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Gone, but not forgotten: The early days of Dogpatch USA


A group of Harrison businessmen started the project, and construction began in 1967. The first tours began the next year. People parked in a lot and were driven by bus to the village, where they were treated to a train, paddle boat, stagecoach, and burro rides. They could fish for trout, and if they caught some, the trout was cleaned and iced for the tourist to take with them. There were many people in costumes, including Moonbeam McSwine and Cousin Weak Eyes, who would take a Polaroid picture of you if you desired. The Hot Springs Sentinel reporter who wrote the article said that all the people were very friendly. He remarked upon the fiddle music and rail-splitting, wood carving, and lye soap making demonstrations. He dined at the restaurant selling Schmooburgers and Kickapoo Joy Juice. He said the the price of admission was comparable to Disneyland or Six Flags. (Hot Springs Sentinel 25 Aug., 1968)

Barbara LeRoy is the author of “Which Side Were They On?,” a new 302 page book listing biographical sketches of the Newton Countians who were involved in the Civil War, available for sale either in the Bradley House Museum or by purchasing online at www.newtoncountyar.com. The book sells for $33.