From modest beginnings as a local swimming and fishing spot, Silver Lake Park, established by Ralph H. Lodge in the 1870s, quickly grew to become one of northeast Ohio’s most popular amusement parks. Thanks to its many exciting offerings, which included two roller coasters, a miniature railway, a merry-go-round, a dance pavilion, water toboggans, steamboat rides, live animal exhibits, and many other unique features, the park attracted up to 10,000 to 20,000 visitors a day from across Ohio and surrounding states. Always anxious to add new and thrilling attractions to the park, the Lodge family also introduced features described as the first public aquarium in the state of Ohio and the first aviation field in Summit County. In later years, the park added a popular Chautauqua, bringing the leading musical acts, entertainers, and orators of the day to the community.
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