Love Valley/ A Portrait
Of the many small towns that dot the U.S., North Carolina is home
to a unique exception to the small town rule. Nestled in the foothills
of the Appalachian Mountains, Love Valley is the continuum of
a lifestyle forgotten yet admired by many. Founded in the mid-fifties
by mayor Andy Barker, it has proven to be his and many others'
dream of a lifetime. Love Valley, which is based on a love for
horses and western culture, has over the years collected a number
of dwellers that live there year round and visitors that call
it home on the weekends.
Barker found the land just north of Statesville in 1954 and his
dream of establishing his own western town began to take shape.
Modeled after mid-1800's architecture,uptown consists of less
than a dozen buildings including the Barkers' home which Andy
built and furnished. Over the years the area has grown to include
a few dozen homes and permanent campers along with an arena that
hosts local rodeos. Although Love Valley is known for its miles
of riding trails, local color and atmosphere is what keeps bringing
the people back.
Because the titles to a majority of the hills of the area are
split up between grandchildren, the furture of the valley stands
on collecting the money to buy all of the surrounding hills that
are now considered Love Valley. Recently, a group called the Love
Valley Horse Association, has gathered to attempt to buy all the
land before it gets into developers hands. This group is working
hard with membership drives and weekend group rides to assure
that Love Valley can be a part of the lives of an upcoming generation
of horse lovers.
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