Hi, my name is Paul Cafferty. Most of my formative years were spent in Houston, Texas, where later I went into the real estate investment and development business. In August 1987, when I was 42 years old, my wife, Dot, and I went to a seminar at a ski lodge in the mountains of Vermont for a week. When we left Houston, it was 99 degrees with 90% humidity. In Vermont where it was cool with lower humidity and surrounded by beautiful green forested rolling mountains we felt alive for the first time in a long time. I wondered then if there was some place in the USA with the beautiful scenery of Vermont, but without their winters. And while I was making a wish list I wanted to live on top of a mountain overlooking a large lake.
When we returned to Houston, I looked at a large aerial photo of the USA and circled all the places in the central time zone with big lakes and mountains. Since this was before the internet, I wrote a letter to all the nearest Chambers of Commerce and asked for general information, maps, and a list of Realtors. One of the last information packages sent to me was from Heber Springs, Arkansas, which is surrounded by a 43,000 acre Corps of Engineers Lake named Greers Ferry Lake. I had never been to Arkansas before and since I had graduated from the rival University of Texas at Austin, I never wanted to go to Arkansas. However, when I received the map of Greers Ferry Lake, I quickly noticed a large peninsula called Miller’s Point that seemed to have a high elevation above the lake. I then told my wife that some day, in thirty or forty years, we would live on Miller’s Point not knowing what was there or if it could even be purchased.
My wife was a flight attendant for a major airline. Two weeks after receiving the map of Greers Ferry Lake, the airline company asked my wife to fly to Little Rock, Arkansas, for the weekend and work on turn around flights. Never had they asked her to do that. I flew to Little Rock with her, rented a car, and using only the map mailed to me I tried to drive to Miller’s Point which was approximately sixty- five miles north of the airport. In error, I drove to another high peninsula with bluffs one mile south of Miller’s Point which also overlooks Greers Ferry Lake. There were no road signs in this area in 1987. I parted the dense brush on the bluff and glimpsed Greers Ferry Lake for my first time. Coming from the flatlands of Houston I was overwhelmed by the incredibly beautiful view. I immediately felt that this view and the area around it was what I had been looking for all my life. I felt like I belonged here and that this was home.
Fast forward to the present time and this spot is exactly where I have built my home. However, that day in 1987, I had to hurry back to Little Rock to meet my wife and to fly home. Upon leaving this view I saw someone in his front yard on the same road and asked if I had just seen Miller’s Point. He informed me that Miller’s Point was another mile north, but there was a man who had a house in the woods on five acres back where I had been and that he wanted to sell it. This man with the five acres and house also had partners who owned 40 acres around his house and an adjacent 50 acres with a half mile of frontage on Greers Ferry Lake. The man in the yard gave me the name and phone number of the man with the house for sale.
Upon returning to Houston I called the seller of the house on five acres and agreed to see it in two weeks. On driving to his house, I told my wife that I was not interested in the house since we were not planning to move to Arkansas, but I was interested in his 40 surrounding acres and his 50 adjoining acres on the lake. My wife just sat on the living room couch and spoke with the sellers while the Realtor showed me through the house and I took pictures. I quickly realized that this was a very nice functional house in excellent condition and if I later purchased the surrounding land I would have a donut hole owned by someone else in the middle who could hurt the value of the land investment.
However, I was only a curious, semi-serious buyer who was looking, and I was in no hurry to spend any money. After saying our thankyous and good byes, as we were getting into our car, the seller said: “By the way, the FDIC has foreclosed on 30 acres at my entry and is auctioning it off in two weeks”. Fate and destiny were really coming into play now. After looking at the 30 acres at his entry I realized that the 30 acres controlled access to the seller’s house and land. Two weeks later I went to the auction. The starting price for the 30 acres was approximately ten times what I thought the final price would be. I thought that everyone was crazy including me. I was unaware at that time that there was a large amount of mature valuable timber on the tract plus it had excellent lake views. When the last bidder stopped raising his hand I raised mine and bought it.
Within the next few months we purchased the seller’s house on five acres, the 40 acres surrounding it and the adjacent 50 acres on the lake. In the next few years we also purchased an adjoining 40 acres tract and several small out tracts.
I decided to make this land into a palomino quarter horse breeding farm. For the next four years, my wife and I and three dogs would drive the 500 miles from Houston for one week a month. As time passed our hearts, minds and souls moved to Enchanted Bluff Farm and it became harder and harder to drive back to Houston. Finally, on July 4, 1991, we drove to Enchanted Bluff Farm permanently and we have never looked back since. The rest is history.