Chippewa Lake finally coming down

Posted Thursday, May 14, 2009 10:12 AM | Contributed by Bozman

Developers are planning to give new life to the site of an amusement park that has been abandoned since 1978. Chippewa Lake Park in Lafayette Township - Medina County - closed and then deteriorated. Nothing was ever done with the old rides and buildings on the 90-plus acre site. Many are still there.

Read more and see photos from WTAM/Cleveland.

Related parks

Thursday, May 14, 2009 1:47 PM

I didn't realize a movie was filmed there. Nice!

I visited the site a few years ago and it was creepy in the daytime! It's sad that so many of those rides went to waste, especially the Tumble Bug. On the other hand at least they are doing something with the land.

-Tina

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 1:54 PM

Well, "movie" is relative I think. It doesn't look very good, and clearly has no distributor.

One of my college classmates wrote that article.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 3:24 PM

Would I be stirring up controversy if I mentioned how reading this article saddens me?

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 3:29 PM

I dunno... you're slightly older than me, but were you ever old enough to visit this park? My parents were, but they never had strong feelings about it.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 3:48 PM

Nope. I grew up in central Ohio, and although we made a few visits to Cedar Point and Geauga Lake, most of our trips were to Kings Island. By the time I moved up to the area in '87, the park had long since been shuttered.

From all I've heard, Chippewa Lake was never at the same level as places like Euclid Beach or even Idora. I'll never know first-hand.

If only I could travel back in time and tell my parents, "Believe it or not, I'm never going to outgrow my crazed feelings for amusement parks. So be a good mum and dad and take me to as many as possible before most of them shut down forever." I would either do that, or stop the Kennedy assassination. Tossup. ;)

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 4:05 PM

That's exactly how my family put it, that it was no Euclid Beach.

What I've never understood is how that property remained so underdeveloped for so long. Not just the park, but the surrounding area. I mean, it's a real dump on a very lovely setting. Kind of a blight on the area.

I've never gone inside, only viewed it from the outside. I used to work a few minutes from there.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 4:42 PM

My dads family used to rent a cottage there for many years when he was a kid in the 30's and 40's. He agrees that it was a nice little park but nowhere near the parks that Euclid Beach or even Puritas Springs were. When I recently asked my mother why they never took me there she told me "because it was closed." That's when I pointed out that it closed in 1978, when I was 9 years old. That tells you something, she didn't even know it was still open.

Tom

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 5:03 PM

I went there a couple years ago to take some pics. It was a life experience seeing that place... I felt like I was in a Scooby Doo mystery! Really cool seeing that old dilapidated coaster slowing rejoining the earth.

It was tough shooting pics... It's so overgrown that very little light gets in there. Still, here are a few shots from that visit...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/markmarko/sets/72157601654572083/

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 5:09 PM

Since I'm a bit obsessed, I have a few books on the place and it seemed to be enjoyed by many, but not on the Euclid Beach scale.

I went into the park about 3 or 4 times to take some pictures over the years (everybody did... though that doesn't make it right)

Aside from the coolness of the closed park, I too agree Jeff that it was one nice piece of property.

I'm glad it's finally being put to better use. I had been hearing of it being sold and redeveloped about 8 years ago... I'm glad something is finally happening.

Last edited by john peck, Thursday, May 14, 2009 5:09 PM
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Thursday, May 14, 2009 7:00 PM

I have one of the books too, written and printed by a local. The stories read like those about every other park from the area, and I'm not even a little surprised that none of them survived. The area was oversaturated, and hasn't had anything resembling an economic boom in decades.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 7:42 PM

Great photos john peck. The park is nowhere in my history, but seeing any abandoned park photos saddens me a little.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 7:48 PM

Considering Medina County has for decades been the fastest growing county in NE Ohio, it really is surprising that property didn't get snapped up years ago.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 8:06 PM

I actually grew up with Chippewa Lake Park. The Big Dipper and Little Dipper were my first roller coasters.That was my first memory of an amusement park.

Every summer our extended family would gather at the park for Italian Day, kind of a yearly family reunion. The picnic pavilion was located right below the Big Dipper. Just the sight of that first drop was frightening to a 9 year old. The Bug, Caterpillar, Tilt-A-Whirl, Ferris Wheel, all first rides. Great Memories.

That being said, the park was what it was. Certainly no Euclid Beach.

My kids first memory was of Geauga Lake, now my Grandkids first memory will be of Cedar Point. I guess each generation really does better than the one before.

Last edited by Bozman, Thursday, May 14, 2009 8:07 PM
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Thursday, May 14, 2009 11:41 PM

Aw, I really wanted to go see this some time, but never got around to it. Does anyone know if it's already been leveled? Or if there'd be anything left for me to see for a weekend trip?

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 11:54 PM

The bigger question to me has always been, can you look around without getting arrested?

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Friday, May 15, 2009 1:39 AM

Being a history enthusiast, I have always been fascinated with this park. Out of all the pics and stories of this park, I found this site to be the most interesting. Check it out. This site has alot of before and after pics.

Chippewa Lake

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Friday, May 15, 2009 9:14 AM

Jeff said:
The bigger question to me has always been, can you look around without getting arrested?

According to this news item from a few weeks ago, the 'park' is open for tours on 'Saturdays.' Now, I don't know how *many* Saturdays that will be happening. Illicit Ohio posted some more recent pictures, and it would seem much of the spooky overgrown nature has already been removed, so it might not have the same effect as a few years ago.

I'm also curious about this line in the article: "Most of the park's rides and buildings are beyond restoration. But twoof the park's rides, the ferris wheel and a ride called the"Tumblebug," may be taken down and reassembled on the opposite side ofChippewa Lake."

Really? Surely they won't be reassembled for use after sitting out in the elements unused for 30 years. I mean, this is what the Tumble Bug looked like in 2007.

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Friday, May 15, 2009 10:11 AM

There's barely anything left of the wheel, but perhaps there's enough of the Tumblebug to do something with it? Riding Kennywood's it always seemed like a fairly robust ride in terms of construction.

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Friday, May 15, 2009 10:17 AM

Jeff said:
The bigger question to me has always been, can you look around without getting arrested?

Depends on who you talk to. Some in the area will tell you: "No problem, find a hole in the fence and walk thru." Others will say: "go in there and someone will call the cops on you."

Years ago (more like two decades ...) i had a friend whose folks had a cabin in Gloria Glens and we'd go in there all the time. For a while there was a problem with dog-packs chasing anyone that went in there and biting them if they could.

From everything i've read, and what pics i've seen, The Bug doesn't look all that bad. Of course given the fact the cars were made with Stainless steel has a lot to do with that.

for anyone wanting to see pics of the park:

http://www.forgottenoh.com/Chippewa/chippewa.html

http://www.negative-g.com/ChippewaLake/Chippewa-Lake-2002-1.html

Last edited by FLYINGSCOOTER, Friday, May 15, 2009 10:31 AM
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