After writing my Monday column, "A Look Back," for several months, it seemed time to look forward as well. This is the first installment of a new bi-monthly column about changes that are taking place in Conway and Faulkner County.

No one gets more excited than me to see new businesses opening, new buildings being constructed or other changes taking place in Conway and the surrounding area. We frequently drive around just to see what is new or how a project is progressing.

There are plenty of things to look at these days. On our drive from Wooster, we go by a couple of new houses under construction. There are also a couple of new subdivisions being put in along Highway 25 north of the Lake Beaverfork. It seems like residential housing construction is really thriving again after the housing bubble of 2008.

We are also eagerly watching for the old Springfield Bridge to make its reappearance at its new home on Lake Beaverfork. The piers are poured, the lumber for the floor is ready to be shipped and the railings are almost done. Workin’ Bridges, a Michigan company that specializes in old bridge restoration, will be coming back this month to reassemble the bridge and get it ready for foot and bicycle traffic. The Faulkner County Historical Society is having signs made to provide information about the history of the bridge and the restoration project.

Another project we are keeping a close eye on is the extension of Salem to Lake Beaverfork. Almost every day workers are busy getting the new road ready to connect to Highway 25. Traffic is already brisk on Highway 25 and most expect even more traffic when the new road opens.

Smokehouse BBQ opened up its second location at Pickles Gap Village earlier this month. The scaled back menu does not include fried foods but we didn’t miss them at all. The restaurant had red gingham table cloths and the meals were served in baskets with a "newspaper print" liner. Guests can go check out the various fudge options next door to top off their meal. The restaurant also has an outdoor seating area. Crystal and Shannon Taylor, the owners, hope to eventually have local musicians come to play on the "pickin’ porch."

The addition of Smokehouse BBQ to Pickles Gap Village is just one of the changes Janis Mack Davidson is making to attract new visitors. Gift baskets of fudge, dip mixes, salsas, jellies, nuts and candies are available in the gift shop for every occasion. Fudge trays are also available for holidays and other gatherings. There is a flea market on property as well as some baby goats for the children to pet.

Looking forward is exciting. Conway has been a great place to live in the past and it will continue to be a great place to live in the future. This column lends itself to tips, comments and feedback from you, the readers. Send those news items to

A Look Forward is a new column that will appear bi-monthly in the Log Cabin Business section compiled by Faulkner County resident and staff writer Cindy Beckman. For tips and comments, contact her at