Arkansas’s kitschy-est ghost town has a new owner. Earlier this week, Charles “Bud” Pelsor purchased much of the land that used to be the home of Dogpatch USA. He and partners paid close to $2 million for the 400-acre site in Newton County on Wednesday, the Democrat-Gazette reported this morning.
The sale will no doubt spark all sorts of nostalgia among Arkansans of a certain age for the long-defunct theme park. Matt Rowe’s short student film above is a fun history of what, in retrospect, seems like a terrifically misguided attempt to recreate the success of Disneyland with Al Capp’s hillbilly “Lil’ Abner” characters. Rowe’s description of his video pretty much says it all: “Main themes include Ozark stereotypes, Daisy Mae’s bust line, and eyes that are bigger than bottom lines.”
Pelsor is the inventor of the spill-proof dog bowl.
He told the D-G that he wants to revive the park through green development for ecotourism, specifically mentioning restoring a trout farm on the property and working to reestablish a population of pearl-bearing Mussels native to Arkansas among his plans.
Pelsor and partners bought the property from Pruett Nance, Stewart Nance and Little Rock lawyer Brent Baber.
Pruett Nance was severely injured while riding an ATV through the park in 2005. A judge awarded him; his father, and Baber, their attorney, the property after the owners failed to pay a $650,000 verdict in the case.