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Chippewa Lake Park

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Fun For The Family


Welcome To Chippewa Lake Amusement Park

Chippewa Lake Amusement Park (1878-1978) was one of the first entertainment parks built in Ohio.

For more than 100 years, this lovely amusement park entertained the community, and provided employment for many in the area.

This site is dedicated to preserving the links and history of the private park on one of Ohio's largest natural lakes.

Welcome Back Riders - Amusement Park History 101

The best way to learn about the Chippewa Lake Amusement Park is to first learn how the whole idea of amusement parks came about. One of the best sources of information I've found about the history of amusement parks outside of books, diaries, and antiques, is a documentary called, "Welcome Back Riders."

Swashbucklers Studio composed a half hour video that tells the story of how amusement parks began with actual footage and photos from the era in which they were built. The music playing softly in the background are the original theme park songs which includes the rarely heard, "Chippewa Lake Park Waltz" written in the early 1900s.

Welcome Back Riders

Have Fun

This is one of my Chippewa Lake Post Cards.

This is one of my Chippewa Lake Post Cards.

Chippewa Lake Amusement Park

The History Behind Andrew's Pleasure Grounds

Chippewa Lake Park was founded by Edward Andrews, and for awhile was called, "Andrew's Pleasure Grounds."

According to Wikipedia, 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. After the addition of a steamboat and the park's first roller coaster, the amusement park was brought to life. However, the park's first roller coaster had to be manually pushed up the track following each ride.

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 time, 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.

Driving directions to Chippewa Lake

Chippewa Lake Dance Hall

Chippewa Lake Dance Hall

Chippewa Lake Dance Hall

The Starlight Ballroom

Chippewa Lake Starlight Ballroom

Chippewa Lake Starlight Ballroom

The Last Dance

Medina County Cotillion,  May 1975 - The Debutante With Her Father at The Chippewa Lake Ballroom

Medina County Cotillion, May 1975 - The Debutante With Her Father at The Chippewa Lake Ballroom

Medina County Cotillion 1975

In 1969 Chippewa Lake Amusement Park was acquired by Continental Business Enterprises. The company did very little (nothing) in ways to improve the park or promote it. At the time the company utilized the park more for rock concerts than a family destination spot.

Although I do not know much about the history of the Chippewa Lake Starlight Ballroom, in its heyday the ball room was used as a source of formal dance.

May1975, the Starlight Ballroom was where Medina County Cotillion was held. I was one of the lucky ladies who got to dance in the Starlight Ballroom before it was closed. The ballroom was huge, with elegant polished wood walls and floor. Truly, a ball room dance in the Starlight was magical, and something I will never forget.

October that same year, the Starlight Ball Room caught fire and was never restored, and if my memory serves correctly, the ballroom was officially closed in 1976. In 1978, less than three years after the ball room fire, Continental Business Enterprises blamed poor attendance on competition from Geauga Lake and Cedar Point and literally closed the gates, and left the park abandoned.

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Abandoned Chippewa Lake Amusement Park Documentary

Unforgettable . . . - Here's what's left of the Chippewa Lake Amusement Park

After the park's closure in 1978, the land the park was situated on was left largely untouched. By the year 2000, large trees were growing through rides like the coaster, the park's Ferris wheel, and and other rides. Several buildings had collapsed or been damaged by the effects of the elements. On the afternoon of Thursday, June 13, 2002, the Chippewa Lake Park Ballroom burned down.

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.

A Tribute To Chippewa Lake Amusement Park

RED's Tribute To Chippewa Lake Park

Abandoned Chippewa Lake Park

Chippewa Lake Park Inside Out

Something About The Amusement Park Coaster

2009 View Of The Rollercoaster of Chippewa Lake

Abandoned Chippewa Lake Park Visit Part 1

Images Of America

Chippewa Lake Before And After

Something About Chippewa Lake, Ohio

In the early days of our country, the Chippewa Indians were native to this part of the country, along Lake Erie and Lake Superior. This area was part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, which sold out to the Connecticut Land Company. The land held by these companies were to be distributed in lieu of pension for those who fought in the Revolutionary War.

