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Devastating Fire at Conneaut Lake Park

The Dreamland Ballroom at Conneaut Lake Park was completely destroyed in a fire that was spotted around 2:00 a.m. The fire also heavily damaged or destroyed about half of the buildings that line the midway on the ballroom side of the park.

Built in 1909 the Dreamland Ballroom one of the last buildings from the original Exposition Park. The large building consisted of a second-floor ballroom and a first-floor maintenance area and storage area. The adjacent buildings housed skee-ball games and food stands. Park General Manager George Deshner said the maintenance area contained the motors and other components for most of the park’s rides. Everything in storage was lost in the fire. The buildings and the contents were not insured.

Conneaut Lake Park has been struggling for years, and this loss could quell future plans to reopen the historic lakeside park. Conneaut is home to Blue Streak, an ACE Coaster Classic built in 1938 by Andrew Vettel. Last year ACE made the Blue Streak a Landmark Coaster, but was unable to present the plaque, as the park did not open in 2007. The park is also home to a Herschell Little Dipper and Chance Toboggan.

Update 2-20-08: The fire that destroyed the ballroom and seven adjacent buildings didn’t destroy all of the park’s ride motors, as previously believed. According to a source who asked not to be identified, only three of the motors were destroyed in the blaze. The rest were in other locations and were not affected by the fire.

 

The classic Blue Streak. View full-sized image.
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