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Hanna's Spree Park and Other Haunted Amusement Parks
Posted March 24, 2011 to photo album "Hanna's Spree Park and Other Haunted Amusement Parks"
Germany’s surreal Spree Park gets a cameo in Hanna. But it’s just one of dozens abandoned amusement parks that people still visit.
Dogpatch USA (Marble Falls, AR)
In 1966, tapping into the popularity of the “Li'l Abner” comic strip, Ozark businessman O.J. Snow and his business partners sent the comic’s creator Al Capp a proposal for an amusement park called Dogpatch USA (named after the strip’s mythic hillbilly hamlet). The developers won over the otherwise reticent Capp promising to emphasize the “dignified” aspects of the strip and to keep away from carnival rides. In 1968, the park opened its gates with its bottomless valley, Trout Fishin' lake (that let you catch the trout the restaurant would prepare) and Dogpatch cave", where "Kickapoo Joy Juice” was brewed. In 1969, former Arkansas Governor Orval E. Faubus became the general manager. But as trends changed, and Capp retired his comic strip, the park’s appeal diminished. By 1997, the park was abandoned and fell to vandalism and decay. Ironically, the ramshackle look designers had studiously worked to create came about naturally as the park fell apart. The site Abandoned Oklahoma keeps detailed photo records of the retired amusement park.