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Chippewa Falls amusement park ruins

Chippewa Lake ParkChippewa Lake Park was abandoned in 1978 with most of it’s attractions standing. The 385 acre lake outside of Cleveland is the largest natural inland body of water in the state. The park was open for nearly a hundred years and nature has reclaimed it’s coasters, ballroom and structures.

The park was home to 3 roller coasters – A Wild Mouse, A steel kiddie coaster named the Little Dipper and a larger wooden coaster. The wood coaster was earlier named the Big Dipper but was referred to as just “Coaster” in the later years. The ride was built about 1924 or 1925 by Fred Pearce. It is amazing that a Tumble Bug is still there considering how rare this ride is (only three in the US and one in the UK).

Chippewa Falls
In it’s glory days

Chippewa Falls
A night view

Chippewa Falls
Location

Chippewa Falls
Park Map

Chippewa Falls
Attractions List

There have been several locations listed for this park, usually as Cleveland. It is actually located at Chippewa Lake and is near the towns of Medina and Lodi, quite a bit Southwest of Cleveland. The park is due North of the juction of Interstate 71 and Interstate 76. In my opinion, it is possible that the park was not a Trolley Park but instead a Railroad Park, since the B&O Railroad runs directly behind the park.

The official opening of an organized park was in 1878. Mr. Edward Andrews was in charge, and back then the area was called, “Andrew’s Pleasure Grounds”. The summer months saw tent shows and occasional concerts, but the 4th of July was the biggest event highlighted with food, singing and fireworks. In fact, this day continues to be very popular for the communities located on the North and Southeast side of the lake, and is highlighted by their own hour long parade!

The park started to develop as an amusement park during the 1880’s as more attractions were added. Two of the rides that came were a roller coaster, and a miniature steam boat that toured the lake, but although these rides and others offered some fun, Mr. Andrews’ lack of motivation to provide better amusement, and his lack of concern regarding alcohol consumption caused the sale of his park.

Mr. Mac Beach was the next owner, and is credited with turning the park around. He came in 1898 to work the Midway for Mr. Andrews, and in 1900 purchased the park. He saw all the issues plaguing the park and decided to make some changes. The first thing he did was ban alcohol drinking, instructed his grounds keepers to remove all litter, and continued growing the attractions. Mac’s long term goal was to create a legacy to pass onto his son, Parker Beach.

Parker followed in his father’s footsteps and managed the park through 1937, when decided to purchase it. Chippewa Lake Amusement Park was THE place to go during the early 20th century. The park survived WWI, roaring 20’s, the great depression, WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Many fun events, annual company picnics and wildlife shows were held there, and to Parker Beach’s credit, kept it running through the 1960’s.

Chippewa Falls
In the 1960’s

Chippewa Falls
Lake view

Chippewa Falls
Crowd in the 1960s in the center of the park

Chippewa Falls
Chippewa Park

Chippewa Falls
Tickets from the park

Chippewa Lake closed in 1978 while under the ownership of Continental Business Enterprises. There have always been rumors of the lake & park selling to different parties over the years, but in 2007, the lake was indeed sold to The Medina County Park District. As of this writing, the park is still for sale. 110+ acres of prime lakefront property for a cool $3.5 million.

Chippewa Falls

Chippewa Falls
Ballroom intact

Chippewa Falls
Ballroom before fire

Chippewa Falls
Center of the Ballroom

Chippewa Falls
Ballroom Stage

Chippewa Falls
Coaster ruins

Chippewa Falls
Line to nowhere

Chippewa Falls
Coaster Ruins

Chippewa Falls
Trees growing through coaster

Chippewa Falls

Chippewa Falls

Chippewa Falls

Chippewa Falls

Chippewa Falls

Chippewa Falls
Ferris wheel

Chippewa Falls

Chippewa Falls

Chippewa Falls

Chippewa Falls

More pictures

Site dedicated to the old park

Another good site on Chippewa Falls Park

Nice set of photos on flickr

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Posted By: Jerome Aronson

News Category: Abandoned

 

7 Responses to “Chippewa Falls amusement park ruins”

  1. I love your pictures. Were you there lately? I have a fascination of amusement parks that have been abandoned. I would love to go and check out this place, please let me know how you got in, and if it is as spooky as it seems!

    Thanks.

    Becky

    Becky on 06 Jun 2008 at 1:15 pm
  2. CHIPPEWA LAKE PARK STARTED AS A HOTEL RESORT BY THE RAILROAD
    IT BECAME AN INTERURBAN (TROLLY) STOP
    FOR CLEVELAND AND SOUTHWESTERN RAIL LINE
    IT WAS ACCESSIBLE FROM RAILROAD AND INTERURBAN RAIL (2 SEPERATE RAIL LINES)
    IT WAS ON THE ONLY INTERURBAN LINE THAT RAN FROM CLEVELAND
    TO WOOSTER AND MANSFIELD

    YOU CAN FIND MORE AT
    GLORIA GLENS, OHIO
    HISTORY WEBSITE

    joe fetzer on 07 Apr 2009 at 12:46 am
  3. I saw your pics and that brought back sooooooooo many memories. As I kid we went out there the first Saturday in August every year for my dad’s company picnic. I have such wonderful memories of the park and rides. It’s so sad now to see it. We were just out there this afternoon. The “Bug” & “Caterpiller” were 2 of my favorite rides.
    THANKS again for sharing your pics!!!!!!!
    Betty

    Betty Amersbach on 12 Apr 2009 at 5:05 pm
  4. This is sad to see the park like this. Although my whole life the parks been overgrown i would have loved ot see it be restored to its original state. My grandfather grew up down there and they owned the gas station (now jeans carryout) there on the curve. He has many pictures of that area and many fond and sad memorys of the park. He shares many storys of Parker Beach (former park owner) and sad memories of his father Dieing of a heart atack on the pier. All these memories will be gone very soon as they are building a huge resort over the old park grounds. If anyone here has information or photos of the park and Chippewa lake community please send me an email at chong199 (at) hotmail (dot) com . im working on a project to get as much information pictures and films to keep part of the parks history and memories people have of it alive. My motivation for this is that i hate to see all the memories lost when they tear down whats left of the park plus im very interested and its a very large part of history of the area. Thanks for the website.

    Dustin on 25 May 2009 at 8:32 pm
  5. I would go to Chippewa lake every company picnic with my grandfather. I’m sure we have pictures. Can I dig those out and bring thre with me without problems?

    John on 26 May 2009 at 11:24 pm
  6. Hello, I’m a photographer from Youngstown, Ohio. This amusement park is about an hour and a half away from me, and I really want to do a photoshoot here. I’ve heard rumors of a demolition, but can’t find any certain facts. I was wondering if you by any chance have any idea if the rides here are still standing? Thanks!

    Jessica on 21 Jun 2009 at 9:37 pm
  7. I have visited chippewa lake park four times to document the decay and abandonment of the park. See my photos here: 40+ very popular photos
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bpdphotography/sets/72157621980516416/

    Brandon on 15 Sep 2010 at 1:58 pm
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