Chippewa Lake Park

Little Dipper


The Little Dipper

The Little Dipper was an Allen Herschell designed 'cookie cutter' children's coaster that could be found at many parks across the country... 'cookie cutter' meaning that it was not a unique or customer design but rather a pre configured coaster that could be installed at any park. It basically consisted of a small loading platform, leading directly to a lift hill, and then a series of dips and slight turns leading the rider back to the station. The Herschell little dippers are noted by the little dipper sign above the lift hill. THIS picture, not of the Chippewa Lake Little dipper, but another little dipper at Crystal Beach park gives an idea of the lift hill of this type of coaster.

I'm not entirely sure when the Little Dipper made its arrival at Chippewa Lake, but many of these coasters popped up during the 50's and 60's, so until I have time to do the complete research, I'm going to assume it was around that time frame. The coaster is essentially just a steel scaffold type structure with a simple steel track and four simple turns. The current condition of the Chippewa Lake Little Dipper is very poor, but I suppose realistically, if someone really wanted one, it could be repaired and restored. Its very rusted and bent in spots where trees have fallen through it. The sign is missing, and the cars that were once stored in the ballroom were removed prior to the fire that destroyed the ballroom. Their whereabouts is unknown to me. I have heard rumors that locals removed all of the coaster cars in the late 1990's, which would make sense based on them appearing in 1997 photos that I've seen, but not being there when I arrived in 1999.


Pictures of The Little Dipper
Click any picture to see a full sized
The Little Dipper loading platform, spring 2005
The end of the lift hill of the Little Dipper, spring 05, if you look closely, you can see where the sign formerly mounted to the top of the lift hill.
The little dips... and a turn... and a fence.
Looking up the lift hill, that bent bar right in the center is from the old sign. Taken around 1999.
The dips from the inside of the circular track. Taken around 1999.
The lift hill in 1999.


To see the entire unlabeled gallery of all of my current Little Dipper pictures, click HERE

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