Pine Ridge is up for sale

I come to this by way of Donnie Pitchford, cartoonist behind the Lum and Abner comic strip, and occasional Dick Tracy contributor. Pine Ridge, Arkansas — specifically, the Dick Huddleston Store and the Lum and Abner Museum — is up for sale. As you might infer, the place is dedicated to the long-running serial radio-comedy show by Chester Lauck and Norris Goff. Lauck and Goff based the characters on their show on people they knew in Waters, Arkansas, a town which changed its name to the Pine Ridge that it inspired. This includes the Dick Huddleston named in the store.

The buildings date to 1904 and 1912, the only pre-1920 buildings remaining in the town. They’re on the United States National Register of Historic Places. It’s been a museum dedicated to the show since the 1970s. The real estate listing offers the buildings and surrounding area — “24+ acres” — and even the 1950s fire truck I didn’t know about. They’re asking $777,000. (The real estate listing also lists 1909 as the year of construction. I’ve learned year-built data can be weirdly unreliable.) I have no information about why it’s gone up for sale, or why now. If I learn anything, I’ll share it.

And for those curious now what Lum and Abner is all about? You may have a delight waiting for you. It was a longrunning, 15-minute serial comedy. Mostly Lauck and Goff talking to one another, doing all the voices for the cast of amiable, eccentric characters in town. The title characters are a fun pair, proprietors of the Jot ‘Em Down Store. Their adventures are driven by their complete lack of guile and ability to imagine anyone else has it. As old-time-radio shows go it’s pretty well-preserved, as something like a third of all known broadcasts survive. For the era this is excellent and that’s still something like 1600 episodes.

I recommend it as pleasant, gentle listening, and also a good way to understand the charms of this kind of serial comedy. (There’s also a 1948 half-hour non-serial version that’s, um, for completionists. There are also some movies, that sometimes crop up on Turner Classic Movies, that are about as good as any old-time-radio movie.) I’m surprised that I appear never to have written specifically about the show, or introduced any representative episodes. Might have to fix that.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

5 thoughts on “Pine Ridge is up for sale”

  1. Thanks for passing the information along about the Pine Ridge property. In a nutshell, Dick Huddleston’s daughter sold his store to Ralph and Dorothy McClure. The Lum and Abner Museum was established after another store building was donated and attached. Chet Lauck approved and visited there many times. Mrs. McClure passed it on to her son, Lon Stucker. Lon’s wife Kathy became the Pine Ridge historian and postmaster. They have run the establishment for over 40 years, but have decided to retire and move into a city. They are in their 80s now. And yes, I was Peter Pitchblende for a brief time in “Dick Tracy”! I’m about to complete 11 years of the “Lum and Abner” comic strip and audio adaptations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so for the information! I’m glad that it’s a matter of wanting to retire, and not something dire or sad.

      Must admit if I had a spare $800,000 I might consider it, although if I had a spare $800,000 I probably would stay where I am and watch Buzzr all day.

      Liked by 1 person

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