Hello, fun lovers!
Sandusky, Ohio is most notorious for being the home of Cedar Point, one of our great nation’s favorite amusement parks. If you ever get yourself out from beyond the park parameters, however, you’ll find that Sandusky has more to offer visitors.
If you’re visiting and need something more casual or relaxing to do, head over to the MERRY-GO-ROUND MUSEUM- 301 Jackson St., Sandusky, OH.
Due to the sad circumstances of technological failure, my personal photos of this visit are lost. For horrific details of this tragedy, see my editorial. This picture, along with all the other pictures in this post, are from the museum’s website. http://www.merrygoroundmuseum.org. Any copyright infringement is unintentional and will be correct upon notification.
The museum resides in the old post office. According to Jean, my volunteer tour guide, the museum started as a temporary display in honor of the newly issued carousel stamps (in 1988, that is). The turn out for the display well exceeded everyone’s expectations and the demand for a permanent gallery arose. The result? Sandusky’s Merry-Go-Round Museum.
One wouldn’t think there would be anything interesting to learn about carousels and their history, but this is simply not true. Jean was most informative on the different kinds of animals (jumpers vs. prancers vs. standers, and you’ll have to go yourself to find out what that all means), the history of famous carvers, and the different details in the carvings.
A couple horse displays (the picture, as I stated, sadly lost to us) had an unpainted replica of the same head laying nearby. I pointed these out to Jean and asked if these were models from the master carver for his employees or protégées. She looked at it for a moment, looked at me with a smile, and said, “You know, I have never been asked that, but that makes perfect sense. Thank you!”
Glad to make this a quid pro quo type of relationship. 🙂
When I first entered, I was the only visitor, so I was getting a private tour. Half way through, a couple of ladies joined me and eventually a mother with her small daughter. Pretty good turn out the middle of a weekday, I would say.
This horse pictured above, by the way, is reported to be haunted. Despite the fact that it is a replica of the original haunted horse from Cedar Point, some say there are some strange occurrences with this one as well. Sadly, I did not experience any such phenomena.
There are volunteers in the museum actually making carousel horses as well! Every year, the museum raffles off a carousel horse made by these carvers; by the time all is said and done, the carvers will have spent an average of 400 hours on its creation. The volunteer carver we spoke to told us that a carousel horse is not one solid piece of wood that is simply whittled into the shape of a horse. It is actually several pieces of wood that are carved and then attached together for weight control and security.
The tour ended with a ride on the carousel dominating the middle of the large room. I chose the running ostrich as my ride. While riding, it seemed to me that this was a faster spinning carousel than I was used to. Then again, it had been many years since I had ridden one…
After the ride, another woman commented on it that she, too, thought it felt faster. Jean told us that the average carousel turns at 3 mph. This one travels at 9. Sooooo yes, it IS faster!
If you have little to no interest in carousels or merry-go-rounds, check out the museum, anyway. The tour and carousel ride took about an hour, so it is not a large portion of your day, by any means. You may learn something you never knew you wanted to know.
Until next time, dahlings…