Friday, May 11, 2012

It’s a nice day to take a carousel ride down memory lane …

               Good Day Humboldt County!

 Todays trot down memory lane leads us to carousels and a little history about them. I vaguely recall my first ride on one and how fast it seemed to be going. My grandfather stood next to me as I clutched my steed for dear life.

I’ve taken all three of my sons on carousel rides when they were little and am now working on taking my grandchildren – all five of them – on carousel rides.

                    Here’s a bit of fun history: 

“The carousel was the first form of mechanical recreation and the original root of modern amusements,” says Bette Largent, president of the National Carousel Association. The earliest carousels date back to around A.D. 500, though you’d hardly recognize them: rather than lit-up spectacles, these were baskets hand-spun around a central pole. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that carousels as we know them came into existence.” Source

In the photo above - Jane's Carousel has 48 glass-eyed horses, with ornate saddles and gold-leaf detailing, that are housed in a pavilion in N.Y.'s Brooklyn Bridge Park. It was originally built in 1922 – Photo by Kate Appleton

We’re lucky to still have a beautiful working carousel in Humboldt County right off of highway 101 in Eureka. It sits in front of a car dealership – Harper Ford – that has been around for 100 years.

It was completely restored in the last decade, and continues to give children (and adults) rides when the weather allows. I’ve seen the craftsmanship of the wooden horses up close and can tell you they are real works of functional art.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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