Connecticut

Bristol

Lake Compounce

 

 

Lake Compounce has the distinction of being the oldest continually operated amusement park in the United States. The park opened in 1846. It is known for its classic carousel and for its roller coaster which is the oldest wooden roller coaster in the United States.

 

The carousel was built in 1893 and is a three row with figures carved by Charles Carmel, Charles Loof, the Murphy brothers and by Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein. There are 27 jumping horses, 22 standing horses, two chariots and one goat. The figures are very well maintained. The band organ is a Wurlitzer 153.

 

The original location of the carousel is unknown, but it waslocated at Savin Rock in West Haven, Connecticut from 1893 until it moved to Lake Compounce in 1911.

 

For more information on Lake Compounce log on to their website at www.lakecompounce.com or call the park at 860-583-3300.

 

Link to Youtube videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x5Qi2W36-M

 

 

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Hartford

Bushnell Park

 

Bushnell Park in Hartford, Connecticut is very fortunate to have a beautifully restored all wood, Stein and Goldstein 1914 carousel. The carousel exhibits 3 rows, consisting of 36 jumping horses, 12 standing horses and 2 chariots. Each piece is intricately carved and artistically painted with unique detail.

 

The carousel was purchased in 1974 from the Myers Lake Amusement Park in Canton, Ohio. It had been in operation in Canton from 1940 to 1974. Until acquired by the Myers Lake Amusement Park, the carousel had been located from 1914 to 1940, in Albany, New York.

 

The band organ is an operational Wurlitzer 153.The music, cheerful and resonant, brings a smile to oneís face when approaching the 24-sided Pavilion which houses the carousel. A smaller Pavilion was added to the site in 2015. The new area has been welcomed, offering a separate function room, modern spotlessly clean restrooms and a ticket counter/concession stand.

 

Upon entering, you will be greeted, as if you are an old friend, by a representative of the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol. She will offer history of both the Museum and the carousel, sell tickets, ($1/ride) and mementoes, as well as the delicious popcorn she makes.

 

For opening times call 860-585-5411.

For further Information:

 

The New England Carousel Museum: http://www.thecarouselmuseum.org/index.php/bushnell-park-carousel/about

Carousel History: http://carouselhistory.com/

 

The National Carousel Association: http://carousels.org/index.html

 

Link to Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XIvCz_AWlg

 

 

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New Haven

Lighthouse Point Park

 

Since 1916, Lighthouse Point Park has been home to a circa 1911, 60-foot diameter, 4 row Murphy/Carmel/Looff wood carousel with 56 jumping horses, 13 standing horses, 1 camel, and 2 chariots. The band organ is a Stinson 165. The City of New Haven purchased the carousel in 1927. Although closed for several years from the late 1970s to the 1980s, the city raised funds to restore and refurbish the carousel and building. The carousel is now open and beautifully operating again. The building and the carousel were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

 

The Lighthouse Point Park carousel features horses carved by 3 different master carvers: Timothy Murphy, Charles Carmel and Charles Looff. The carousel was assembled in the Murphy brothers shop at Savin Rock, West Haven, Connecticut, a short distance from the carouselís present location. It is not known if the carousel had ever operated at Savin Rock before moving to Lighthouse Point.

 

The carousel is open summers only. There is a fee for using the park if you are not a New Haven resident, but if you tell the attendant you only want to see the carousel, he/she may let you in for free or a reduced rate.

 

Rides are $0.50 (although park entrance fees apply) For further information call 203-946-8327.

 

For further Information:

 

New Haven Parks and Recreation: http://cityofnewhaven.com/Parks/ParksInformation/carousel.asp#history

Carousel History: http://carouselhistory.com/

The National Carousel Association: http://carousels.org/index.html

 

Link to Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfPTouaNKWk

 

 

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Old Lyme

Soundview Beach

 

This carousel is a classic wood/metal Allan Herschell built in ca. 1940.(Some sources claim the carousel was manufactured in 1925, but with aluminum heads and legs, it is more likely that the 1940 date is correct.) As with many Allan Herschell carousels, this one was designed to be portable. It has two rows with 24 jumpers and 2 chariots. The horses have carved wooden bodies with cast aluminum heads and legs. It has been in its present location since the mid-1960s. Previously, the carousel operated in Florida. The carousel has a functioning brass ring dispenser providing an element of extra excitement for the rider. It is open evenings only from 7 PM to 9 PM Memorial Day to Labor Day.

 

Rides are $1.50. For further information call 860-434-3908.

 

For further Information:

 

Carousel History: http://carouselhistory.com/

The National Carousel Association: http://carousels.org/index.html

 

 

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Somers

Sonnyís Place

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The beautiful 1925 Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC) (#72) has returned to Connecticut after 73 years and is now residing at Sonnyís Place in Somers. The carousel is a three-row with 48 horses on a 50-foot platform. Of the 48 horses, sixteen are PTC signature horses. The carousel was originally installed at Delaware Beach in New Castle, Delaware in 1925 and remained there until 1928 when it moved to Lakewood Park in Waterbury, Connecticut. Lakewood Park was the home of PTC #72 until 1945. The carousel was then returned to the Philadelphia Toboggan Company where it remained until 1952 when it was installed in Kiddieland in Melrose Park, Illinois. After its final run in 2009, the carousel was placed in storage in Chicago.

 

The carousel is being beautifully restored under the direction of Lisa Gibson-Ronalter, Restoration Department Manager, Juan Andreu, Master Carver, and Judith Baker, Master Painter, at the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol, Connecticut. All the outside row horses along with a few inside row horses have been restored.

 

The rounding boards, the inside paneling and the stenciling are beautiful.

 

There is a Wurlitzer band organ.

 

The carousel is in a beautiful new construction.

 

For further information:

The New England Carousel Museum

https://www.thecarouselmuseum.org/restoration-department

 

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