“Today we may have seen the place we really want for our Foundation Camp…” Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt wrote in her diary on the evening of Friday, February 12, 1954.
“After going over the Camp Eagle property we went [back] to the Wolfe place, first stopping at Garven’s store for things for a picnic lunch. …Howard and I ate beside the upper dam. How I wonder if we will go there in years to come. If we will get it…hundreds of children and young people will come to enjoy that beauty each year. There will come to some of them there [in the Canyon] a realization of the possibilities of service, a fuller love for our Father, and His earthly children.”
At the crossroads of Highway 41 and Highway 83, among mesquite and asphalt, Garven Store has offered travelers Texas treasures since 1932. There isn’t another option for nearly 30 miles in any direction. Garven’s is truly your last resort before arriving at camp.
And it’s historic. One of the oldest convenience stores in the state, ownership has been passed down three generations. Outside, peacocks roam the dusty parking lot. Inside, customers are sure to be greeted by one of the Dowdys—descendants of the store’s namesake, a Scotsman named William Burney Garven.
Homemade jerky of all kinds—the store’s mainstay—line the walls of the weathered, rustic store along with other South Texas goodies like pickled quail eggs, barbecue, and pocket knives.
Garven Store is a staple among camp road trips—and has been since the day when the Butt family first set eyes on the Canyon.