Chippewa Lake Park
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.
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 Starlight Ballroom
The Chippewa Lake Ballroom
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.
Chippewa Lake Dance Hall
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.
Abandoned Chippewa Lake Amusement Park Documentary
A Tribute To Chippewa Lake Amusement Park
RED's Tribute To Chippewa Lake Park
The End Of 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 Park 2008 To Demolition
Chippewa Lake Before And After
Closed For The Season Before Demolition
Closed For The Season
The horror movie "Closed For The Season" is based on a haunted amusement park. The movie "Closed For The Season" includes footage shot at the abandoned Chippewa Lake Park in August 2008.
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.
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
Something About Chippewa Lake, Ohio
Chippewa Lake Park was part of the Indian Lands.
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.
© 2008 Tonie Cook