October 3, 1967
Al Capp, creator of the Lil’ Abner comic strip, spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony for a development that was to become Dogpatch USA, an entertainment park with an Ozarks theme. The 835-acre theme park had an initial cost of $1,332,000 and had many original buildings, which were disassembled, cataloged, and reassembled authentically. The park opened in 1968. Jess Odum bought controlling interest in the operations, upgraded some facilities, and hired former governor Orval Faubus as general manager. After years of successful operation, decline of the project began when unfavorable interest rates on loans and added competition from larger and more sophisticated entertainment projects nearby put a strain on the business. The final season was in 1993.