Dog Patch U.S.A. was a theme park located in northwest Arkansas along Highway 7 between the cities of Harrison and Jasper. Closer to Harrison really. It was opened in 1968 and was based on the comic strip Li’l Abner, created by cartoonist Al Capp and set in the fictional village of Dog Patch. The park opened at the height of the 1960s hillbilly pop culture that was sweeping the nation. Shows such as Green Acres, Petticoat Junction and Beverly Hillbillies were all television hits at the time. Branson and Silver Dollar City were quickly becoming popular destinations.
Like all theme parks the gift shops were full of memorabilia for tourists. Below are two of these pieces representing Li’l Abner and Daisy who were popular characters in the comic strip. Note the date on each.
Dog Patch was very successful when it first opened and thousands of tourist made their way to the Ozarks to visit and have fun. Unfortunately it began to run into money problems in the late 1970s from lawsuits and lower visitor numbers. A bank actually foreclosed in 1976. In 1991 the park completely closed. Recently the land was purchased though and there is hope that Dog Patch will return.
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