Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina: Daniel Boone with Oil Drum Fez

A statue of Daniel Boone or an Old West prospector, converted into a Shriner with a makeshift hat made from a handy oil drum.
Address:
Aurelian Springs Rd., Roanoke Rapids, NC
Directions:
A mile off of I-95. Take North Carolina I-95 Exit #171, then turn onto State Highway 125 South. Continue a short distance to Aurelian Springs Road (there's a blinking yellow caution light at the intersection). Turn left. Roanoke Valley Sudan Shriners building is .2 of a mile on the left.
RA Rates:
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Visitor Tips and News About Daniel Boone with Oil Drum Fez

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Shriner Boone. Daniel Boone - Pioneer with Oil Drum Fez

Visited on a long rainy drive up the I-95 from fla to ny. Totally worth a detour!

[gigi, 05/31/2013]

It appears they haven't restored Shriner symbols on his drum fez since his last repainting....

Shriner with Oil Drum Fez. Daniel Boone with Oil Drum Fez

Daniel Boone with the Oil Drum Fez is still in great condition. Directions provided were excellent!

[Mary Norvell, 06/29/2012]
Pioneer  with oil drum hat. Daniel Boone with Oil Drum Fez

We visited Daniel Boone on a trip to Fayetteville. As you can see from the picture, his paint is in definite need of some attention. Other than that, he still proudly stands in front of the Shiner's building.

[Woody Sinkko, 08/31/2008]
Pioneer with oil drum fez statue. Daniel Boone - Pioneer with Oil Drum Fez

I howled with laughter when I read Nathan Etheridge's little story about the giant that now stands in front of the Shrine Club in Halifax county but was once atop Elmo Garner Jewelers and Home Improvement. Elmo Garner was my grandfather. He died in January of 1999 at the age of 80. Nathan was right about the sign ordinance, which Paw fought tooth and nail, but the Giant was eventually taken down (we were afraid that high winds would knock it off the store and it would land on Hux's Exxon, which used to be next door). Anyway, my grandfather was a devoted Mason and Shriner, and he gave the Giant to the Shrine Club about 10 years before he died. We thought initially the Giant was Paul Bunyan, and I remember my mother sitting on our kitchen floor with a can of paint and a paintbrush painting the "Tis Here" sign when I was just a little kid. I think, but am not sure, that Paw bought the giant at an auction.

[Kim Garner Respess, 01/27/2002]

Photo added November 2005.

Oil Drum Fezhead.  Daniel Boone - Pioneer with Oil Drum Fez

When I was growing up, the giant stood, for years and years, atop the Elmo Garner Jewelers building (now closed) on the main street in my town. He proudly held up a sign that rather cryptically read "Tis Here"(?). Better yet, "he" also regularly used to do these boistrous, echoey, vaguely threatening-voiced (at least to my young ears) radio spots on the local AM radio stations (ie. "I'M THE GIANT ON TOP OF ELMO GARNER JEWELERS, AND I'M HERE TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT *GIANT* SAVINGS...", etc.)!

I'm not absolutely-positively-for-sure of the REASON it happened -- I know in the late 1980's this really restrictive sign ordinance was passed in town, which forced a lot of the signage on the Avenue to change. I suspect THAT knocked the giant off his perch.

A few years after that, he turned up in the countryside, more or less between the towns of Roanoke Rapids and Weldon, North Carolina (by the road out front of the local Shriner's Hall), with his sign now reading, "SHRINERS HELP CRIPPLED CHILDREN"...

The Shriners wanted to recruit the giant into their organization, and improvised by turning a 55-gallon oil drum upside-down on top of his head. And they've painted it red. Its tassel appears to be a four-or-five-foot long macrame potted plant holder.

[Nate Etheridge, 08/18/2000]

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