When walking into Love Valley, you may assume that you’d stumbled across the set of a 1950s Western film. You may even half-expect to see a tumbleweed blowing across the street in front of you or a couple of cowboys facing off in a shootout. But this peculiar little place is in fact real. And you’ll be surprised just how much the people who call it home are set on living like they do in the movies.
Hidden away in the foothills of North Carolina’s Brushy Mountains, Love Valley is an old-fashioned settlement that was built with one mission: to keep the Wild West alive. But the town is no mere tourist attraction; instead, it’s a fully functioning community that plays home to dozens of people. And when it comes to living life as it would have been more than a century ago, the locals are remarkably faithful to the period.
Love Valley, located just under 20 miles north of Statesville, North Carolina, was founded in 1954 by one man with a vision. That man was Andy Barker, a contractor from the nearby city of Charlotte, who had been holding onto the same dream since childhood – an aspiration no doubt shared by countless young boys before him, too.