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Downtown Abbeville shows a central green space, colorful shops, and plentiful parking

The Oliver family literally took a Flyer on their move from Albuquerque to Abbeville to fulfill their passion for their equine friends. That’s the name of a horse that the couple brought with them when they set up shop in December at Cricket Hollow Stables, a farm in western South Carolina.
Bentley and Andrew Oliver and their business partner and friend, Amanda Posey, are engaged in boarding, training, lessons, and elbow grease as they work to upgrade the property and expand their capacity for working with their four-legged friends. It’s a passion that Bentley Oliver had been feeding by rescuing horses from feedlots where they were doomed to the slaughterhouse.
“That’s what got us in this fix in the first place. Nothing’s quite like the bottomless money pit that is horses,” Posey says with a laugh. “We were looking at investment property for passive income when we came upon Cricket Hollow. Andrew and I flew out here, spent a couple of days, ate in two restaurants in Abbeville, and now here we are. It’s hardly passive!”
“Here” is in a rural swath of western South Carolina anchored by Abbeville, a historic town with a charming downtown anchored on a picturesque square and featuring a vaudeville-era opera house that still serves as town hall and active concert venue. Thriving shops and restaurants and a classic old inn also surround the square, and nearby is an antebellum home that hosted the last cabinet meeting of the Confederacy in 1865 and now serves as a museum.

"The availability of fiber was essential because of the large data transfers, upload speeds, and reliability we need as we keep moving farther away from our offices."

The town itself is surrounded by the hiking, biking, and hunting opportunities offered by woodlands – including Sumter National Forest – and the fishing, boating, and camping destinations at parks on the big Savannah River reservoirs on the Georgia state line just to the west.
The “big cities” of Greenville, Columbia, and Augusta are each within 45 minutes to 90 minutes to the north, east, and south, respectively, and as for farmland, there are peaches, lots of peaches.
But this trio of transplants is not there to grow fruit. Their thing is horses, a notoriously expensive pursuit that mandates they continue their careers. And for that, a critical must-have to the Bentleys and Posey was robust internet connectivity, which they get via fiber service from West Carolina Tel (WCTEL).
“The availability of fiber was essential because of the large data transfers, upload speeds, and reliability we need as we keep moving farther away from our offices,” Andrew Oliver says.
Back in 1995, WCTEL became one of the first telephone cooperatives in the country to offer internet service. Now it offers state-of-the-art broadband through its WCFIBER subsidiary, which itself is growing from its home base into neighboring counties on both sides of the state line.

Taking their work with them via broadband fiber

Posey, who grew up in Albuquerque, and Andrew Oliver, originally from the north of England, are employed in advanced analytics on government contracts for a large company, while California native Bentley Oliver plans to continue her work as a clinical supervisor for mental health specialists working with Albuquerque police and as chair of the state’s practice board for her profession.
“Their need for internet speed is horrendous and we had to know it was there to make this kind of move,” Bentley Oliver says of her husband and their business partner, who is now spending a good deal of her time in South Carolina now, too.
That was indeed part of the search process. “My lovely wife would find places all across the country. We actually found several beautiful properties we liked,” Andrew Oliver says. “I would then look up online what internet was available and do research on speed, availability, and stability. We had to turn down many places before we found everything we needed in Abbeville.”
Back in Albuquerque, Bentley Oliver focused on rescuing horses that had ended up in feedlots at the Mexican border. The family lived on a couple of acres in Corrales, a community near Albuquerque where they had about two acres and a four-stall barn.
Now they’re on 33 acres with a house for them and an 18-stall barn. Several horses already are being boarded and plans are underway to build up that part of their business as well as training and trail rides. But no more rescues, at least not now.
For one thing, they no longer live near the feedlots. Plus, the Olivers are still getting used to the feeling of having rescued themselves.
It’s been quite a culture shock. We have three kids and we tell them to go outside and play and not come back until dark. That’s just one of the new things for us,” Andrew Oliver says.
“People just walk up and talk to us when we’re in town,” he adds. “Other folks just show up at our place to say hello, welcome us, and see what they can do to help. We’re just settling in and looking forward to getting out more when we can, but it’s all been great so far.”

"We had to turn down many places before we found everything we needed in Abbeville."

Communities or Neighborhoods Featured Above

Downtown Abbeville shows a central green space, colorful shops, and plentiful parking
Abbeville, South Carolina
Abbeville’s downtown shops and eateries, gleaming lakes and rivers, seasonal festivals, and beautiful countryside gives this community its specific charm. For an easy day trip, Greenville and Columbia beckon you.
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Abbeville, South Carolina

Abbeville, South Carolina
Abbeville’s downtown shops and eateries, gleaming lakes and rivers, seasonal festivals, and beautiful countryside gives this community its specific charm. For an easy day trip, Greenville and Columbia beckon you.