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This Rare Footage Of An Arkansas Amusement Park Will Have You Longing For The Good Old Days

Pop quiz time, faithful readers! Raise your hand if you remember the early 1990s. Okay, now raise your hand if you remember most of the 1980s. The 1970s, anybody? Well, that’s where I drop out of the hand-raising competition. I can’t remember the 1970s because I wasn’t quite born yet. If you do remember the late sixties, seventies, eighties, or early nineties, and you’ve lived in Arkansas all that time, you probably remember a certain little amusement park we all loved, called Dogpatch USA. You most likely recall a park bustling with activity, a place where you could ride the rides, eat great food, and see a well-designed ode to hillbillies everywhere.

Dogpatch was in operation from 1968 until it closed in 1993. It’s okay if you think this amusement park has been abandoned since the 1990s. Due to the number of news sites that lament its abandonment, it’s perfectly understandable if you still think it’s up there in the woods, disappearing into the forest all around it. I once made that mistake myself. You’ll be glad to know, though, that though we think of Dogpatch like this:

. . . the truth is that the new owners are focused on cleaning up the place. That’s right, our beloved Dogpatch is abandoned no more. That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t get a little nostalgic and sad about the Dogpatch we remember. In order to give service to those melancholy feelings, I’ve discovered a mesmerizing video taken in Dogpatch in 1976. This old video comes complete with appropriately mournful music. Enjoy, and never forget Dogpatch as it was, even though we’re all looking forward to what it will be when the new owners are finished with it.

To see more cool photos of Dogpatch as it currently is, click here. If you want to find a theme park in Arkansas that is actually abandoned, take this tour in pictures.

J.B. Weisenfels
J.B. Weisenfels has lived in rural Arkansas for three decades. She is a writer, a mom, and a graduate student. She is also an avid collector of tacky fish whatnots, slightly chipped teapots, and other old things. In her spare time she enjoys driving to the nearest creek to sit a while. If you were to visit her, she'd try to feed you cornbread.