Chippewa Lake Park


Chippewa Lake Park
Chippewa Lake Park
Chippewa Lake Park; 1950's logo.jpg
Location Chippewa Lake, Ohio, U.S.
Coordinates 41°3′49.0″N 81°54′6.2″W / 41.06361°N 81.901722°W / 41.06361; -81.901722Coordinates: 41°3′49.0″N 81°54′6.2″W / 41.06361°N 81.901722°W / 41.06361; -81.901722
Owner Edward Andrews (1878-1898)
Mac Beach (1898-1937)
Parker Beach (1937-1969)
Continental Business Enterprises (1969-1978)
Opened 1878
Closed 1978
Previous names Andrew's Pleasure Grounds
Rides 12 (1937) total

Chippewa Lake Park is a defunct amusement park once located in Chippewa Lake, Ohio, Medina County. It operated from 1878 through 1978, after the final owner, Continental Business Enterprises closed it due to lack of attendance. After the park's closure, its rides and structures were left largely untouched and unmaintained for the next 31 years.

Contents

History

Andrew's Pleasure Grounds

In 1875, Edward Andrews organized a picnic ground and beach under the name Andrew's Pleasure Grounds. The park operated with some success, but its condition deteriorated. With the addition of a steam boat and the park's first rollercoaster, the amusement park was brought to life. The initial roller coaster had to be manually pushed up the track following each ride.

Chippewa Lake Park: 1900-1969

Mac Beach, acquired Chippewa Lake in 1898 and improved the park immensely. He also placed a ban on liquor sales. Mac's son, Parker Beach, managed the park during its boom years, the roaring '20s. During that decade, the first modern coaster was built at the park, designed by Fred Pearce. Originally named the Big Dipper, it became better known as simply 'the coaster'. The park also featured a live band-stand seven nights a week.

The Beach family kept the park running successfully into the 1960s. Eventually Chippewa Lake would feature three roller coasters, flying cages, a Ferris wheel, carousel, Tumble Bug, ballroom and many other rides.[1]

Resale and closure: 1969-1978

Chippewa Lake was acquired by Continental Business Enterprises in 1969, and closed in 1978 while under their ownership, owing to factors like competition from nearby Cedar Point and Geauga Lake amusement parks.

Abandonment and deterioration: 1978-2010

The Park's Ferris wheel in 2007, left standing like many rides, but overgrown with foliage

After the park's closure in 1978, the land the park was situated on was left largely untouched. By the 2000s, large trees were growing through rides like the coaster and the park's ferris wheel, and several buildings had collapsed or been damaged by the effects of the elements.

About 4:00 PM on Thursday, June 13, 2002, the Chippewa Lake Park Ballroom burned down.[2]

By 2008, several other buildings had suffered the ballroom's fate, including the hotel, arcade, fun house, peanut stand, and maintenance building, all of which had been damaged or destroyed by fire. However, other rides and structures still stood, in various states of disrepair. These included the Big Dipper (Coaster), the Wild Mouse coaster, the Little Dipper coaster, the Tumble Bug, and the frames of the Ferris Wheels and Flying Cages. Most other buildings across the park were in various states of collapse due to 30 years of neglect by this time.

In 2008, thirty years after the park's closure, the land the amusement park stood on was offered up for sale with an asking price of $3,500,000, and, according to the realtor's website, was sold. The page which indicated this was last updated on March 26, 2008[3].

The horror film Closed For the Season, shot in 2008 and released in 2010, had several scenes shot at the long-closed amusement park, and featured many of the park's derelict attractions as backgrounds.[4]

On September 9, 2008, Chippewa Partners LLC announced plans for a development on the site called "Chippewa Landing" which would include a hotel and spa, fitness center, restaurants, a conference and music center, small shops and other entertainment venues, expected to be completed sometime in 2010.[5]

The site's structures, trees, and debris are being demolished and removed as of April 5, 2009 and the site is expected to be redeveloped soon after the completion of this work.[6] Tours of the property were available as of Spring 2009, on Saturdays between 11 AM and 5 PM. Currently, tours are being held only on the second Saturday of every month (June 13 and July 11), between 11 AM and 5 PM. The possibility exists that two of the rides standing until 2009, the ferris wheel and Tumble Bug will be relocated to the other side of Chippewa Lake and restored as part of the new development project. As of June 14, 2010, the Hamburger Stand (Stand A) and half of the coaster have been demolished.[7]

As of June 19, 2010: the date of the final "tour"; the hamburger stand and coaster are gone. Everything else will be removed or demolished within days/weeks.

As of January, 2011: The ticket booth, ferris wheel and Tumble Bug rides are still on the ground, as well as the remains of the ballroom and several other structures.

References

External links


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