Beginning in 1874, Silver Lake and the land surrounding it was a popular Akron area amusement park. The lake was acquired in 1876 by Ralph H. Lodge and he subsequently also purchased the land surrounding the body of water. It was originally a picnicking and swimming area, but before it closed Silver Lake Amusement Park featured animal exhibits, a roller coaster, a dance hall, steamboat rides, and a hotel. It grew into one of the biggest attractions in Ohio. In its prime, the park received over 10,000 visitors per day.