One Tank Trip: Lake Shawnee Abandoned Amusement Park

The Lake Shawnee Abandoned Amusement Park has garnered international attention. Appearing on over twenty tv shows and multiple Netflix specials, the park has made a name for itself, and for good reason.

“Lake Shawnee is an abandoned amusement park, we do tours by appointment only and people come and spend the day with us,” Chris White, the park keeper said.

In just a day or two, you can fully immerse yourself in the park and take in the history of the land that dates back over two thousand years to the Native Americans.

“The history dates back to the woodland period. Native Americans lived here prehistoric, and then it went all the way up to when the first English settlers settled here. After that they built the amusement park in 1926 and it ran until ’66. We reopened the amusement park in 1985 and went to 1988,” White said.

Archeologists discovered a Native American burial ground after the amusement park closed down in 1988. Nowadays it is common for visitors to leave behind an offering to those in which the land originally belonged.

“We feel we should pay respect to those who actually owned the land. They got the land stolen from them so we do respectful things here, people bring offerings. They pay respect to the Native Americans,” White said.

The amusement park became a weekend getaway for coal miners and their families once it was built in 1926. With everything in one place, the Lake Shawnee Amusement Park was at one point, a hit.

“They would have a few hundred show up. They had a dance hall, they had a bathhouse, they had a speakeasy. So they would dance all night and hang out,” White described.

The experience is top-notch and worth the drive. This is thanks to such a dedicated and caring staff, a perfect example of how amazing the people are right here, in the mountain state.

“At the end of the tour, they are just blown away by what we do. We really care about what we do. We want to make sure everybody’s happy, everybody’s taken care of. Because just like you hear all over the world, go to West Virginia, they are so nice,” White said.

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