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Life In the Carolina's Podcast

Mar 16, 2022

On this episode of the Life in the Carolinas podcast, Carl sits down with historian and heritage cook Mary Bohlen. She currently serves as President of the North Carolina Daniel Boone Heritage Trail. Here, members participate in preserving Boone’s story, promoting the history of his era, and sharing both his legacy and heritage. Mary’s passion for the outdoors goes all the way back to her adventures as a child, many of which involved cooking whatever nature offered that evening by the campfire. “Cooking on the fireplace,” Mary contends, “is a common denominator for drawing people.”

She first entered the world of interpretive cooking in the mid-1980s when she enrolled in a day-long class at what was then called the Atlanta Historical Society (today known as the Atlanta History Center.)

Mary often cooks at the Replica Daniel Boone Cabin at Whippoorwill Academy & Village, channeling Daniel’s wife Rebecca whenever she does so. She says that putting herself in Mary’s shoes, so to speak, brings the entire historical experience in that cabin to life like nothing else.

Says Mary: “You can read about something in a book or look at pictures. But when you actually put your hands on it and go through the motions, there’s a connection.” To her, it’s a connection with a way of living that no longer exists, one which brings it back to the present and infuses meaning into the work in much the same way as those in the past found it meaningful.