Home > Attractions > Historic Happy Valley

Step back in time to a world of quiet seclusion when you travel the backroads through the beautiful historic Happy Valley. It is as though the hurry of the modern world has not touched this natural wonder and historically rich valley on the banks of the Yadkin River. As you travel the scenic N.C. 268 byway, be sure to stop and experience the heritage and tradition of a bygone era. This valley was appropriately christened “Happy Valley” by its early settlers who described the valley as “a place of beauty, peace and tranquility” and the name aptly remains.

A mountain valley carved by the Yadkin River, Happy Valley is home to historic farms, winding country roads, and a place of joy and great beauty. Early settlers in Happy Valley were visionaries and entrepreneurs who farmed extensively, established schools, built churches and factories and served in political positions in state and local government. Descendents of these families today still continue to stimulate the economy through aquaculture, tree farming, goat dairying and cattle raising. Others look to the past, preserving traditions by working with draft animals, building traditional pole and log barns and canning food. Always an eclectic area, Happy Valley is home to many artists, musicians, writers and storytellers.

  • Tom Dooley Historic Tour and the grave of Laura Foster, both of which were made famous by the murderous legend and ballad, “The Ballad of Tom Dooley.” The legend was made popular by the Kingston Trio who recorded the folk song in the 1950s. A driving tour CD and area map on the Tom Dooley legend can be purchased at the W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir.
  • Whippoorwill Academy and Village, a collection of log structures including a one-room school house, art gallery, Daniel Boone replica cabin, chapel, blacksmith shop, jailhouse, weaving room and cabin dedicated to the legend of Tom Dooley.
  • W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir, over 3,700 acres of state-owned recreational property. Activities include camping, hiking, swimming, boating, picnicking, fishing and mountain biking.
  • Events like Plow Day, Mow Day, Living History Days, Colonial Christmas, Happy Valley Old-time Fiddlers’ Convention, and classical concerts at the Chapel of Rest promote an appreciation of traditional farming, history and music.


Caldwell, Chamber, NC

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