Pippin Roller Coaster

Status: Demolished; delisted Mar. 21, 2011

Location: Mid-South Fairgrounds, Memphis

Built: 1923

Architectural Style: Classic early Twentieth Century wooden roller coaster

The Pippin Roller Coaster was placed on the National Register on Nov. 8, 2007.

History: The Pippin Roller Coaster or Zippin Pippin was constructed in 1923 by noted coaster builder John A. Miller under contract to Lynn Welcher, a well-known concessionaire of the day. It was rebuilt after high winds and storm damage in 1928 left it “a tangled wreckage of kindling wood.” The City of Memphis purchased the popular ride from concession owners in 1946, along with other amusement devices on the Fairgrounds. In the mid-1960s the Pippin was said by Fairgrounds management to be “our greatest moneymaker,” and it was retained as a beloved landmark in the new Libertyland Amusement Park in 1976. It was used in the 1990s as a teaching tool in the Young Astronaut Program, part of the Memphis City Schools curriculum. In 2006 the City of Memphis allowed management of the departing Mid-South Fair to auction the landmark (which had come to rank near the top of any list of historic wooden roller coaster rides worldwide) and pocket the $2500 it brought from buyer Honky Tonk Hall of Fame. The ride was demolished in February 2010 by the City of Memphis. The Pippin’s design and naming rights were later obtained by the organization Save Libertyland and were passed to the City of Green Bay, Wisconsin, which rebuilt the Zippin Pippin into the popular tourist destination it has again become.

 

City Council District: 4

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 10

DON NEWMAN