Skip to Main Content

Boone Bear Tree historical marker.

Marker: Last Boone Bear Tree

Field review by the editors.

Johnson City, Tennessee

Daniel Boone gets confused with Davy Crockett, who came along later and led a life more appealing to Hollywood scriptwriters. So why do we remember Daniel Boone? Mostly because he killed bears. Many, many bears. We know this because Daniel Boone would often carve his name and the date into a nearby tree when he killed one.

Boone carving a tree.

"Boone Bear Trees" became one of America's earliest tourist attractions. They were considered honorable relics for the towns that had them. This, of course, led to counterfeit Boone Bear Trees, while the real ones gradually grew old and died. The last known survivor stood in northeast Tennessee, on the slope of Carroll Creek, near the town of Jonesborough.

Its inscription, about six feet off the ground, was "D. Boon CillED A. BAr on tree in the YEAR 1760."

But vandals and morons eventually obliterated the inscription with their own names, and in 1920 the tree, estimated to be over 350 years old, fell down in a storm.

That was not the end of the last Boone Bear Tree. Some of its wood was fashioned into gavels that were used in the Jonesborough county courthouse. In 1924 the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a monument on the site where the tree once stood, now inaccessible on private land, but there's a public historical marker along the road.

Also see: Men Vs. Bears

Marker: Last Boone Bear Tree

4400 TN-36, Johnson City, TN
On the west (southbound) side of TN-36/N. Roan St., just north of its intersection with Old Gray Station Rd.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Grave of First Dead White Man in TennesseeGrave of First Dead White Man in Tennessee, Johnson City, TN - 2 mi.
Junaluska and the Arch of FriendshipJunaluska and the Arch of Friendship, Johnson City, TN - 4 mi.
Most Powerful Musical Bi-Polar Tesla CoilMost Powerful Musical Bi-Polar Tesla Coil, Gray, TN - 5 mi.
In the region:
Mountaineer Inn Sign, Asheville, NC - 55 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Tennessee

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Tennessee.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Tennessee Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Great American Alligator Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana (May 13-19, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings