Originally Picnic Lake/Giles Pond, opened as Geauga Lake in 1887, this park was home to early settlers including the Staffords, Mark Patterson, Capt. Simon Henry with his wife Rhoda Parsons and their children, Charles Swires, the Brewsters, and Bohan Blair.
In the year of 1817, Sullivan Giles had chosen a small area to build his log cabin home on this land. Later, he would come to build a large frame home on the spot behind Geauga Lake depot on the north side of the lake.
1856 rolled around and so did the railroad, directly into town, making a stop at “Pond Station”. Realizing what a great, scenic area Giles was in ownership of, he found it a good idea to open the grounds to camping, including a dance hall as well as other entertainment near the last half of the 19th century.
The grounds were opened for Picnics and swimming in 1872.
At the time, a full-sized steamboat circled the lake, towing a large scow, topped with a dance floor. The boat, first owned by William Banford and Rowe Fuller, was later purchased by the Kents. In 1907, the boat was shipped by rail to Brady Lake near Kent.
William J. Kuhlman expanded the park in 1925. At that time, Geauga Lake built the Big Dipper, the then-largest wooden roller coaster of its time, 2,800 feet (850 m) long and 65 feet (20 m) high. Geauga Lake’s Olympic-sized swimming pool was built, and it stayed in operation until the mid-1960s. On Sunday, July 11, 1926, Olympic medalist and Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmuller set a new world record in the 220-yard free style swim in the pool in front of 3,000 spectators.
Since photographing this park, almost all of it has been demolished. Rest in pieces Geauga Lake.