"Old Marble Falls" by Paul McGehee
Image Size: 14 1/4" x 11 1/4" ; Edition: 2,000 S/N
Signed and Numbered: $ 100.00
Is the original still available

"Old Marble Falls” by Paul McGehee. Tucked away in green hills of Newton County, Arkansas along Mill Creek lies the beautiful Marble Falls. A natural wonder, located in what used to be known as Marble City after the marble stone that was quarried nearby. In 1836 marble from the quarry was transported by ox cart for 60 miles over the mountains to the Arkansas River where it then traveled by water, eventually ending up in Washington, D.C. where the Washington Monument was under construction. To this day, at the 30' mark of that obelisk can be found a stone with “ARKANSAS” chiseled into it, from that quarry at Marble Falls. Over the years the rushing waters of the Falls on Mill Creek powered grinding wheels for the production of flour, milling machines for the refinement of cotton, and power saws to cut lumber for construction. Things boomed for a while in the late 1800's, and the town that sprang up acquired a name, Wilcockson. But, hard times hit in the early 1900's when the milling operations ceased to exist. In 1934, in an effort to put the naturally beautiful spot on the map for tourism, the town was renamed after one of its greatest visual assets...Marble Falls. In the mid-1960's big things were afoot in little Marble Falls...the popularity of Al Capp's newspaper comic strip “Lil' Abner” which had already spawned movies and a Broadway musical with its colorful country characters, was about to bring them all to life in an 825-acre theme park to be called “Dogpatch, U.S.A.” It was built around the Marble Falls as its centerpiece...an entire hillbilly village with an amusement park and a miniature train which folks could ride on, as it coursed past authentic Ozark Mountain shacks with park employees dressed as Mammy Yokum, Pappy Yokum, Daisy Mae, Abner, etc. all in costume, walking around and doing what they would do everyday in the comics, only in real life...hangin' out laundry, brewin' Kickapoo Joy Juice, bathin' in washtubs, and in general, feudin', fussin' an' fightin'! And of course Sadie Hawkins was on the prowl, looking for a feller. The town square of Dogpatch featured a large statue of their native son and hero, Jubilation T. Cornpone. The nearby Mystic Caverns were rechristened “Dogpatch Caverns”. The “Dogpatch” amusement park was a fun family place with ferris wheel, carnival rides and water attractions. Great things were projected for the development of the region because of it. Unfortunately the Marble Falls was altered in the process of constructing the park, however, with a train trestle now coursing overhead and stonework buildings on the creek diverting the natural flow of the water over the rocks, forever changing the appearance of the Falls. The park flourished for a few years but then went into decline in the 1970's as it was pretty much out of the way, and other nearby attractions such as the music halls of Branson, Missouri to the north were drawing tourism away. “Dogpatch, U.S.A.” limped along through the decades, and finally closed for good in 1993. Other plans for the old park have come and gone, but there are high hopes for the present, as the land was recently acquired by Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, who intends to restore, preserve and share the environs as the Marble Falls Nature Park. The artwork depicts Arkansas' Marble Falls as it once was, in days of yesteryear, before Lil' Abner and his friends arrived...back when it was the local swimming hole. It was, and still is, one of the most naturally beautiful and peaceful scenes in the country.
"Old Marble Falls" is faithfully reproduced as an archival-quality print from McGehee's original color pencil and acrylic artwork, each hand-signed by the artist.