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Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park has interesting history

Famous people performing at Lake Winnie over the years have included Tex Ritter.
Famous people performing at Lake Winnie over the years have included Tex Ritter.
Lake Winnepesaukah / John Hampton

CHATTANOOGA, TN-- Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park has delighted and entertained children and adults of all ages since its creation in the 1920s. The family-owned amusement park is located south of downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Lake Winnepaesaukah 1924
Lake Winnepaesaukah / John Hampton

The lake was originally built by dams for several springs, created by Native Americans. The lake has had several names over the years, including McAfee Lake, Green's Spring Lake, and Lake Winnepesaukah.

The military has long been a part of the lake's history. Civil War soldiers for the Confederate Army, including Confederate President Jefferson Davis, camped along the lake during the Battle of Missionary Ridge. During World War Two, soldiers from a nearby military base marched over to the amusement park for a day of good clean fun.

Carl Dixon and his wife Minette purchased the property in 1924. Dixon built the first ride for the park, The Boat Chute, in 1927. He continued to dream, build, and manage the park until his death in 1933. It was Dixon who named the park Lake Winnepesaukah, which is a Native American word meaning either "beautiful lake of the highlands" or "bountiful waters".

After Carl's death, family members have continued to manage the park through the present day. From exciting roller coasters to a fully functioning train, there is something to please everyone at the park. The most recent expansion, Soak Ya, reunites the park with its watery past through water rides and a lazy river.

Lake Winnepesaukah has had an exciting history. The family that has managed the park through this history still makes the park a perfect place for everyone to have fun.

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