Belton’s Abandoned Theme Park

Slip-n-Dip

•Slip-n-Dip•

What was once an endearing theme park now lies in ruin tucked away behind oaks and overgrowth. When driving down US-76 from Honea Path towards Belton make sure to look to your left. Look closely, it is very difficult to make out under the hill of dense trees that shelter it today. What you see is the remains of the original sign. Many years ago, in the late seventies, a very popular waterslide sat just on top of that hill. It had three slides total, one was for kids only. That isn’t all Slip-n-Dip had to offer though. It had an arcade, a merry-go-round, electric swings, mechanical bulls, and so much more.

Slip-n-Dip

Memory Lane

Today the land is used for self-storage appropriately called Belton Storage. I actually can’t remember what the park really looked like myself. I was only around four years old the first time I went. By the following year, the park was closed. So I never got to experience it like many of you might have.

 

•Where did Slip-n-Dip go?•

Slip-n-Dip

desiccation

 

I decided to locate the owner of the park and find out what happened. I learned one important fact. Some parents will go to extraordinary lengths to make their kids happy. Some build their kids a treehouse, others maybe a sandbox or homemade Halloween outfit. Bobby & Danna Tribble decided to build a Waterslide park and what started off as something just for the kids to enjoy quickly grew into a full-fledged theme park in the end.

Slip-n-Dip

Green Lagoon

See, Bobby owned a construction company and was one extremely mechanically inclined person. As the years went by the park’s attractions grew. Danna had a lot to say for her spouse, especially about his unique talents. One thing she told me was, “Bobby would see something that fascinated him and after looking at it for a few minutes he could just build it. So that is what he would do. Let him look at it and he could make it.”

Slip-n-Dip

Rock Bottom

Slip-n-Dip would operate for 18 years. In 1991 Bobby’s health began to decline. Stage 4 cancer is what signaled the end. As things got worse Danna was left managing both the construction company and the park. It would turn out to be too much for her to handle.

Slip-n-Dip

Polarity

 

In its heyday, it wasn’t uncommon to see buses filled with eager kids traveling from as far as Columbia or even Georgia. It seemed to be a particular favorite for church groups of the time. I have heard several sentimental recounts of visiting with the local church and many people were very sad to see it go. 18 years is a long time. More than one generation was lucky enough to enjoy The Slip-n-Dip before it was gone.

Slip-n-Dip

Enter Here

I hadn’t expected to find much when I visited. It had been closed for so long that I assumed it was all gone. Most of it had been removed or sold, but a few items did remain. It is often easy to believe that these places are haunted or frightening to see. I didn’t know what sort of boogieman waited for me. After closing in such a tragic way I didn’t think anything good could still remain.

Slip-n-Dip

Soar Again

 

Disconcertingly enough, I found this place to be an exception. My only discovery was a kind and friendly family who lived nearby. While abandoned and mostly forgotten, a few still play and laugh here even today.

Still Swinging

#72 on the Adventure Map

 

 

 

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21 Comments

  1. Thanks for researching this memorable attraction, that so many loved to visit. This isn’t very far from where I live, and I have pointed it out to my girls. My parents used to take all of us kids here when we were little, and we had so much fun! This brings back a lot of memories!! 😊

  2. I remember going to the Slip and Dip when I was a kid. My parents would take me, my sister and our cousins, and we would have the best time! I really missed going here, but I hate to hear that it was due to the owner becoming ill.

    • Yes, it is a very tragic fate indeed. Danna told me though that it wasn’t a completely sad ending. One of her grandkids I believe uses the land for landscape practice. A storage facility was built by her brother and a family lives on that land now too. So while Slip-n-Dip ended, it spurred many other tales.

  3. My mama would take me and a friend here on the weekend. We would beg her, we lived in Abbeville and she would go sit and watch us for hours. I loved the slip in dip.

  4. I remember going the with a friend spur of the moment no one there. In the middle of the week on my moped, pay the owner maybe $5 . he would then turn on all the pumps it took to get the water flowing , seems like it took forever to start up( probably just minutes) we would slide, sometimes for hours . there’s no way he made money. I think.MrTribble just like to see someone enjoy his hard work

  5. This was my grandfather’s gem. It brought happiness to so many including his grandkids. I remember late night church nights when members of the church would come to swim and enjoy. I remember the bathrooms signs of Papa Smurf and Smurfette. My favorite was the track he built for children’s motorized cars. We felt so cool because we were “driving”. Or maybe it was the concession stand with soft serve ice cream, fountain soda, and fresh cotton candy. Or perhaps it was the arcade that instilled a love for skeeball and Ms. Pacman still to this day. Visiting my grandparents was like vacationing at Disney as a child. To me it was the happiest place on earth. I miss the Slip and Dip. But I truly miss my Papa. Thank for remembering the happiness he brought to everyone.

    • I love the details. If you happen to have any photos of what it originally looked like please let me know. I’ve been trying to find some shots that give you a feel for how different the area looked. I can’t really remember anything about my visit as a child. No newspapers or online articles were ever written about this wonderful place. I would love to try and preserve the history for others to see.

  6. So sweet hearing about our lives from an objective point of view. Beautifully written!~

    Babbette Tribble Labes (Oldest of five girls).

  7. My kids used to go here with our neighbors kid and mom. I never went. Wish I had now. But my children to loved it.

  8. Awesome history lesson! I love hearing about the history in my local community! Thank you all so much for sharing this great information!

  9. I remember going here as a kid with my brother and cousins.We would have races to see who get down the slides the fastest.I remember a sign that was up that read “we dont swim in your toilet so dont pee in our pool” I thought it was the funniest thing back then.We would climb that hill so many times out feet would feel raw by the time we left.lol.I wished it was still open,a lot of great memories.

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