|City/Town: • Beaver • Eureka Springs|
|Location Class: • Amusement|
|Year Built: • 1960's | Year Abandoned: • 2005|
|Status: • Abandoned • Burned Down|
|Photojournalist: • James Kirkendall|
Dinosaur World, earlier known as John Agar’s Land of Kong and ” Farwell’s Dinosaur Park”, was a tourist attraction in Beaver, Arkansas. It was a theme park covering 65 acres , which contained a hundred life-size sculptures of dinosaurs, cavemen, and other prehistoric creatures as well as the world’s largest Noah’s Ark Mural. The park closed in 2005. It was the largest dinosaur park in the world.
The park was started in 1967 when Ola Farwell hired Emmet Sullivan to build 6-10 life-size replicas of dinosaurs. It was called “Farwell’s Dinosaur Park”. In the late 1970s the park was sold to Ken Childs and became “John Agar’s Land of Kong”. That’s when a 40 feet (12 m) tall statue of King Kong known as the “World’s Largest King Kong” was built. The owner, a friend of film actor John Agar, received permission from John Agar to use his name in the name of the park. John Agar had appeared in the 1976 version of King Kong. Many articles report that John Agar was either the owner or part owner, but he was never either one.
The sculptures were created by Emmet Sullivan, who also designed the dinosaur statues in Dinosaur Park and Wall Drug in South Dakota, and the Christ of the Ozarks statue in nearby Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Two local men, A. C. McBride and Orvis Parker handled the actual construction of the dinosaurs.
Along with the nearby Beaver Dam, a few of the park’s dinosaurs are featured briefly during the opening scenes of the 1969 horror movie ‘It’s Alive!’. The tyrannosaurus is featured in the 2005 film Elizabethtown and is shown on the film’s cover.
As of 2006 the park was intact but completely grown over. Oddly all the shelves in the gift shop were still stocked. On August 3, 2011, a fire destroyed the park’s main building. The fire was suspected to be arson.
Photos Contributed by JenTil and James Kirkendall! Enjoy!