A while back, one of you readers sent something to me about Love Valley, NC. So, I looked it up…
Basically, one man built the town because he wanted to be a good cowboy. No cars allowed downtown. Thousands of miles of trails. People are encouraged to come and have fun in the cowboy way. They host events, have a huge arena, cater to the dusty and offer all different kinds of accommodations from camping to fancyish.
Most of all, they encourage horseback riding. Bring your own or rent theirs…
Horses. Horses! Horses!!
I’ve never been there. But I think I’d like to go!
I’m paraphrasing here, but from what I gathered from the LOVE VALLEY website, one man, Andy Barker, built his dream – and Love Valley was it. (Sadly, he passed just last year.)
Barker was a successful contractor. He wanted to combine his dream of living a Christian life with being a cowboy, so he brought his young family out to the wilderness and built his own cowboy town with a church. No cars allowed in town, only horses.
(I’m guessing you don’t have to be a member of the church to go there…)
Here is an excerpt from the website:
Love Valley is an authentic western town situated in the foothills of the Brushy Mountains north of Statesville, North Carolina. Love Valley is a boy’s dream and a man’s reality. Andy Barker always dreamed of living in a western town. So, at the age of 29 Andy left his lucrative general contracting business in Charlotte and moved his family to his new land in April of 1954.
His wife Ellenora, daughter Tonda (age six), and son jet (age two) moved to a little one-room shack. Andy used his crew from JA Construction Company, owned jointly with his father, to build the town of Love Valley. The first building they constructed was the Love Valley Presbyterian Church. This was followed by the arena and the rest of the town, including its own post office. Originally the town was built around the arena, but in 1963(the year it was incorporated) Andy decided to move the town to its present day location overlooking the arena.
DOWN HOME FEEL
I perused the website and found myself in Mayberry crossed with Bonanza. Clearly this town was still a bit on the edge of Mayberry but with cowboy frayed edges.
I loved that on the official website, they list all the town merchants (first name basis) as well as camp sites available for least and the local real estate agent’s listings.
(I have to speak about the Real Estate portion of the website… The listing that caught my eye was “Almosta Ranch”. Ha! The other listing was from the actual Real Estate Agent of the town called TARHEEL Realty. Ha again! The listing was for a “16 acer lot”. Clearly, this is a lot with 16 acer trees on it. Or, I wonder if he meant kids who ace exams? Or, did he mean ‘acerlot’ (like an ocelot?). Whatever… it makes me want to go there more!)
Another fun tidbit was the photo of a ‘counter’ at the store.
I love that! When I was a kid, our local Walgreens had a counter where you could sit and eat ice cream. I totally remember that! So when I saw this pic, I melted.
The huge arena that Andy Barker created is quite the venue. It is large and hosts all types of events, not just equine.
I saw tons of photos from the Breast Cancer Awareness Day as well as the Veteran’s Day Event.
I’m a bit sketchy on the accommodations because I’m not much of a camper. However, there was much to choose from on this page.
They also have a FB page with lots of pics and current events.
HORSE BACK RIDING.
The website says ‘thousands of acres of horse trails”!! Wow.
I loved that most of the accommodations provided for your horses, too. Yay!
However, I would never bring my horse across country when there are probably enough horses in the town that I could fall in love with for a week… The website lists who rents horses and of course, the Country Store and General Store both rent mounts… That cracked me up! I practically expected to see a Livery Stable next to the Saloon with a blacksmith hammering shoes!
I loved this photo taken from inside a carriage at one of the Love Valley events. I never knew that carriages had rear-view mirrors!
I want to go! I want to go for a week, rent a horse and stay in that cabin. Fun!
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
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