1868 Highway F
Defiance, MO 63341
You don’t have to be an American history buff to have an appreciation for the rich and very colorful history that can be found at the Daniel Boone Home and Heritage Center. The stories and lore on Boone are vast and colorful, and events that led to his settlement in our region are worth the time investment for a visit to the Heritage Center. While he traveled far and wide during his life, Missouri and his home in Defiance are where he chose to stay at the culmination of his long, full and fascinating escapades.
Daniel Boone, originally from Reading, Pennsylvania, lived and settled in several states before landing at his final home of Defiance, Missouri. He made his living as a trapper and hunter for many years, which led him to live in Carolina, Kentucky and West Virginia. He first acquired a taste for wanderlust when he left home to serve in an expedition during the French and Indian War in 1755. During that time, he discovered the trail through the Cumberland Gap, which led him to his western settlements.
It wasn’t until he was 65 years old that he made his way to Missouri. Along with his wife, Rebecca, and many of his 11 children. He settled on the 850 acres near the current home site. Missouri, at that time was still under Spanish rule, still part of Louisiana, and Boone was offered the land and a post as Commadant of the Femme Osage District in an effort to lure him to the area.
Many do not know that the actual home on the Daniel Boone Home and Heritage site was actually the home of his youngest son, Nathan. While Boone, himself, lived close by, he spent most of his time and died in the current four-story home.
The large, 4-story, home took several years to build. It was constructed of limestone and the walls are 2 ½ feet thick. The construction of the home was designed to fortify against Indian attacks. It contains seven fireplaces, which Daniel carved all the mantle pieces of walnut. The forth floor of the house is a ballroom and many of the original Boone family furnishings adorn the home, including his long rifles and writing desk.
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During his years in Missouri, Boone served as a Syndic. He oversaw legal cases and acted as judge and jury in legal matters. He was considered a fair arbiter of the law and was considered to render fair judgments even if in direct conflict of the letter of the law. He often held his court under a large tree on Nathan’s property and the it became known as the “Judgment Tree.”
Today, the site is owned and managed by Lindenwood University. The original home overlooks a tiny village of 19th century structures, which have been moved on site from a 50-mile radius of the Femme Osage area. While it is a popular destination for weddings and special events, it is open to school groups and the public for tours from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from October 1st to May 31st each year, and 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from June 1st to September 30. They are closed on major holidays like Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. Tour admissions start at $7 for adults and $4 for children, ages 4 through 11 years of age.