Story and Photography by Leesa Wright
Have you ever dreamed about living back in the 1800’s? You know, in an old western town! Well, let me tell you about a place called Love Valley, the Cowboy Capitol of North Carolina. A place where you can only walk or ride your horse on Main Street. A place where you can tie your horse up to the hitching post in front of the local saloon or general store. A place you step onto wooden sidewalks. A place that makes you feel like you are stepping back in time. Is this place real? YES! It is a very real town in Iredell County, North Carolina.
Love Valley was founded by Andy Barker and his wife Ellenora back in 1954. Andy had a dream of an old western town and Love Valley became his reality.
Andy and Ellenora wanted a place away from the big city life of Charlotte, NC. So they moved their family into a one room shack and started working on their dream. Andy used his crew from JA Construction Company, he jointly owned with his father, to help build the town.
Andy, being a Christian man, made the Love Valley Presbyterian Church his first building. Then he went to work on the Love Valley Arena, after that he set out to build the rest of the town, he even built a post office. When Andy first starting building the town he built it around the arena. Then in 1963 he moved it to the location you see today on top of the hill over looking the arena.
See the rest of this story in the August issue of Sport and Trail Magazine >