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.
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?•
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
#72 on the Adventure Map