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Piney Woods Paradise

Arrow Acres offers family-friendly tiny houses in East Texas.

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The three tiny homes at Arrow Acres country singer-songwriters Emmylou Harris, June Carter, and Dolly Parton (photos courtesy of Virgina and Lilly Moore)

Before they were a married couple (and even before they were engaged), native Texans Virginia and Lily Moore decided to purchase a piece of wooded property that felt like magic to both of them. And from the moment they purchased it, they knew in their hearts that it would become Arrow Acres Tiny House Retreat & Venue. “I think it all comes down to the fact that it was built on a love story. I wanted a place to spend time with the love of my life and our future child,” Lily says. 

Virginia, 41, is from South Texas and is now a senior wells engineer at British Petroleum. Lilly, a 29-year-old native of Warren, Texas, works at iOffice as a social-media strategist. The couple now resides in Houston.

 
Lily (l) and Virginia Moore

Arrow Acres sits on eight acres in the Piney Woods of East Texas, just outside of the Big Thicket National Preserve and two hours north of Houston. This little slice of heaven allows guests to go tiny-house glamping, host an event, and otherwise find peace and joy away from all the noise of daily life.

After discovering that the Piney Woods property adjacent to Lily’s childhood home had come up for sale, the pair decided to purchase it. “It was a big commitment on both of our parts,” Virginia says.

“By the time we left the property on the day of our tour, we had already discussed our vision, as if we were a married couple, of a place to bring our future child to experience the small-town country life we both grew up in,” Virginia explains. It was the first time they had discussed having a child together.

They closed on the property on May 17, 2019, and Virginia proposed to Lily that same day. “I recreated our first date inside the barn tucked in behind the trees. I was 100 percent certain that this place was going to be special and magical,” Virginia notes.    

The three tiny houses on their property are named Emmylou Harris, June Carter, and Dolly Parton because of the couple’s shared love for old country music rooted in both of their upbringings and Lily’s background in the music industry.   

Both Lily and Virginia love country music icon Kacey Musgraves, especially her song “Follow Your Arrow” about self-acceptance and same-sex relationships. The cleverly worded song was perfect for the female-country-singer-songwriter theme of the resort. Hence, the name Arrow Acres.

“Most guests don’t realize Kacey Musgraves was the largest influence behind the overall vision,” Virginia says. Even better, not only was “Follow Your Arrow” co-written by openly gay writers, it came just three years after Chely Wright’s coming out made headlines. 

The property has stayed busy from the day they began welcoming paid guests—and giving back to the community, as well. When the pandemic began, they offered free stays of up to one week for first responders. And with two of the tiny houses able to run entirely off the grid, they were able to offer families that were displaced after Hurricane Laura a place to stay at highly discounted rates.

The couple recently completed their first cycle of in vitro fertilization, so with a little of that Arrow Acres magic, they hope to soon be living out their vision of introducing their child—as well as other families and kids—to the joys of life in rural Texas.

“I had the luxury of having access to my paternal grandparents my entire life. They were just a short walk away, and now our child will have that with my parents in the same way,” Lily says. “It’s sort of a legacy kind of thing we have in mind. Arrow Acres was the first big thing we did together as a couple. Then we got engaged there. Then we built it into what it is today.”

For more information, visit arrowacres.com.

This article appears in the May 2021 edition of OutSmart magazine.

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Jenny Block

Jenny Block is a frequent contributor to a number of high-profile publications from New York Times to Huffington Post to Playboy and is the author of four books, including “Be That Unicorn: Find your Magic. Live your Truth. Share your Shine." She has appeared on a variety of television and radio programs from Nightline to BBC Radio to Great Day Houston and has performed and spoken at bookstores, events, conferences, and resorts in the US and Mexico, as well as on Holland America Cruise ships.
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