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Anna Findley and Michael Schwarz of Abandoned Arkansas at Dogpatch USA.


Dogpatch USA ‘captivating’


After moving to Arkansas


to attend the University of Central Arkansas, Schwarz and his friends began vis- iting abandoned properties in the state. On a recent trip to aban- doned Dogpatch USA near


Harrison, Schwarz and his crew found the amusement park “heartbreaking yet captivating.” Time, weather and vandals have taken their toll on the once-bustling tourist destination. Dogpatch, based on the


Li’l Abner comic strip, opened May17, 1968, and welcomed around 8,000 visi-


Michael Schwarz, founder of Abandoned Arkansas, photographs an overgrown Razorback at Dogpatch USA.


tors that day. After several changes in ownership, the park closed permanently in 1993, after attracting several million visitors through its 25 years.


Abandoned Arkansas photographer Eddy Sisson said Dogpatch is one of his favorite places to visit. “This is what made me


love abandoned things,” Sisson said, looking up at the crippled Wild Water Ram- page. “It’s 35 feet of awe- some. I never had any in- terest in the characters that Dogpatch was based on, but for some reason, I love it here. I think we all have one place that is special to us. This is mine.”


Living Well i June/July 2014 15


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