Monday, May 25, 2015

Chippewa Lake Park Ad – May 1964

Here's another vintage ad announcing the Memorial Day opening of a now long-gone Northern Ohio amusement park: Chippewa Lake Park. It ran in the Lorain Journal on May 22, 1964.

According to this Wiki entry, Chippewa Lake Park was in operation from 1878 to 1978.

It began as a simple picnic grounds adjacent to a beautiful lake, and with the addition of a roller coaster and boat ride, became an amusement park. It thrived during the 1920s and was still a popular choice for families right into the 60s and 70s. It finally closed without fanfare in 1978, due to competition from Cedar Point and Geauga Lake.

Unlike other amusement parks that closed, however, its rides were not sold and the land immediately redeveloped. Chippewa Lake Park apparently was just left to deteriorate for more than 30 years. It became a favorite documentary subject of filmmakers who contrasted the decaying park rides and structures with photos and footage of the park in its heyday.

Here's one of those short documentaries that are fairly common on YouTube. This one is pretty creative, with some great clips and now-and-then photo dissolves.

I don't remember my family ever going to Chippewa Lake Park. It was one of those things I remember hearing Captain Penny mention on his TV show, but we were strictly a Cedar Point family.
I remember driving out to Chippewa Lake Park in the 1980s and taking some pictures of the sign and the roller coaster. But that was in the pre-digital camera days, so it's gonna take some digging for me to find those shots.


Randall Chet said...

Hi Dan - I've always loved Chippewa Lake Park, it was probably the first "true" amusement park I ever visited. My grandfather worked for US Shipbuilding and they had their annual picnic there many years. Some of my earliest favorite memories are riding those rides. The last I remember going was about 1974 when I was 10. I remember picnics at Geauga Lake Park after 1974. According to the video, the Coaster was named Big Dipper. I remember Big dipper as Geauga Lake's coaster. I only remember Chippewa Lake's as The Coaster. I remember one of my last rides on the coaster. My mom was sitting next to me, and she started freaking out because the nails in the wooden floorboards of the coaster car had popped, so the floorboards were rattling and you could see daylight through them. I think that was the last time we got her to ride it! I also remember being really disappointed because their mini-coaster The Wild Mouse wasn't in operation. Would love to send you some of those picnic photos. Cheers.

Mike Kozlowski said...

....Went to many an AMSHIP picnic there, though IIRC they even switched over to Geauga Lake by 75 or 76- I was on the Chippewa Lake Wild Mouse on July 20, 1969 when they stopped every ride to announce that the Apollo 11 astronauts had landed on the moon.


Wireless.Phil said...

My uncke worked for Erie Lackawanna Railway in Cleveland, we used to go to railroad clambakes down there and I remember the one ride with rocketships that flew over the lake as it went around. One of the rockets was turned into a car and once in awhile you'll see it driving around Ohio, or used to anyway, I've not seen it in a few year.