Situated in Pope County, Arkansas, Booger Hollow was once a popular tourist attraction along the Scenic 7 Byway. Though it is a “ghost attraction” today — closed and abandoned, it’s still worth a stop for its interesting photo opportunities, especially the main attraction — a two-story outhouse.
Though many Arkansans would love to rid themselves of the hillbilly stereotype, places such as Booger Hollow and Dogpatch, USA to the north, perpetuated the theme. Though both are closed today, there are others such as a new “hollow” attraction — Chiggar Hollow to the south, and others throughout the state. And why not, it’s fun.
A hollow (holler) is a narrow valley between hills and mountains, and there is actually a place called Booger Hollow, located about ten miles south of the old tourist attraction. So how did this all come about? The word “Booger” is derived from the old Welsh word “Bwg,” which meant “to scare.” Eventually, the word evolved into “Boo,” “Bogus, and “Booger,” with slightly different meanings, but all of which indicated something frightening or unknown.
Such was the case in the early 1800’s when the road from Harrison, Arkansas ran through the Bull Frog Valley to the site of where the geographic site of Booger Hollow stands today. On either side of the hollow were two cemeteries, leading the locals to believe the area might be haunted by those long dead. The name stuck and has forever since been known as “Booger Hollow.”
Interestingly, there are other “Booger Hollows,” or ghost valleys in other states including Tennessee and Kentucky. Additionally, the town of Boozeville, Georgia was once known as Booger Hollow.
In 1961, the Booger Hollow Trading Post was established and though it was not actually on the original site of the hollow, it took the name. In fact, the trading post is situated on a mountain top some ten miles away, only added to its quirkiness. For more than forty years, the attraction operated enticing visitors along with highway with multiple road signs announcing the distance to the attraction – “Booger Hollow Ten Miles,” “Booger Hollow Nine Miles,” etc. Upon arrival a sign welcomed visitors that stated Booger Hollow was home to only seven people and a coon dog.
The trading post consisted of the trading post, which featured loads of hillbilly themed knick-knacks, hand-crafted items, antiques, and local simple-life goods like honey and sorghum and lye soap. It also once held a post office and sold bait. Next door was a restaurant called the Chuckwagon, that featured items such as the boogerburger, boogerdog, and other hillbilly fare. On the other side of the trading post was a small store that sold cured hams.
But, the main attraction was and is the two story outhouse, which was added as a prop to entice travelers along the scenic highway to stop at the trading post. The lower level is practical, but the upper facility is perpetually closed, with a sign on the front indicating “upstairs closed til we figure out plummin.” This ingenious idea worked and continues to lure sight-seeing tourists to today. The tourist stop claimed its main attraction was the “World’s Only” Double-Decker Outhouse. However, in actuality, Booger Hollow has had to share this dubious distinction with several other locations, including Nevada City, Montana; Gays, Illinois; Silver City, Idaho; and a number of others around the country. However, this two story privy may very well be the best, at least in terms of photo opportunities. Just the name “Booger Hollow” is enough to make this tourist stomp the brakes and make a screeching halt while traveling along Arkansas’ Scenic 7 Byway.
In 2004 the Booger Hollow Trading Post was sold. However, since that time, it has never reopened. It is located along Scenic Byway 7 north of Dover, Arkansas.