Sunday, October 04, 2009

My secret passion....

I am a huge carousel fanatic. Ever since my first visit to Disneyland as a kid, I saw my first real, life size horse carousel and I was hooked. Since then, I take every opportunity to see every carousel I can. On my trip home from a recent visit to Oklahoma, I found an early 1900 vintage carousel in Iowa. This weekend, I visited the Cafesjian's carousel in Como Park in St Paul. This 1914, 68 horse carousel has a fascinating history...it was commissioned by a private investor in 1914 from the Philadelphia Toboggan Company for 8,500 dollars, barely survived a fire in 1939, and then in 1988 was rescued from an auction. The carousel is definitely a lost art in this country, and one to be treasured. The artistry and craftsmanship is a sight to behold. I was lucky enough to visit three of these historic landmarks this summer, and I hope to see all of them someday. Each one has an amazing history, from the hand carved animals to the restorations and "rescues". Visit the website http://www.ourfaircarousel.org/ for more information on this amazing landmark and more on the precious few carousels left in the U.S.
And by the way...yes...I rode the carousel today, and yes...I was a child again for just a moment.
You can see the fire damage on this horse...the restorers decided to keep a few of the horses in their damaged state so the delicacy of these treasures could be realized.
Each horse is hand carved and one of a kind...

For only $1.50, you can be transported back to your childhood...money well spent in my opinion.

2 comments:

terresaslush said...

So I want to see the pics of YOU on the horses. :)

Carol Andre' said...

Have you seen the one at LARK toys in southeastern MN (can't remember the town). Not far from Lake City, just south from there. I am a former professional carver and used to teach at a seminar at Villa Maria every summer for 9 yrs. I got to watch over several years as they carved and painted it. It is absolutely gorgeous and a work of art in it's own right. All of a buck to ride it. If you haven't seen it, you have GOT to go check it out.