In an era well before "political
correctness" entered the vocabulary, Dogpatch exceeded every stereotype of
Appalachia. The hillbillies in Li'l Abner's town were poorer than poor. The
houses were hopelessly ramshackle. Most Dogpatchers were dumber than dumb. The
remainder were scoundrels and thieves. Most of the men were too lazy to work,
yet Dogpatch women were desperate enough to chase them. One preferred to live
with hogs. Those who farmed their "tarnip" crop watched turnip
termites descend every year, locust-like, to devour the crop. In the midst of
the Great Depression, lowly Dogpatch allowed the most hard-up Americans to
laugh at yokels worse off than they were. In Al Capps own words Dogpatch
was an average stone-age community nestled in a bleak valley,
between two cheap and uninteresting hills, somewhere. To old friends, the
denizens of Dogpatch will be old friends. To strangers, however, they will
probably be strangers.
Once located between Jasper and
Harrison, Arkansas, Dogpatch, U.S.A. mirrored the hillbilly town made famous in
Al Capp's comic strip, Li'l Abner. At Dogpatch, U.S.A, visitors could meet
their favorite characters, enjoy numerous rides, and take in the scenery of the
beautiful Ozark Mountains. Whether exploring "Dogpatch Cave," the
hideout of Hairless Joe and Lonesome Polecat, riding the rails across the
Bottomless Canyon, or Trout Fishin' in Bluff Spring, Li'l Abner fans
experienced the daily life of a "Dogpatcher."
Dogpatch, U.S.A. closed in the mid-1990s. Currently, there
are no plans to reopen it.
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