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Love Valley: A Cowboy Town in North Carolina

Jun 23, 2021 09:34AM ● By Candace Lagerhausen

If you make the trek up to Love Valley, North Carolina, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped onto the scene of an old western movie. The small town with a population of just 105 people has wooden boardwalks and hitching rails for horses, but you will notice that one thing is missing – cars. “We don’t allow cars on Main Street”, shares Tori Barker, Love Valley resident, and granddaughter of Andy and Ellenora Barker, the founders of Love Valley. “My grandfather always wanted to be a cowboy and live in a cowboy town”, Tori shared. When he couldn’t find anywhere in North Carolina that met his dream, he decided to build a town himself. 

A successful contractor out of Charlotte, he stumbled upon the 1,000 acres of land while doing some work in Statesville, and negotiated the purchase right on the spot. After making this purchase, Andy and Ellenora moved with their two young children into a one-room shack on the property, and began building Love Valley. In 1963, the town was officially incorporated, complete with a mayor and town council. Today, Love Valley still hosts a number of western events, like rodeos, horse pulls, and mountain man rides.

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