Haunting photos of a rotting wooden coaster

Doran sez, "Flickr user el_rebelde has created a small but wonderful set of images from the Big Dipper roller coaster at Chippewa Lake Park, Ohio. His notes say it was built in the 1920's and ended service in 1978." Haunting pix indeed. Link (Thanks, Doran!)


  1. This reminds me of the wooden roller coaster in Arnold’s Park, Iowa, on West Okoboji Lake.

    That was the first roller coaster I ever rode on. I think every year there was speculation that this was its last year.

    But it’s still operating.

    It too was built in the 1920s. It’s the 13th oldest–I had heard that it was the first roller coaster built west of the Mississippi, but I don’t actually know that for fact.


    And now I live not far from the Cyclone–which I will never ride again.

  2. Euclid Beach was another great cleve-land amusement park.

    But the king still remains — Cedar Point, the best amusement park on Planet Earth. It’s got the old (the Arcade is right outta “Big”) and it’s got the new (biggest, fastest coasters), etc. And you can still go on some great wood rollar coasters there, the Mean Streak, the Gemini, and the grandaddy of them all — The Blue Streak. If you play your cards right and wait until your past the first hill, you can almost stand-up on this coaster …

  3. I was intrigued by the headline: there I was, expecting to see some pictures of a small, unloved, wooden table mat…

  4. I’ve been to this place several times in summer and winter. It’s absolutely amazing. The land it’s on was just bought by a developer and the whole park will be torn down soon. Sad.

    I also have some flickr galleries of the park here, here, and here.

    This picture is my favorite because you can see the big tree trunks that have grown up between the coaster planks. It’s how the whole world will look when all the humans are gone.

  5. A link I spotted on another blog just the other day. . .

    List of Abandoned Amusement Parks

    It includes lots of international parks as well as US parks, and most of them have Wikipedia entries of their own which link to outside history, memorabilia, and other fannish-type sites. Warning: Massive Time Sink Potential

  6. Ya know if Scoob and the gang had solved the mystery of the Chippewa Ghost, Old Man Withers would have been able to reopen this place.

    On a more serious note, I just barely remember going to Chippewa Lake Park as a small child with my mother. I was maybe four but I remember the turnstile and that coaster. It’s very surreal seeing how much it has overgrown. Makes me feel kinda old, actually.

    I remember my mother telling me how she saw the Michael Stanley Band there before they got sorta largish.

    It’s really odd seeing these photos.

  7. I think BoingBoing should stand by its philosophy and stop plugging photo exhibits that aren’t released under CreativeCommons. And 800×600 to boot? Please. I’d rather see nothing than to be teased with circa 1998-sized pictures like those. :(

  8. @Maddy

    At the risk of nitpicking, while Cedar Point is, well, super awesome, the Gemini, unlike the Mean Streak and the Blue Streak, is not a wooden coaster per se as it has a wood frame but an all steel track. You can definitely tell the difference.

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