The Flying Horse Carousel

The Flying Horse Carousel in Watch Hill within the town of Westerly, Rhode Island, United States is one of two in the state designated as National Historic Landmarks, along with the Crescent Park Looff Carousel in East Providence .

It may or may not be the oldest carousel in the nation, but it is certainly the oldest of its type ("in which the horses are suspended from a center frame"). The carousel is believed to have been built 1876 by the Charles W. Dare Company of New York. It was part of a traveling carnival until 1879 when the carnival was forced to abandon the carousel in Watch Hill. Unlike most carousels, there is no wooden platform to support the horses but rather, they are suspended from chains. As a result, the horses seem to "fly" as the ride increases speed, hence the carousel's name. Each horse has a tail and mane of real horsehair and a genuine leather saddle. Children younger than 12 years old may ride. In the middle of the ride, a device holding metal rings is lowered for riders to grab as they pass. The last ring is brass, granting the "winner" a free ride token.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. It is located at the end of Bay Street in Westerly.

Building Activity

  • Richard F Marchetti sr
    Richard F Marchetti sr commented
    Went here with my grandson, he's 3 and he loved it.
    about 6 years ago via Mobile