By Don Lowe

   It has been nearly a decade since Bruce and Christine Westwood became co-owners of Civil War Ranch and Civil War Arena in Carthage, Missouri. And, this husband and wife team are thrilled with how this venture is going for them. 

   “When we purchased the ranch, it had the arena name ‘Civil War Arena’ that was well known about the area, so we decided to keep the Civil War name since it is on Civil War Road,” Christine recalled. “But, we added the ranch part for flexibility in activities.” 

   As for what is offered here, Christine explained “Civil War Ranch has both a wedding venue in the complex of barns to the south of the arena and a horse arena. 

   “We host an average of 50 weddings a year in the barns that we can date back to the 1890s. It is a beautiful setting with a 2 ½-acre pond and options for indoor and outdoor events. 

   “The arena has a 200 x 90 pen, dozens of stalls, pens, chutes and a nice climate-controlled concession area. We have bull riding, ranch rodeos, barrel events, roping, concerts and weekday open rides for our neighbors, who need a dry place to ride. 

   “The arena is a good facility for large horse and other animal events. It has seating and sound equipment, plus extra space for contestants, if the weather is wet. 

   “The wedding venue is a quiet, comfortable setting for a beautiful country wedding. The barns have a charm that makes it wonderful, so you don’t need to do a lot of decorating to have a beautiful space.” 

   There are a number of individuals and businesses that have helped make this a success for the Westwoods. “Bruce and I run the day-to-day operations, but we have a valued staff that helps maintain the facilities and serve our clients. 

   “Arvest Bank has been a valuable partner, while helping us make the Ranch a success. The Small Business Development Center at Missouri Southern State University has been invaluable in helping us navigate a new business and find the information we needed to make decisions.” 

   While continuing to laud those who have been important to how well this has gone, Christine said, “The area has an abundance of excellent photographers, caterers, bakeries, florists, etc., that help make it easier for our couples to choose the services they need. 

   “Our neighbors have supported us as we have worked to help improve the facilities and grounds here. 

   “We love helping our clients have a good time in the arena. And, we love to share our couples’ happy occasions.” 


Civil War Ranch/Civil War Arena Fast Facts

What: Wedding Venue/Horse-Riding Arena    

Co-Owners: Bruce and Christine Westwood, who work together with their son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Stephanie Westwood

Where: 11838 Civil War Road in Carthage, Missouri

Weddings: Available Monday-Saturday. Appointments can be made through their Facebook page or website. All pricing, policies and available dates are listed on the website.   

Horse Riding: Open for day riders 12-9 pm every day if other events aren’t scheduled. Prices for arena event vary depending on what services and facilities are needed.    

Mission: “Family is an important part of our lives, and finding a place that our family could love and that we could share with others has been a dream of ours since we were married. We purchased the Civil War Arena and surrounding 78 acres in 2012.”

Contact Information: Call 417.237.0771, email [email protected] or visit