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story.lead_photo.caption The remains of a carriage can be seen on the property of the Dogpatch USA theme park in Newton County in this 2016 file photo. - Photo by Bill Bowden

The abandoned Dogpatch theme park will be sold at auction at 9:30 a.m. on March 3, according to a legal notice published Wednesday in the Newton County Times.

The auction will be held at the east door of the courthouse in Jasper.

A “Notice of Commissioner’s Sale” was filed Jan. 23 in Newton County Circuit Court, two days after Circuit Judge Gordon Webb signed a decree of foreclosure on the property.

According to the decree, Great American Spillproof Products Inc. had 10 days from Jan. 21 to pay $1,031,885 owed on the 400-acre property.

If that didn’t happen, the property was to be advertised for sale at auction for 10 days in a newspaper published and circulated in Newton County, according to the decree.

Stewart Nance of Eureka Springs, his son John Pruett Nance of Rogers and their attorney Gregory Brent Baber of Little Rock hold the mortgage on the property.

They filed suit in September against Great American Spillproof Products after it fell behind on lease payments and missed a balloon payment for the total amount due in August.

Great American Spillproof Products bought the Dogpatch property for $2 million in 2014. Besides a $1 million promissory note, the company had paid $1 million.

Stewart Nance said he will start the bidding at $1 million for the property.

Constructed in 1967 for $1.33 million (about $10 million in today’s dollars), Dogpatch originally featured a trout farm, buggy and horseback rides, an apiary, Ozark arts and crafts, gift shops and entertainment by characters from Al Capp’s “Li’l Abner” comic strip, according to the Central Arkansas Library System’s Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Amusement rides were added later.

Dogpatch had about 300,000 visitors in 1968 but never publicly reported more than 200,000 a year after that, according to arkansasroadstories.com.

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