Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Watch Hill Flying Horses

A favorite beach vacation activity includes a visit to The Flying Horses of Watch Hill. There are 20 horses, suspended by rods from overhead, with no platform underneath. As the ride increases its speed, the horses swing out on their rods, hence the name.
It is believed that the carousel was made in 1867 by Andrew Christian and the Charles W.F.Dare Co. of NYC. It is said that a traveling carnival brought the carousel to Watch Hill in 1883 only to later abandon it. Recently refurbished in 1993, it is supposedly the only surviving flying horse carousel in the country and also the oldest, continuously operating carousel in the United States. This delightful ride has endured disasters and hurricanes and yet it continues to entertain children of all ages.
There are two rows of horses, with the outside horses providing an opportunity to grab a 'gold ring'. As the horses fly around the carousel, a long 'arm' is extended which distributes metal rings. Any child lucky enough to catch a 'gold ring' will win a free ride. As the kids collect rings, they place them on the horses ear for safekeeping.
These two smiling kids number among the 50,000 children that ride the carousel each season.

1 comment:

martha said...

What a refreshing flashback in time! There are very few merry-go-rounds left in the US that have brass rings to reach for. I hope that your children were successful in doing so. It is such a thrill.