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