At the end of Geauga Lake Park's final season in 2007, Big Dipper was the 14th oldest roller coaster in the world, the 10th oldest in the United States.
Having originally opened in 1925 under the name of Sky Rocket, it would later be renamed "Clipper" in the late 1940s.
Then, in 1969, the ride was rechristened Big Dipper.
In 1980, a major restoration project was conducted, ensuring Big Dipper's survival. The Big Dipper is also notable as one of the last built by John Miller, a prolific designer whose inventions are still used on roller coasters being constructed today.
Although John Miller designed hundreds of roller coasters, only a handful of his creations remain in the world.
Currently, there are 13 standing Miller coasters, but only nine are still in operation.
The Big Dipper will join four other Miller coasters with the ACE Landmark designation. It is also the oldest standing coaster in Ohio.
"To permanently lose such a classic ride as Big Dipper would, indeed, be a real loss for the region," offered David Hahner, ACE historian. "Not only is it a historically valuable ride, it was tremendously fun, one of the best wooden roller coasters in the state of Ohio."
Its survival is an amazing accomplishment, with nearly 1,200 coasters destroyed in the United States alone over the last century.
With the ACE landmark designation, the hope is to further support efforts to save Big Dipper for future generations to enjoy, whether on its present site or in another location.
"They just don't make them like this anymore," says Howard Gillooly, ACE preservation director.
"There are so few left from this era, they need to be enjoyed for generations to come."
The Big Dipper joins three other coasters in Ohio which have received the ACE Landmark distinction: The Beast and Racer at Kings Island near Cincinnati and Magnum XL 200 at Cedar Point in Sandusky.
Most significantly, the year 2010 will be Big Dipper's 85th anniversary.
Founded in 1978, the American Coaster Enthusiasts is the largest amusement park enthusiast organization in the world, with currently more than 6,000 members worldwide.