Cowbells plans move to the desert: Storied deersnake sculpture to leave town

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After five years of offering Western and Southwestern gifts and décor at Cowbells and the Deersnake Gallery, Deb Nichols has her eye on moving the inventory to Carefree, Ariz.

For now, the two buildings that house the businesses are listed for sale.

“I love Woodland Park, but I just think this is going to be a better fit for what I do,” Nichols said. “The Carefree/Cave Creek area is quickly becoming the hub of Western and Southwestern design.”

Like Woodland Park, the city in Arizona attracts seasonal residents.

“I have clients who come into my store in Woodland Park who live in Arizona during the winter,” she said. “So I have sort-of have a built-in clientele there.”

The art gallery takes its name from the deersnake sculpture by Nichol’s husband, Toby Wells, who caused a stir in the community by creating a mysterious legend around the creature.

The long-anticipated unveiling, was part of the all-city celebration during the Main Street Makeover in 2009.

Since that time, the deersnake is a piece of local lore.

For now, Nichols and Wells have no plans to leave any time soon. “It’s kind of a process in the early stages,” she said. “We went ahead and listed the buildings to see if there was any interest – that’s the first step.”

For early Christmas shoppers, Nichols offers reassurance. “I plan to sail right through the holiday season,” she said. “Nothing is imminent.”

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