If I could choose another time in history to live, I would pick the 1700s through the Regency period. As a child, Felicity’s colonial collection fascinated me and as an adult, I always have my nose in a Jane Austen book. Living in the Midwest, I don’t get to enjoy colonial historical sites like I would like. I travel east as often as I can to visit plantations and see the places where our country was founded. George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and James Madison’s Montpelier are just a few of the plantations that I can’t get enough of. I have recently discovered a new home that has me enamored and it’s only a couple hours from my own. Daniel Boone’s Home in Defiance, Missouri.
Daniel Boone was born in Pennsylvania on October 22, 1734 and was one of eleven children. At the age of seventeen, his family moved to North Carolina and Daniel started hunting to make a living. It was there that he met his wife, Rebecca Bryan and they married in 1756. Daniel and Rebecca had ten children together. With population growing in North Carolina, Daniel decided to move the family west to Kentucky. It was Daniel Boone and his hunting party that discovered the Cumberland Gap in 1775. He was later hired to forge a trail through it. After enduring financial setbacks in 1799, Boone decided to leave the country and settle with several of his adult children and grandchildren in the Spanish Louisiana Territory. The area is present-day St. Charles County, Missouri. The Spanish governor appointed Boone “syndic” (judge) of the Femme Osage area. Many people said that Boone would pass out fair judgments rather than strictly observe the law.
Felicity and Elizabeth were the dolls that went with me on this trip. Before the house tour, we decided to explore the village. Surrounding the house is nearly 20 buildings, all built in the 1800s, that have been brought to the property to create a pioneer village. All of the buildings were originally built within 50 miles of the property. The scenery is really beautiful! The green house originally belonged to Boone’s daughter Jemima and her husband Flanders Callaway. Flanders was one of the men that discovered the Cumberland Gap with Daniel and helped to rescue Jemima when she was kidnapped by Native Americans.
Old Peace Chapel was built in the mid-1800s and originally was a general store. In 1904, the building was bought and remodeled into a church. You can now rent the church for weddings and meetings. After so much fun exploring the village, and posing for pictures we headed to Daniel Boone’s house.
Daniel and Rebecca’s youngest son, Nathan owned the property, built the home and let his parents live with his family. He purchased 675 acres in exchange for a horse with bridle and saddle. The land was about 5 miles from Daniel’s original plot. Nathan built the four-story house with 2.5 feet thick rubble-filled walls. The house is limestone and each piece was cut using hand tools. We entered into the home’s main hall. Hanging on the walls are Daniel Boone’s gun, powder horn and a map he drew while working as a surveyor.
The parlor is a beautiful large room off the hall. This is where the family would have gathered. The mantle, trim and built-in clothes press are all a beautiful black walnut. I especially liked the hand hewn beams. The window sills are beautiful and the perfect place to sit because of how thick the homes walls are. With permission, I gently set Felicity on one for a quick picture.
Next we headed to Daniel Boone’s main floor bedroom. It was in this room that he passed away on September 26, 1820. His last words were, “I’m going now. My time has come.” Daniel was buried next to Rebecca, who had died seven years earlier. His son Nathan said that “he was not afraid to die”. When Daniel was a frontiersman he always took his favorite two books, the Bible and Gulliver’s Travels with him and would read them aloud to his men. I think he found comfort in his faith and his passing was peaceful.
A small sitting room is off the bedroom. This is a private room for the family, it was most likely enjoyed by Nathan’s wife Olive. She might have used the cozy room to teach her girls sewing or spinning.
We headed upstairs to the family bedrooms. Nathan and Olive were married when he was eighteen and she was sixteen. They had fourteen children, one every other year for 28 years. Their bedroom would have also served as a constant nursery.
Across the hall was a room all the girls shared. What a fun place that would have been! Felicity saw a little bed just her size in the girls room. In the hall was another set of stairs going to the fourth floor. The top floor was the boy’s room. It would have been stifling in the summer and freezing in the winter. The boys might have come down and slept in the hall during extreme weather, I would have! 😉
The kitchen and dining room are in the basement. Originally on the kitchen side, there was a walk-in colonial fireplace, but it has been filled in. The dough table and butter churn belonged to the Boone’s. Notice the heart carved into the handle. The dining room would have been a gathering place where all of the guests would have enjoyed a meal with the Boone family. The smaller fireplace in that room would have kept the room and food warm.
The home is beautiful and the setting peaceful. I know I’ll go back to visit often. Stories and legends have been told of this adventurous frontiersman, some accurate and others fabricated. But here he lived, and here he died, and here he loved his family.
Many heroic actions and chivalrous adventures are related of me which exist only in the regions of fancy. With me the world has taken great liberties, and yet I have been but a common man. – Daniel Boone
For more Felicity posts visit: Felicity Through the Years, Felicity’s Spiced Nuts, Felicity’s Raspberry Flummery and Felicity’s Liberty Tea.