Located at the corner of King and Depot streets in downtown Boone, the Doc Watson Statue was unveiled June 2011. Photo by Peter Morris
On the night of the unveiling celebration, Doc Watson showed up and sat next to his bronzed self to the delight of fans who captured the Kodak moment. Photo by Peter Morris
On the night of the unveiling, the blind Doc Watson sat on the bench and ran his fingers over the statue. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Several times before he passed away, Doc Watson stopped by the statue to rest and talk to whoever happened to be around and notice that the one-and-only Doc Watson was present. Photo by Jesse Wood
Doc Watson died a year after the statue was unveiled. On that sad day, fans adorned the statue in downtown Boone with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Photo by Ken Ketchie

▶ ATTRACTIONS

The Doc Watson Statue
in Downtown Boone

DEDICATED IN 2011

Address: West King Street, Boone, NC


A Bronze Statue Of Doc Sitting On A Bench Playing His Gallagher Guitar

Even though Doc passed away last year, the High Country will always be Doc Watson country. Throughout all the years and all of the accolades, Doc always lived just down the road in Deep Gap, which is a few miles from Boone.

His performing career began on the sidewalks of downtown Boone in the ‘40s. Being blind, he didn’t have many job opportunities, so Doc, who passed away at the age of 89, would walk the miles to downtown by himself with a travel cane. Upon arriving on the strip, he would strap a tin can to his guitar and play for tips.

In the summer of 2011, his career came “full circle” – as one of his picking buddies said – when John Cooper and the Downtown Boone Development Association dedicated a bronze statue of Doc sitting on a bench playing his Gallagher guitar, otherwise known as “Ol Hoss.”

The statue, located at the corner of King and Depot streets, has become a tourist attraction. Two years later, families still crowd around the statue and pose with the legend. Sitting next to Doc, musicians will pick a tune with their banjo or guitar, while kids have fun adorning Doc with a hat or sunglasses. On certain anniversaries, the bronze Doc is covered to its neck with colorful bouquets.

When the statue was unveiled, nearly 1,000 people attended the Doc Watson Statue Celebration concert at the Jones House in downtown Boone. Along with the icon, Clint Howard, Wayne Henderson, David Holt, Charles Welch, Herb Key and Creekside Grass played music to an enthusiastic crowd that eventually chanted “Encore! Encore! Encore!”

Doc was truly a legend, a gentlemen and a man of faith. At a press conference in 2011, Doc was asked, “What are you looking forward to most about playing [MusicFest ‘n Sugar Grove]?” Doc replied, “I am looking forward to entertaining some people and helping them enjoy themselves … To me entertainment is a pleasure, but my main motive is – and it’s going to get a little deep right here – when I started out in the folk revival, my main motive was to earn a living for a sweet little woman and two children.”