Closed For The Season Before Demolition

Redon Fire At Chippewa Lake

Chippewa Lake Park Closed For The Season

Chippewa Lake Park: Closed For The Season - More Views of the Vanishing Park

Below are a few videos on from the film crew and actors who experienced the abandoned Chippewa Lake Amusement Park.

What Is Closed For The Season

The Location: Chippewa Lake Park

Local Community Support

The Second Trailer

Ohio Amusement Park History In Post Cards

Cinematography From Closed For The Season

Chippewa Lake Park Souvenirs - For Amusement Park Collectors

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 to Chippewa Partners LLC. This company 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. To this date, very little has been done.

In 2009, most of Chippewa Lake Park's structures, trees, and debris were demolished and removed. As of January, 2011: The ticket booth, Ferris wheel and Tumble Bug rides were still on the grounds, as well as the remains of the ballroom and several other structures.

The only other items or memorabilia that exist may be found at auctions, garage sales, antique shops, or eBay.

Chippewa Lake - Good For One Admission

Chippewa Lake - Good For One Admission

Chippewa Lake - Good For One Admission

In Summary

The Chippewa Lake Amusement Park was a wonderful place for parties, picnics, and a good place to go for just fun. The Starlight Ballroom was a marvelous place. I remember they had a restaurant that was quite a classy place. It was a shame the park was abandoned the the way it was.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit. If you were you ever a visitor, or your parents or grand parents ever ttook you to an amusement park, your shared memories are welcome here.

Native Americans Of Chippewa Ohio

© 2008 Tonie Cook

Chippewa Lake Visitors Unite

secondhandrose lm on December 11, 2012:

Unfortunately, my only visit to Chippewa Lake was after it was closed, a dead park tour. It seemed like such a nice place. I call it the 100 year curse. I know of many amusement parks that closed and were abandoned around their 100th year mark. Very sad. My own home park, Crystal Beach, Ontario, closed after 101 years. Now it is a gated community.

maryann-meacham-5 on August 23, 2012:

Chippewa Lake Park. Before Cedar Point and Geauga Lake, this was the place to go. My father's workplace, BFG, had their annual picnic there. It was cool because only BFG families would go. They closed it off to the public. Can you imagine? I so looked forward to it every year. What a sin it was abandoned and left to rot!

julieannbrady on March 10, 2012:

Oh my, but it has been a long time since we spent time in Chippewa Lake Park! One of the fabulous Ohio attractions, by far!

clouda9 lm on March 03, 2012:

Wouldn't it be wonderful if someone with the bucks decided to revamp Chippewa Lake Amusement Park? It sure is steeped in history and I love what you have added on here to take us back in time. *Blessed today...includes an angel hug from me to you ;)

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on February 28, 2012:

I think it is so very sad when places like Chippewa Lake Park are abandoned. I am sure that it holds many fond memories for former visitors and sure hope that something is done to revive it.

Margaret Schaut from Detroit on February 27, 2012:

Ohio actually has some pretty terrific things in it. I've spent a lot of time in Ohio and enjoyed it very much. Great lens on a terrific park!

JamesHotRod on February 25, 2012:

I just saw a movie about Chippewa lake park called Welcome Back Riders. It had an original song that was written by Chippewa in 1918 called the Chippewa Lake Waltz. They played some of it in the film. Can anyone tell me where I can get a copy of this recording?

Moe Wood from Eastern Ontario on January 03, 2011:

This is interesting. We had a Chippewa Park where I grew which was by the water, had campgrounds, annnnd an amusement park.

Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on September 09, 2010:

As I am writing this I think it is becoming a new resort hotel. The one blog said it was razed earlier in 2010. What a loss. "Closed for the Season" was made just before that. It probably was very strange to see it falling apart and becoming a ghostly shell of iron and twisted metal. In LA our defunct amusement park was POP. Pacific Ocean Park. It was torn down rather quickly. This kept me riveted to my screen.

julieannbrady on September 08, 2008:

Ah, thanks for the memories ... we visited Chippewa Park SOOO many times when I was a kid. ;) 5*****

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