Farewell Happy Valley
“We were regulars up here as holidaymakers and it was the weekend of the Myrtleford Show in 2006 when we saw the For Sale sign,” she said.
“We dropped in and fell in love with the place.
“This hotel was built in 1854, the grape vines out the front came from an Italian farmer in the 1940s, the hotel was the third phone line in the district and the building escaped that awful modernisation makeover.
“Everyone knows it, everyone loves it.
“Nine years is a long time but we see it as our chapter in the rich history of the Happy Valley Hotel.”
Mrs Bowers said the pub had been their ticket out of Melbourne.
“For anyone looking for a tree change you can’t do any better than buying the local pub,” she said.
“It is a lovely little hub and you feel like you can contribute to the community … help with fundraisers and that sort of thing.
“People phone you up to see whether roads are open when there’s an emergency, we had people staying here when the Happy Valley Creek flooded.”
Mrs Bowers, who now works in the health industry, and her husband will stay in the Ovens Valley.
“I guess the pub was our way out of Melbourne and we love the area,” she said.
The hotel was listed on the market for $600,000 but has been sold for an undisclosed sum to a restaurateur couple.
It is expected that it will remain closed for several weeks for renovations.
LAST DRINKS: Jo and Mick Bowers have poured their last drinks at the historic Happy Valley Hotel.