Local & Regional News
4:45 pm
Tue May 17, 2011

New Owner Ponders Future For Former Dogpatch USA Property

Dogpatch USA
A sign outside the long-closed Dogpatch USA theme park.
Credit wikipedia

It was once a big attraction in north Arkansas, but Dogpatch USA, a hillbilly theme park based on the Li'l Abner comic strip, closed in 1993.

Nearly two decades later, the property has now ended up in the hands of a 23-year-old who nearly died there. Pruett Nance and his family are considering what to do with the land, located between Jasper and Harrison.

In 2005, Nance was riding an ATV through the grounds when he was struck by a throat-high cable stretched between two trees.

A lawsuit was filed against the park's owners, culminating in a $650,000 judgment. When that wasn't paid, a judge this month ordered the deed to the property be turned over to Nance.

In an interview with FM 89 News, Nance's father Stewart Nance says the family doesn't know yet what it will do with the property.

“I'm pleased that my son has lived through the ordeal he went through,” said Stewart Nance. “We certainly didn't know or intend to end up with the Dogpatch property."

He calls the remains of the park an “eyesore” and hopes the family can do something with it that the public can again enjoy.

“It's a beautiful natural resource and what we are going to do is try to preserve what is there and then start thinking of ideas of what we can do with it in the future,” Nance said. “We don't have any plans at this stage.”

But Nance says they've been getting a lot of calls from people making suggestions. He also doesn't rule out the possibility of selling the property.