I was trying to find some information on a horse off of a mery go round that came from Fontaine Ferry Amusement Park, it is not
off of the main carousel. It was made by Miracle equipment company and has been in my grandfathers possession since at least
1960, he told me he was thinks he got it about 1954 or 1955 one but wasn’t sure which, he worked for Klempner brothers scrap yard
in Louisville KY and the horse is a die cast aluminum carousel horse. I sent an email yesterday but Until I seen it I was
mistaken on how it was mounted, It was set on a pole like a normal carousel, but it was set where it had a pinned coller on the
bottom and a steel rod that came down and connected to the tail of the horse that was attached to a cam that when the cam turned
rocked the horse forward and back slowly, instead of raising the horse up and down. From what little knowledge I gathered
miracle equipment company has been around for about 80 years an they started out making a single childs merry go round, now
they make park and childrens recreational equipment. If this is the case it would date this horse back to the thirties
approximately maybe longer, just wondering if you know anything about a merry go round for younger ( small ) children, it’s a
miniature sized horse so it was either for a kids ride or maybe playground equipment and unsure which but design seems more like
a ride than playground by design, was basically wondering if you might have any pictures of the childrens rides from fontaine ferry
park. According to my grandfather who lived in Louisville at the time and had been to the park several times he said it was a
horse of a childs merry go round from Fontaine Ferry Park, im just trying to figure out when it might have been installed and removed
from the park.
I thank you for any assistance you might be able to give to this………
I grew up in west Louisville during the 1950's and 1960's. That was many moons ago when the west end was a very lovely place to live. I frequented the park every chance I got as my best friend's father was a Deputy Sheriff in Louisville and evidently knew some people as we got into the park for free. My favorite thing at the park was the pony rides. When I was young, when asked what I was going to be when I grew up my response was, "I am going to grow up and be Dale Evans and marry the "Long Ranger." I don't know if many people knew this but the people that ran the pony rides were owners of the Dude Ranch on adjoining property so my older friends and I could go there and ride the horses and ponies all day long.
When going to the park on "Pepsi Cola Days," which was a day when you brought all of your Pepsi caps with a little + on the cap and could ride any ride with exception to the Comet for 5 cents. After we kids spent our dollar on those days, we would spend the rest of the day in the Hilarity Hall going up and down the Angel and Devil slides, riding in the sugar bowl and being what we thought was being stuck magically to the sides of the bowl as it twirled. We also went into the house of mazes which were heavy metal screens, I can't tell you how many times I got bonked on the head from trying to go through the wrong screen door. I even remember the ride the Old Mill where you would get on a boat and ride through an old building resembling a mill. After several people were bitten by water moccasins or copperheads, that ride was demolished and made into the Turnpike. Of course the Old Mill ride was also called "lovers lane ride" as youngsters would smooch once inside the old mill.,
I recall vividly the Jungle land scary house you rode in a car into a building and immediately was greeted by what looked like a ghoulish missionary being cooked in a pot. The fish pond was always a treat as well because nobody walked away without a prize and for only 5 cents. The prizes ranged from cheap chalk piggy banks, straw hats, cane fishing poles and occasionally someone would win a big prize such as a transistor radio or large stuffed animal.
I also remember Indian Village where there were picnic grounds for the adults near a stage on which local performers often put on shows. In Indian village there was a smaller roller coaster and the rides there were more geared for the younger folks.
My Mother forbade me to ride the notorious Comet as she said the wood was rotten and people fell out of the ride due to stupidity, (standing up on top of the big hill), , but every chance I got I was off and riding the Comet even though during its final years cost 35 cents.
When I was very young I went to Gypsy Village with my babysitters and was probably the youngest teenager there at 5 years or younger complete with my own poodle skirt. I knew all of the latest dances, hand jive etc. I remember when the dance building and roller skating rink burned down. What a tragedy for my babysitters and me as well as I loved the attention I got from all of the older kids as I could dance with the best of them.
I also remember the attendant in women's restroom, which by the way was probably at the time, the only African American person in the park. She wore a white uniform with black and white checkered collar and sleeves. In those days African Americans were not allowed in the park nor the pool. I believe the park finally admitted African Americans to the park in the mid 1960's.
I still possess one of the "tin type" photos in a frame obtained in the penny arcade at the entrance of the park, We would also put a penny into a machine and it would be put in the center of a horseshoe for a key chain or necklace
The custard cream was fantastic and I could never eat enough of that. To this day I have never found a custard cone as good as the ones at Fontaine Ferry Park.
Believe it or not my older friends found a way to avoid paying the ten cents it cost to enter the park by way of Shawnee Park. I do not remember exactly where that was but I know I was with several of my older friends and snuck in several times with them.
The game arcade was also so much fun as I loved to play skee ball and collect the tickets given for points for a neat prize.
In the 1970's the park reopened under the name of Ghost Town on the River. It cost $10 go get in, but many of the best rides were gone such as the rocket ride, the ponies, the ferris wheel and the merry go round. I had always thought the merry go round at Fontain Ferry Park was by far the most beautiful one I had ever seen to this day. I have heard it is in New Jersey, then other places. I would really love to know where it is because it was so beautiful.
The pool was transformed into a dolphin tank when it changed to Ghost Town on the River. One of the biggest challenges as a child was to climb the "waterfalls,:before getting caught by the life guards and told to get down. I did make it to the top a couple of times and felt like I had really accomplished a great feat.
The little train ride that went through Indian Village was engineered for several years by my Grandfather.
That was a great place for kids in those days, we didn't get into trouble and spent all of our time there having so much fun. It is a shame we don't have anything like that now.
