Who We Are...
Hidden Valley Guest Ranch is set apart from the “frou-frou” lodging choices in Eureka Springs, and the Hidden Valley Barn is the reason. Hidden Valley Barn greets guests right at the front gate, standing sentinel over the Real Ozarks Experience for our visitors. Built in the early fifties, the classic red and white gambrel barn is built from solid oak, and has housed every form of livestock from chickens, to cattle, to sheep, to horses, and even sheltered camels from the Great Passion Play at one point. (Those were the days!) Hidden Valley Barn is in active use daily.
Family owned and operated.
Come and see the difference that can make!
How should I even BEGIN? Long before his children were involved in the day to day operations of Hidden Valley Guest Ranch, Dr. James Robert Maxfield and his brother, Dr. Jack Maxfield of Dallas, Texas, met with a patient who had some property in Arkansas he wanted to sell in trade for services for the very successful cancer treatments they had given him. The two doctors jumped into their airplane one Sunday and took a quick trip north to see it. They flew over the property, admiring the lushness of the hills and deep valleys with its beautiful barn and outbuildings, and flew home without setting foot on it. The deal was consummated over the phone.
So began the saga of four generations of family who have come to Hidden Valley and gone home to their work renewed and refreshed. Soon the family home at Hidden Valley was a revolving door of hospitality! It was a natural progression to the dreams of Dr. J. R.’s son Jordan who had a vision for luxury log cabins to expand the circle of friends and family, an old family tradition. He moved with his wife and children from Texas to oversee the construction, and the next thing we knew, we were officially innkeepers! Mom, Dad and daughters, Merica, Kathryn, and Teale made the transition from city life to country life and twelve-year-old Kathryn became our best reservationist!
Now they have grown up and given us grandchildren who range from 2 to 11 who contribute in their own special ways. Jordan’s dream and mine now include them in our long-term plans to keep Hidden Valley open to tourism and to locals for generations to come. We start them on horseback at two years old, and make sure each one has cowboy boots as they grow.
Jordan’s father used to say, “If you want to leave your footprints in the sands of time, be sure to wear your work boots. And when I saw those footprints on the moon after the lunar landing, I really understood what that meant.” Jordan and I trained our daughters to sort their husband material by how they could ride, set fence posts and use tools, and how willing they were in the process. They attracted many wannabes, but the three who made the cut were Scott, Loyd, and Chris. I’d say the future of Hidden Valley is in very good hands. Jordan and I never suspected we would get such pretty grandchildren, and they all wear work boots. This is our legacy to “Grandpa J. R.” who played such an important role in getting us started. Jordan’s mother Kathryn (we must admit) preferred Dallas, Texas to her home in Arkansas, but she would often say, “Oh, didn’t you know? Arkansas is the prettiest part of Texas. If you’ve never been there, honey, you have been deprived!”
We once heard Miss Tandy labeled the “ramrod who keeps the whole outfit running” which came as a surprise to her, as she depends heavily on the skills and talents of everyone who works at Hidden Valley. She said, “Not ME!” and tried to deny it, thinking of herself as a problem solver and creative talent who works behind the scenes to help people figure out their own solutions. She said, “I love what I do for Hidden Valley Guest Ranch, but I am only in charge as long as I remember God is the real owner and I answer to Him for everything that happens around here. It takes a unique set of skills to run a ranch property, inviting guests from all over to come enjoy it with us. It may look easy, but it isn’t.”
We might find her kneeling in a horse stall, giving medical aid to a horse and five minutes later, hear her welcoming the guests (with manure stains on her knees) offering them a fresh hot mug of coffee. There is no pretense about work, which is indistinguishable from entertaining in the world of Hidden Valley Guest Ranch. She told us she found the country life extremely challenging when she first arrived from Dallas, Texas in 1976. (There were no nail salons to repair her manicured fingertips!) Here she is, decades later, cleaning her fingernails with a shoeing nail picked up from her desktop. More than anything, Miss Tandy is versatile, energetic, and full of life. Everyone who comes to Hidden Valley Guest Ranch will be welcomed like royalty, and her outlook on life is contagious.
"I am no ramrod,” she laughs. “I am servant of all, which according to Jesus is the path to greatness, and this place needs a LOT of servants just to preserve what we have here, so our city friends can find their way back to the truth of God’s unconditional love.” You do not have to be here long to find what you’ve been searching for, and it all starts with a culture of service to guests who come here again and again to find that certain something they cannot buy in a store. She sums up the interview by saying, “We never preach about God. We allow Him to speak for Himself in His own quiet way, which is different for each person who comes here. We trust Him to know what each one needs from Him. Now let’s get back to work!” See what we mean? Ramrod.