The History of Valley Lea

On January 9, 1966, a Sunday morning, all the club officers that could be there went to Holtwood to look over a former Boy Scout building.  The scout troop had been disbanded and the building was offered to the highest bidder.  It was decided that the club would bid $64.15 for the building.  The bid was successful and it became the clubs kitchen.  That same day they looked at grounds that John O'Donnell offered to the club.

On January 13, 1966, Valley Lea Riding Club bought the building and agreed to buy 6 acres from John O'Donnell for $600.00.

On March 5, 1966, the group started to clear the grounds of trees and brush, at that time it was heavily covered that it was difficult to walk through the grounds.  In addition, to clearing the grounds,they removed a big curve out of the stream to direct it along the edge of the grounds.

On April 16, 1966 the following group loaded the kitchen on a highway trailer and moved it to the club grounds.  The group was John O'Donnell, Bob Good, Norman Hackman, Clayton Metzler, Meryl Murphy, Francis Metzler and Amos Sheaffer.  In the course of moving they needed to take sides off of small bridges and clean limbs from trees.  Clayton Metzler rode on the roof to lift wires above the building.

On May 6, 1966 trails were being plotted out for the two day ride that was planned.

May 19, 1966 was spent moving privies (outhouses) to our grounds.

On May 21 and May 22, 1966, we had to first two day trail ride at the club grounds.  We had 67 riders for the Saturday ride and a little over 100 for the Sunday ride.   On Saturday night we had heavy rain that flooded the grounds and since the ground was soft the trucks that were parked on the club grounds sank into the mud up their axles.  We used large tractor trailers of Ben Herr's to pull the vehicles from the mud.  In those days there were very few trailers.

On May 25, 1966 we had our first club meeting in our building.  Previous meetings we met at various homes of members, and for awhile in the Fire Company Hall in Quarryville.

On June 8, 1966 a cable was put across the roadway entrance to the club.

On June 13, 1966 we made settlement in full to John O'Donnell for the 6 acres.

On July 30, 1966 we started construction of a big porch like floor, that is now our meeting room.  The club had to buy very little of the materials since we received used poles from the company and George Mitchell was able to secure a large amount ( at least 5 truck loads of lumber) from the I. B. Graybill Company, later called G. R. Mitchell Lumber Company.

On October 13, 1966 we started to build welded pipe hitching rails.

On October 15 and 16th 1966, we had the first two day fall ride at the present location.  On Saturday there were 106 riders that rode through Peach Bottom and on Sunday we had 100 riders that rode through Muddy Run and Susquehannock Park.  Our receipts for this ride were nearly $100.


SEPT 2011 - MAY 2011

The Membership approved to get a loan from the bank to do the necessary repairs
and reconstruction of the kitchen & store room. 
Below are some of the pictures taken during the building process. 

Photos provided by:  Marty Beckett






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