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Past Exhibitions

A Town Within A Town: History of the Junaluska Community

A Town Within A Town: History of the Junaluska Community

Made possible in part through the support of the Watauga County Community Foundation and the Junaluska Heritage Association.

The Appalachian Mountains are the oldest in the world. If you’ve traveled to the top of Howard’s Knob to see the beautiful view across the town of Boone, you’ve been on Junaluska Road, and you may not have known that you passed by one of the oldest, most historic African American communities in western North Carolina: Junaluska, the “town within a town.” Much of Boone’s African American history was not thoroughly recorded until after 1900, making it difficult to trace earlier lineages and events. We do know, however, that African Americans have lived in the North Carolina mountains since the 1700’s. African Americans in Boone lived in a tight-knit area that is today known as Junaluska. Even after desegregation and amidst all the bustle and growth of the twenty-first century, Junaluska has remained a predominantly African American community. Today, you’ll find both blacks and whites living in Junaluska. Members of the community are close, and the community itself has endured through the years. The rich stories and history of the community of Junaluska make it one of Boone’s treasures—yet until recently, many locals and visitors have been unaware that it even existed.