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Rock Candy Mountain

Rock Candy Mountain

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Built: 1987 | Abandoned: 1993
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Eddy Sisson
Rock Candy Mountain
A patch from the Rock Candy Mountain Resort

Rock Candy Mountain Resort was established in 1987 by a man named Mr. Nations and had been a booming business before, when Dogpatch USA was up and running. Dogpatch employees and touring performers often stayed here.

After Mr. Nations was accidentally killed in car wreck, his family sold it to Robin Bellach. It was then bought by the Richard (Woody) King signed by Rose Manno. He didn’t make payments, so the current owner is Rose Manno; she is now 83 and in a nursing home in Harrison.

The property is and has been and cared for by trusted friends for the past 15 years.

Note: “‘Big Rock Candy Mountain’ was a folk song first recorded by Harry McClintock in 1928 about a hobo’s idea of paradise. It is a place where “hens lay soft boiled eggs” and there are “cigarette trees.” McClintock claimed to have written the song in 1895, based on tales from his youth hoboing through the United States, but some believe that at least aspects of the song have existed for far longer.”

One evening as the sun went down
And the jungle fire was burning,
Down the track came a hobo hiking,
And he said, “Boys, I’m not turning
I’m headed for a land that’s far away
Besides the crystal fountains
So come with me, we’ll go and see
The Big Rock Candy Mountains
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
There’s a land that’s fair and bright,
Where the handouts grow on bushes
And you sleep out every night
Where the boxcars all are empty
And the sun shines every day
On the birds and the bees
And the cigarette trees
The lemonade springs
Where the bluebird sings
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
All the cops have wooden legs
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth
And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs
The farmers’ trees are full of fruit
And the barns are full of hay
Oh I’m bound to go
Where there ain’t no snow
Where the rain don’t fall
The wind don’t blow
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
You never change your socks
And the little streams of alcohol
Come trickling down the rocks
The brakemen have to tip their hats
And the railroad bulls are blind
There’s a lake of stew
And of whiskey, too
You can paddle all around ’em
In a big canoe
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
The jails are made of tin
And you can walk right out again,
As soon as you are in
There ain’t no short-handled shovels,
No axes, saws or picks,
I’ma goin’ to stay
Where you sleep all day,
Where they hung the Turk
That invented work
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
I’ll see you all this coming Fall
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains”
Songwriters: Harry Mcclintock / Sterling Sherwin

 

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Ginger Beck

Ginger Beck has been exploring with Abandoned ARkansas since 2017. She has authored "Abandoned South Arkansas: Natural State, Natural Decay" and co-authored "Abandoned Arkansas: An Echo From the Past". She lives in a restored historic home in Downtown Little Rock and works to raise awareness on historical structures with local agencies.

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9 Comments
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Estelle Mullins
Estelle Mullins
8 days ago

Hi I’m actually very interested in this I was wondering if it is up for sale please contact me if it is thank you

Old Blue
Old Blue
1 year ago

My wife and I spent the night at the campgrounds in 1975…believe it cost $2.00. Still have the receipt in my wallet, but it’s too faded out to read anymore. Was a really a nice place and had a great secluded spot.

Art Nations
Art Nations
1 year ago

Hello everyone and thank you all for your heartwarming and thoughtful memories about both our family’s campground and Dogpatch. Being the son of the man who built Rock Candy Mountain Campground I can inform everyone on some details. My father and mother opened the campground in early summer of 1972. In the two years prior, the place was under construction during the summers of 1970 and ’71. When the campground opened, the pool was not quite completely finished, yet travelers still wanted a place to camp and so we welcomed and accommodated them despite them being unable to swim just… Read more »

Michael D Lewis
Michael D Lewis
2 years ago

I worked at Dogpatch Summer ’88. Stayed in Harrison for the season. As I was under age I bought warm six packs of boot leg Meister Brau from the little store at Rock Candy Mountain. Appropriate I would say. Good people.

Will
Will
4 years ago

Rock Candy Mountain is older than 1987 – I have a brochure from the 1970’s. I also rented a room from Robin in Feb/Mar of 1992 above the “convenience” store. Very interesting place. At the time there were several old RV’s on the property and at least one couple living in an old AirStream up on the hill. The “motel” at the top of the hill had some rooms available – an older man stayed up there and some construction workers as well. In the main building there was a father and son in a room (worked as chicken gatherers)… Read more »

DANNY
DANNY
Reply to  Will
2 years ago

KNOW IT WAS THERE IN MID 70’S MY FAMILY LOVED CAMPING THERE MY DAUGHTERS SPENT WHOLE WEEK-END IN THAT POOL THE OWNER AND HIS STAFF WERE GREAT

old arkie
old arkie
5 years ago

I knew N. E. Nations when he built the campground. He was a really great guy and everyone liked him. Really sad when we learned of his accident and death!

R.S.
R.S.
5 years ago

I think it was in business a lot longer than 1987. I remember swimming there in 78. It was a wonderful place and I wish it would be restored.

Will
Will
Reply to  R.S.
4 years ago

Yes it was older than that – perhaps as early as the late 1960’s early 70’s. Pool was long unused by the time I made it there in 1992.

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