Couple Shares Dogpatch USA Stories Through New Documentary

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KFSM)-- For the past year, a Northwest Arkansas couple have collected stories from people all over the country about the old theme park, Dogpatch USA, located near Harrison, Arkansas.

Dogpatch USA is a theme park that opened in 1968 and was based on Al Capp's comic Li'l Abner.

It closed down around 1993.

Fifty years to the day the park opened, Jeff and Heather Carter premiered their documentary "Dogpatch USA" in Harrison.

Jeff said when his father died a few years ago, he found an old photo of them at the park.

That photo sparked inspiration.

From there, he and his wife Heather Carter went out to talk to people who used to work at the park to see if there was an interest in a documentary.

They were shocked by how many people got on board.

Heather said when talking to people who visited the park or worked there, many of her own memories returned.

"It was a very family oriented place," Heather said. "When you would come down the tram on the hill into the valley where the park was located, it just kind of transferred you from real life into this fantasy world that was Dogpatch."

They quickly learned that many who lived in Arkansas during the 70's or 80's had similar memories of the old park.

The couple said this park was more than just a theme park for some.

During their research, they spoke to couples who met there and fell in love in Dogpatch.

To this day some of them are still together.

For others, the park was inspiration to do more .

The Carters said some of the people hired to act as one of the characters in the park went on to act in movies.

One example they gave was Natalie Canerday who acted in movies like "Sling Blade" and "October Sky."

Jeff said they have not yet released where others can see the film, but will post updates on their website for those who areĀ  interested.