From Ohio History Central
Cedar point rollercoaster, "The Corkscrew."
Cedar Point is a peninsula in northern Ohio located along Lake Erie, as well as an amusement park at the same location. It is located near Sandusky, Ohio. In the nineteenth century, Cedar Point served as the site for a lighthouse and as a port for fishermen. In 1867, the peninsula became linked to a small railroad. This transportation forever changed the rural area. Within a few years, developers began constructing facilities to draw tourists to the region, including bath houses and picnic areas. The amusement park claims 1870 as its first season, when the first bathhouse and other forms of entertainment were built.
Cedar Point constructed its first roller coaster, the Switchback Railway, in 1892. By the 1890s, more and more people traveled to Cedar Point. When the Cedar Point Pleasure Resort & Company purchased the site in 1897, the firm paid $256,000. In the years that followed, more and more improvements were made at Cedar Point. New rides and attractions opened each year, and hotels offered overnight accommodations. In addition to tourists traveling by railroad, Cedar Point also welcomed visitors traveling by steamship from Detroit and Cleveland. Automobiles also brought greater numbers. Places like Cedar Point, Buckeye Lake, and Sandy Beach Amusement Park offered city dwellers the opportunity to escape the city heat in the summer.
In the 1950s, Cedar Point underwent some changes. Part of the area became a bird sanctuary in 1954, when Dr. Dean Sheldon purchase some land next to the road to Cedar Point. This site eventually became Sheldon's Marsh State Nature Preserve. The park faced a major turning point in 1956. Land developers George Roose and Emile Legros bought Cedar Point that year, hoping to construct a housing development. Eventually the two men decide to keep the park and make it into the "Disneyland of the Midwest." This goal meant that numerous improvements had to be made to Cedar Point. The amusement park drew larger numbers each year, with more than two million visitors in 1965. In the late 1970s, the company began to purchase other amusement parks in the United States. The business became known as Cedar Fair, L.P. in 1983. Four years later, Cedar Fair, L.P. went public, with shares trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
In the past few decades, Cedar Point has claimed a number of world records. In particular, the amusement park has become known for its roller coasters. In 1978, Cedar Point opened Gemini, which set records as the tallest, fastest, and steepest roller coaster in the world at that time. Gemini's record was surpassed by another coaster, Magnum XL-200, in 1989. Two years later, Cedar Point opened a wooden coaster named Mean Streak, which was the tallest and fastest of its kind in the world. These rides were followed by the Raptor, the world's tallest and fastest inverted roller coaster, in 1994, and Mantis, the tallest and fastest stand-up roller coaster, in 1996. Cedar Point surpassed all of its previous records in 2000, when it opened the Millennium Force. This roller coaster is more than three hundred feet high and once again set the record for the tallest, fastest, and steepest roller coaster in the world. Since 1978, Cedar Point has hosted an annual event called Coaster Mania that attracts roller coaster fans in large numbers. In addition, the park claims to be the "Roller Coaster Capital of the World." With its roller coasters and other features, Cedar Point has won numerous awards, including "Best Amusement Park" by Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards on several occasions.