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Rhode Island Carousels (page 1)

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Crescent Park Carousel
Riverside, RI
The Crescent Park Carousel was built in 1895 by Charles I.D. Looff. It was part of a 50-acre amusement park built here that included many other rides. Between 1905 and 1912, Looff built many carousels for other parks here. Crescent Park closed in the late 1960s.

This carousel is the largest and most elaborate of Looff's works and the finest surviving example of its type in the U.S. It was originally built as a showcase for prospective buyers. The carousel features 56 hand carved wood jumpers (moving), 6 standers, 4 chariots, a camel, a Wurlitzer military band organ, decorative panels, beveled mirrors, faceted glass jewels, electric lights, and colored sandwich glass windows.

The Carousel was saved in the 1970s by residents and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites and Places in 1976. In 1987, the National Parks Service designated the Carousel as a National Historic Landmark. A $1 million restoration effort was completed in 1995. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Carousel Village
Roger Williams Park
Providence, RI
There once was a very nice carousel here (PTC #44) but it was moved to VA in 1973. This carousel is a modern imitation but it is still fun with its various menagerie figures, including a lion, rabbit, dragon, and giraffe. Unfortunately, it was not open when I was there and I had difficulty taking photos through the glass. For more photos, see this website.

Flying Horse Carousel
Watch Hill, RI
The Flying Horse Carousel was designed by Charles Dare and built around 1870 (experts disagree with some believing 1867, others 1880s). It is one of the oldest (if not THE oldest) continuously operating carousel in the country. It was abandoned by a traveling carnival in 1888 and survived a hurricane in 1938 (when it had to be dug up from the sand). The carousel was completely restored in 1993 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The 22 horses are suspended by chains and therefore only children (12 years old or less) are allowed to ride. The small horses are each built from a single piece of wood and have leather saddles, agate eyes, and horsehair manes and tails. There is even a brass ring device. The horses are removed and put in storage during the off-season (the carousel is right next to the Atlantic Ocean).

RI (page 2) Main Carousels Page

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