Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Blast From The Past - Putting The Big Dipper Out Of It's Misery

The Big Dipper (or Coaster as it was often referred as in later years) built 1924 by Fred Pearce, was the main attraction at the now defunct Chippewa Lake Park. The sleek out & back woodie is the last Pearce coaster standing (for now.) The park has been closed for over 20 years, and the Dipper was SBNO (Standing But Not Operating) for a few years before the park closed.

The Coaster Station circa 1974

Thirty plus years of neglict and weather has taken it's toll and it has been many years since this coaster was salvagable. Rotting wood and large trees have ensured that. The whereabouts of the train are uncertain, although internet rumors have it showing up as many places as Elvis. The brake levels and signage have also disappeared, and the station has started to collapse.

The Coaster station July 2009

So, why am I drudging up this sad tale now, well it seems the park and the Big Dipper's fate is finally sealed. The property has been sold and the remains of Chippewa Lake Park are being razed for future development. A lot of clearing has been done and it's only a matter of time before the Coaster is demolished. Part of me is very sad this day has come and part of me is releived that the park's fate has been decided.