His voice and support of the uniquely American art form that is outdoor drama will be missed dearly. Over 1.4 million people have seen Horn in the West since it opened in 1952. We now have the privilege of keeping Dr. Hunter's words alive for generations to come.

Glenn Causey played Daniel Boone for 41 seasons

On Thursday, July 6, 2000, the Horn in the West extended family lost a well-loved and much respected member, with the passing of Glenn Causey. We would like to take this opportunity to honor his memory. Glenn began performing in the Drama on its opening night in 1952. From 1956 until 1996 he played the character of Daniel Boone without missing a single performance. His image became the basis for many depictions of Daniel Boone still seen in the area today, including the painting displayed in the Daniel Boone exhibit in the museum at Grandfather Mountain. The spirit of Daniel Boone still walks these mountains, the spirit of Glenn Causey still lives in our hearts.

Built in 1952 in just 3 months and designed by John Lippard and 4 students from the NC State School of Design, the 2,500-seat Daniel Boone Theatre has been described as the best outdoor theatre in the East. These students took 35 acres of rugged Watauga County terrain, including a tree-covered ravine and molded a  beautiful outdoor theatre into the natural surroundings.

Keeping in mind the heritage and traditions of the people of of Western North Carolina, Lippard and the students designed their stage to fit author Hunter's play. The theatre's background also was fashioned to fit the staging directions of the drama, and blend in with the mountain landscape. Construction is of frame, painted a soft grey, a native stone is used as a retaining wall around the seating area and stage.

While they were working at their plans, the designers attempted not to disturb the existing vegetation and used native plants in the landscape scheme. Giant rhododendron which formerly grew in the place now occupied by the seating area was moved up the hill to help screen the theatre from the parking lots. Critics who reviewed the play called the theatre "one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful in America" "The theatre alone is worth the price of admission"

The Department of Landscape Architecture at (NC) State College was approached on the matter of designing the  theatre by Samuel Selden, head of the Department of Dramatic art and Kermit Hunter author of "Horn in the West", both from UNC Chapel Hill. The author and director impressed on the Department their urgent need of the theatre. Whereupon the department assured them of their co-operation and set about to do the job.

The Daniel Boone Theatre and Horn in the West grounds continue to serve the High country in various ways as time goes by. Southern Appalachian Historical Association, Hickory Ridge Homestead Museum, Powderhorn Theatre, The Watauga County Farmers Market, and Halloween "Haunted Horn" now call Horn in the West home.

The Daniel Boone Native Gardens are also on the Horn in the West Grounds because of the care used in preserving the natural plant life. The Gardens are an impressive display of the native flora of the Appalachian region and provide a must see collection of mature regional plants and landscaping

Delicious local  produce, vegetables, and crafts abound at the Watauga County Farmer's Market which is located on the grounds and operates every Saturdays, May thru October morning to noon, and Wednesdays mid-June thru mid-September morning to noon, starting the first Saturday in May.

As a whole the settlers, Dr. Hunter, and the Designers would have been proud of the community service, ecological and cultural preservation that Horn in the West and Daniel Boone Theatre foster.

For ticket information, call 828-264-2120. Visit our sponsor www.ExploreBooneArea.com.

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