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The Rollercoaster Fate of Chippewa Lake Park

There are a lot of abandoned amusement parks found throughout the United States. A number of these parks were forced to shut down because they failed to pass the parks’ codes and standards regulating authorities. Others closed down because of financial troubles. Some parks, such as the Chippewa Lake Park closed down because the number of people visiting them dwindled down that ticket sales are no longer enough to maintain the parks’ operations.

Chippewa Lake Park was a theme park located in Chippewa Lake, Ohio. The park’s operations lasted for a century from its opening in 1878 until its official closure in 1978. After the park closed its operations, it was left abandoned for more than 35 years. Most of the structures are now filled with graffiti and vandalism. Likewise, nature has now reclaimed most of the 95-acre land with trees and shrubs growing through the middle of the Ferris wheel and other rides left in the area.

The History of Chippewa Lake Park

While the park was founded in 1898, Chippewa Lake Park started as an organized picnic ground and Beach under Andrews’ Pleasure Grounds in 1875. The previous owner, Edward Andrews, operated the park successfully for a while. However, when the number of guests began to dwindle, Andrews converted the picnic ground into an amusement park by adding a steamboat and a manual rollercoaster for guests to enjoy.

In 1898, Andrews’ Pleasure Grounds was acquired by Mac Beach, who started massive improvements on the area. Mac and his son Parker ran and managed the park. Parker, who was born in 1905, managed the park until his senior years. He was also in talks with the park’s sale in 1969 to the Continental Business Enterprises. When the Beach’s operated Chippewa Lake Park, the park had three roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, a ballroom, flying cages, a carousel, and many other smaller rides and attractions.

Nature has reclaimed most of the 95-acre Chippewa Lake Park

When Continental Business Enterprises acquired the park, the new owners planned to transform the park into a high-end summer resort. However, these plans were abandoned because of little public interest and insufficient funding. Likewise, the competition for visitors among the nearby Cedar Point and Geauga Lake amusement parks caused guests’ dwindling to Chippewa Lake Park. The new owners of the park decided to close the park on its 100th year without any fanfare.

The Final Resting Place of Parker Beach. When the previous owner, Parker Beach, learned of the park’s closing, he requested his family to bury him within the park upon his death. It is said that there was no official approval of Parker’s request; however, a 2007 documentary featuring the Chippewa Lake Park shows a lonely gravestone near the roller coaster. It is believed that Parker, who spent his life within the park, is also enjoying his afterlife there.

As of 2020, there was an announcement that there are plans to transform the Chippewa Lake park into a Medina County Park.


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