- Associated Press - Monday, August 22, 2016

BATESVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Craig Ogilvie has an unusual collection of booklets. He has a copy of every Arkansas Tour Guide published since 1975, the year he went to work for the Department of Parks and Tourism.

“I started keeping the guides as reference material,” Ogilvie said. “I wrote a good part of each guide during the years 1975 through 2005, the year I retired. I had to keep one on hand to serve as a model for the next edition, so I just kept adding them to my library.”

The Batesville Guard (https://bit.ly/2blrgUh ) reports that after retirement, Craig continued to get a guide each year just to keep the collection going. He said there have been lots of new attractions added to the guide in recent times, which shows that tourism continues to grow in the Natural State.

“I guess the most unusual use for the tour guide is the fact that one was introduced into a circuit court case years ago to prove that a certain road was still being used by tourists and the general public,” Ogilvie recalled, “and I had to testify that I wrote the information.”

It’s easy to get a current state travel guide, map, calendar of events, outdoor booklet, parks guide and more (all free of charge) by calling 1-800-NATURAL, or visit Arkansas.com and click on “Free Guides.”

Ogilvie was a young newspaper writer and cartoonist during the beginning stages of the Ozark Gateway Region. He tagged along with Leo Rainey, the founding father of the eight-county association, attending meetings and recruiting volunteers during the 1960s and ‘70s. Craig did the artwork for the very first Gateway brochure and virtually every issue since.

Ogilvie was presented the Tom Biggs Award in 1986, the second person to receive it. He also holds the council’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” and is a member of Arkansas Tourism’s “Hall of Fame.”

His duties at the Department of Parks and Tourism included writing news features, handling photography assignments, serving as a tour guide, working travel shows from Texas to Canada, serving as a program speaker and advisor to four regional tourist associations, illustrating a weekly cartoon series about Arkansas history, attending and assisting with tourism conferences, writing special media releases and helping write the State Tour Guide each year, plus handling other duties as assigned by his editor.

After more than 50 years of service to tourism, including 30 years as a travel writer for the State Tourism Division, Ogilvie and wife, Sue, retired to their home in Batesville.


Information from: Batesville Guard, https://www.guardonline.com/

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