Historic ‘Lonesome Dove’ venue opening for events

 

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Every time Billy Holcombe walks out the back door of his home off Tall Timber Road in southern Alabaster, he sees more than a recreation of an old west town.

“I see my dad in every little piece out here,” Holcombe said of his father, Bill, as he sat near a fountain serving as the centerpiece of the replica town in his backyard on the afternoon of Sept. 28. “You can’t walk out here and not see the love and care he put into building all this.”

About 12 years ago, Bill Holcombe, who would have turned 80 this month, found a new hobby when he began constructing the western-themed town based on the Lonesome Dove novel and television series. Today, the replica down includes a chapel, mercantile, saloon, jail, stable, cantina and a grist mill all constructed to resemble a bygone era.

“Dad just did it as a hobby. He would get up in the mornings and go to garage sales to find old unique western stuff to add to the houses,” Billy Holcombe said. “Me and my wife (Terri) work hard to keep it up. My wife works extremely hard to help me with the upkeep.”

Over the past few years, Lonesome Dove has hosted a few events ranging from weddings to a reunion for the crew of the USS Valley Forge. Following the success of those events, the Holcombes decided to open the venue to the public.

“There’s so much here that people can enjoy. I wanted to start getting the word out so people can come and enjoy it,” Billy Holcombe said. “We’re proud of it, and we feel it will be a nice place to have an event.”

Billy Holcombe said Lonesome Dove is ready to book events “as soon as I get a phone call,” and said the money raised through booking fees will be used to maintain the historic buildings.

According to the venue’s website, weddings and general occasion parties are available for $900, wedding and reception combos are available for $1,500 and photo shoots are available for $125.

To celebrate the venue’s new business venture, Alabaster leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 28.

“I’m really excited that more people will know about this place now. Before, people have just kind of wondered what was out here,” said Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon. “It’s our local businesses that pay for our city services. Without the business community, we would not be the community we are.”

For more information about Lonesome Dove, visit Lonesomedovellc.com.