I now live south of Tampa, FL and the closest thing we have to an amusement park is Busch Gardens, which does not hold a candle to the old park of my childhood where I spent so many happy days.
A friend of mine (in Louisville) somehow acquired a VHS of Fontaine Ferry Park but to this day I have been unable to get a copy of such. I another friend of mine worked at Gateway Publishing about 10 years ago and the company put out a calendars with many of Fontaine Ferry pictures in it. I have that calander to this day and it is one of my greatest treasures.
One of the last times I visited the amusement park that replaced Fontaine Ferry, I did see the gypsy that you would put a penny in the slot and get a fortune told for you. It was a scary thing for me when I was a child as older adults would often say they were going to sell the bad kids to gypsies.
I have so many fond memories of the place, the skating rink, pool and dance hall to this day. Hope you enjoyed my little trip back to the past.
....was my "Disney World!" As a little girl, I remember gliding through the air on the Rockets, being fascinated with Sister Sue and Brother Sam and their laughter at the entrance of Hilarity Hall, "driving" on the turnpike, the Sugar Bowl and how fast it would spin, the angel and devil slides and the rollers on which someone got their finger caught one time. (there was blood everywhere!) I was always chicken to go in the Haunted House or ride the Comet however when I was 17 and went there on a date, I did go in the Haunted House, and laughed through the whole ride. Something very memorable happened however when my date reached for my hand. It scared me so badly I threw my purse out of the ride and they had to shut the ride down, turn on all the lights and retrieve my purse! It all turned out ok, in fact I even
rode the Comet that day and survived. That particular day I also remember
strolling the grounds and hearing Randy Atcher and his group singing.
Whenever I went to Fontaine Ferry all was well with my world!
Linda Nethery Haynes
To Whom it may Concern,
I happened across your web site http://www.fontaineferrypark.com/ while doing some research on amusement parks in Syracuse NY.
(I am a life long resident of Syracuse and an amateur historian regarding Onondaga Lake, where the amusement parks in Syracuse were.)
Your entry below on your web site says the following:
05/12/05: I've found information on a carousel in Syracuse, NY. Their site claims the 1909 PTC #18 was originally in a park in Louisville, KY. I've emailed several people for help with this. If anyone has information on this, please let me know. I suspect it may have been from White City.
The carousel that you are speaking of is currently located at the Carousel Center shopping mall in Syracuse NY. (And is still in operation!)
Carousel #18 was built in 1909 as you have stated. It was built in Germantown, PA and was not part of White City, but rather, it was from Long Branch Park on Onondaga Lake which used to be a huge amusement park. It was brought to Long Branch in 1926 (And I believe it was in Kentucky and some other places before it went to Long Branch Park, which is why I imagine that you have a listing about it.)
Long Branch Park survived a devastating tornado in 1912, which demolished most of the park. Ironically, the original carousel survived the tornado, but burned in a fire in 1914. In 1926, when the Park was rebuilt and ready to open to the public again, Carousel #18 was brought in to replace the one that burned down; complete with 1,200 electric lights. It remained at Long Branch even after the park closed in 1938, and remained there until 1941. An amusement park called Roseland Park in Canandaigua NY (about an hour and half west of Syracuse) purchased this carousel and held onto it for the next 43 years until that park closed down.
At that point (1984?), Carousel #18 went up for auction. The historical society of Onondaga Lake was eager to have it back in their possession as a memento of the glory days gone by of Long Branch park, but couldn't raise the money. The Pyramid Company purchased it at the auction to use as the showpiece of the Carousel Center. They painstakingly restored the entire carousel to it's original look and managed to secure every one of the original horses. (There is a story that one of the horses was stolen and somehow recovered.) The mall was completed in 1990 with the Carousel as its crowning jewel.
Many "old timers" remember Long Branch park as children. For them, the best memory was the carousel. More than one has said that the highlight was trying to grab the brass ring as you went around. The person who successfully grabbed it received a free ride.
Today, the mall operates the carousel for $1.00 a ride (started out as 50 cents if I remember correctly). My two little girls, ages 6 and 4 think it's a terrific ride.
If you have any information about where it was in Kentucky and how it ended up there, etc. I'd really be interested in knowing those details.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know that you received this and to let me know whatever information you could share on this carousel. Please make sure that the subject line is recognizable so that I don't delete your response thinking it is spam.
Hope the information is helpful.
From what I have read, between the years of 1909 (when the carousel was built), and 1926 when it ended up in Long Branch Park, it evidently went to 3 other amusement parks. One in Louisville, KY, one in Worcester, MA, and one in Erie, PA. It was then brought back to the Philadelphia Toboggan Company sometime in the mid-1920's to be repaired and refurbished. Once that was complete, it was brought to Long Branch in 1926.
I am interested in finding out the names of the parks in those three other cities to find more information. (Haven't found it yet.)
As for "White City", White City was a chain of amusement parks, sort of like the name "Six Flags" is today. There were White City amusement parks in various cities throughout the U.S. and even one in England and one in Australia. As for the White City in Syracuse, it is doubtful that it was ever there; I have never heard anything about the carousel in White City at Syracuse. There was a White City in Worcester, Massachusetts (The same city that Carousel #18 went to), but it appears that the carousel there was #59.
YouTube - Carousel No. 18 Philadelphia Toboggan Company
Large still photos http://angelica14709.com/v-web/gallery ...
3 min 34 sec -
Try the following for photo and video. (If this doesn't work from here, Google "Philadelphia Toboggan Company's carousel # 18")
I just realized that there was a White City in Louisville Kentucky (which you probably already knew). Perhaps that is the White City you are referring to the Carousel being at before it went to Long Branch? I don't have any information on that, but if you know anything on your end about that, I'd love a copy of the information for my research.