Flying Horses Carousel
For the carousel in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, see The Flying Horse Carousel. The Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest operating platform carousel in America. It is listed as a National Historic Landmark.

History
This carousel, one of two similar carousels built by the Charles W. Dare Company, was built in 1876. It was moved by New York attorney F. O. Gordon from Coney Island to Oak Bluffs on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts in 1884. It was moved again in 1889 by owner William Davis a few hundred feet down the street to Monument Square, where, to date, it remains in operation. The original carousel horses had real horsehair manes and tales, and their oxide eyes each contained a tiny hand-carved animal - traditions carried over to the current horses. Unlike most modern carousels, these horses do not go up and down. The Flying Horses Carousel was obtained by the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust in 1986.

Operation
The Carousel is in operation from Easter Sunday to Columbus day, though the schedule will sometimes vary. As of 2010, rides are $2.00 each, and you can buy a ticket of 10 rides for $15. If you get the brass ring (see below), you get a free ride.

The brass ring game
Riders of the Flying Horses Carousel can choose to sit on the inside or outside of the carousel. On both sides, there is a metal casing from which riders can grab small metal rings. As the carousel goes around, riders try to grab as many rings as they can with one hand; some people can grab only one at a time, but skilled riders can grab one or more on each finger. Riders then place the rings on a metal rod on top of their horse and attempt to grab more. When the ride is almost over, it is announced that a brass ring will be placed into the casings (one brass ring on each side of the carousel). The person who gets the brass ring at the end of the ride gets to stay on for another free ride.

Popular culture
The Dispatch song "Flying Horses" refers to the rings on the ride.

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com