A Visit To The Daniel Boone Homestead And A Walk Along French Creek.

A Visit To The Daniel Boone Homestead And A Walk Along French Creek.

Danile Boone (4 of 46)
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After my  late breakfast at the Sunset Diner in Birdsboro,  Berks County, I continued my exploration of the historic area by visiting the nearby Daniel Boone Homestead.  As I child I watched the popular television show about Daniel Boone.  I  remember reading an article about his  homestead in the Reading Eagle when I was in elementary school. My dad would get this newspaper every Sunday morning.  Visiting this  place has been on my bucket list ever since.

Well I  was excited to finally make it to this historic site Friday afternoon.  But I was soon disappointed to discover   the  visitor center and exhibits were closed when I arrived.  However,  the  600 acre  farmstead, with it’s many trails and 18th and 19th century structures and buildings, was  open to the public. 

So I spent about an hour roaming around the homestead and taking photos. .  It was only while writing this blog that I learned about the  history of the homestead and the structures I saw on my visit .  I first walked over to this beautiful building.  I  learned it was the site of  Daniel Boone’s birth in 1734. 

However, when  he was born here it was a much smaller wooden cabin.   The cabin was on the frontier and Native Americans  lived in the area. Panthers, bear, wolves and bobcats l roamed the woods. Daniel lived the first 16 years of his life here, until The Boone family left their  home  in the Oley Valley and moved to North Carolina  in 1750. In 1750 relatives of the Boone family , the  Maugridges purchased the homestead and made improvements.  They , in turn  sold the property to the DeTurks, who made more  improvements to the original log cabin.  The present structure is how it looked after they finished their improvements.  They established a large farm on the surrounding lands. This family owned the property until the 1920’s when the last member of the family died and  a local group interested in preserving it purchased the property. 

I walked around the  stone building, wondering about the folks who would be looking out these window on a cold Christmas morning, 

or sitting on this porch on a  warm summer night. I love visiting historical buildings and reflecting on the folks who were born, lived and died there. 

I explored the surrounding gardens and observed some  swallowtail butterflies fluttering around  bull thistle flowers  I wondered if young Daniel Boone would have stopped and admired them as I often  do. 

I saw some buildings  in a field behind the homestead and went  to explore.. I discovered they  were  a partially reconstructed barns that was moved here in the 1950’s from other locations in the Oley Valley.   They  would be very be similar to  the barns  on the original farm homestead in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

The barns were locked,  but I understand would be open when the site was open.  I  waked around the barns and returned  to the  the homestead. 

I left the homestead and  drove a short distance to  working water-powered vertical blade sawmill..

  I  learned it was one of the oldest in Pennsylvania, and was  functional in its original location in the Oley Valley until 1934. It was moved to the Homestead in the 1970’s. 

Nearby was  a small pond and waterfall that powered  the original saw mill on the property. 

There  a great blue heron perched  near the pond and I wondered if the families who lived here saw  it’s ancestors  on the same pond.  

Near the sawmill were the graves of some of the members of the De Turk family. This family member served in the Revolutionary War. 

I followed a trail near  the saw mill and it took me through some  more fields and  to a smokehouse,

and some other buildings that were also moved to the  Homestead from other areas in  Berks County.  

I wish the Homestead was open, I would have learned much more about the  history of this area. 

I walked back to the parking lot enjoying the quiet walk through the fields of the historic Homestead.   There were some wildflowers blooming along the trail including  some jewel weed ,

Philadelphia fleabane daisies and

a lot of goldenrod.

There was no one on the trail and the only person I saw during my visit was a father and son fishing in the pond by the sawmill.   As I walked I imagined young Daniel Boone roaming these fields. I am sure there were still large oak and chestnut trees  here  and not open fields. It must have been a great place to grow up.  I hope to return soon. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos from my hike at the Daniel Boone Homestead.   Daniel Boone Homestead August 12  2022. 

After my hike I returned to the Inn At St. Peters Village  around 2 p.m. I spent a couple hours editing my photos and decided to continue my exploration of St. Peters Village. I walked through the historic town ,

and past the  businesses and residences

and to the parking lot and the entrance trails in the State Game Lands. 

 This time I hiked along  rocky French Creek.  I climbed on the  many large boulders  strewn about the stream bed. 

Thankfully the boulders here were not covered in graffiti. 

Some of them were very interesting looking. 

I was going to try and follow the creek but it was very difficult on my old ankles and,

So I left the boulders   and hiked up to  the trail that follows the creek. 

The trail continued above the creek for about a mile under the green canopy of  the large oak, white ash and beech trees.  The late afternoon sun filtered through the leaves making for a quiet and peaceful walk. 

 I did hear some birds in the tree tops  including  this beautiful wood thrush. 

And only a few  wild flowers bloomed along the trail in fact the only ones I saw were  this woodland sunflower,

and these white wood asters. 

There were a lot of ferns growing along the trail including Christmas ferns and

 New York ferns. 

The moisture from the creek below the trail allowed some mushrooms to grow despite the dry condition in the State. This is a coral mushroom, 

and this a species of bolete mushroom. 

The trail neared the creek again, and it was less rocky and widened as it  neared   Route 23. 

I turned around here and walked back along the creek. 

On the way back I heard voices and walked down to the creek and found a few families swimming in a deep hole in the creek. There are a few of them on the mile stretch of the creek from the parking lot to Route 23. The creek was very low from the lack of rain but I understand there are some small waterfalls along  the creek when there is a lot of rainfall. 

I walked back to the Inn at St. Peters Village. . It was now after 6 p.m. and that meant it was time to eat. After a shower I had another wonderful meal at the 140 year old dining room at the Inn. The seafood pasta was delicious. 

and  I had another  decadent desert called a peanut butter explosion., It was amazing and filling. I was glad I  hiked 10 miles that day. After dinner I worked on my photos and was again in bed early, looking forward to another hike in French Creek State Park . Here is a link to another gallery on my blog website with some more photos from my  hike along the creek.   St. Peters Village French Creek August 12 2022. 

“I’ve never been lost, but I was mighty turned around for three days once.”― Daniel Boone



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