Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for Flying Horses

Photo by Melanie Speight

The Flying Horses Carousel is located in the Vineyard town of Oak Bluffs and is the oldest platform carousel in the United States. It was built in the 1870s and originally resided in Coney Island, but was moved to Martha's Vineyard in 1884.

The carousel is housed in a distinctive red wood barn and is one of the few carousels left to include a brass ring for riders to grab as the carousel rotates. My main memory of the Flying Horses is wanting my dad to get the brass ring and win a free ride for me. Since I was the youngest of five kids, I imagine he rode the carousel many times over the years trying to get that ring for all of us.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The carousel found itself in danger of being dismantled and sold to collectors before being purchased by the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust in 1986. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

If you take a trip to the Vineyard, be sure to take a ride on the Flying Horses.



My A-Z of Martha's Vineyard theme is inspired by my book, The Ghosts of Aquinnah, which is set on the island. Click here for all the info on the book.

38 comments:

  1. I love carousels. We have one that comes to the County Fair every year. And I've been to one that claims to be the oldest in Canada...I can't quite remember the name of the town right now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's cool that you rode it as a kid.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love that! I bet your Dad had to make sure he grabbed that brass ring for each and every one of you - no playing favorites, right? :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

    ReplyDelete
  4. If I ever get to visit this part of your country I'll have to print out your whole series so I remember all the places I should visit. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow. I'm glad it was saved. I love carousels.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That is so cool - I'm glad Martha's Vineyard saved it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm so glad it's being preserved. But I wouldn't mind owning one of those glorious horses!

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Cathy, I do too, even though now I get dizzy if I ride on them LOL.

    @Alex, it was fun. :)

    @Madeline, no doubt. :D

    @Trisha, oh, that's so nice of you to say!

    @Tonja, me too, I love the old horses.

    @Nicki, I agree.

    @Huntress, aren't they cool? I love them.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a special treasure. I am glad it was declared a landmark.

    ReplyDelete
  10. We had one of those fancy carousels at the amusement park in Denver when I was a kid. It would get going pretty fast, too. Loved pretending I was riding a real horse. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Julie, your book cover is awesome. It has a very intriguing feel to it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wouldn't it be ironic to see a dragon riding a flying horse?

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would love to ride The Flying Horses Carousel with my nephews!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  14. @Inger, I am too.

    @LG, I loved doing that as well. :)

    @Rachna, oh, thanks! I'm so glad you like it.

    @Al, I would pay to see that. :D

    @Chrys, I'm sure they would love it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's much smaller than the one at Disney World, but I like it. I've never been a huge fan of carousels, even when I was little, but kids love them. *shrugs* Different strokes, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  16. nice, there's one of these in Hampton, Virginia - make me feel nostalgic..

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love carousels! I've never been on one that still had a brass ring to catch!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi human, Julie,

    I really like carousels in a roundabout sort of way :)

    Penny, the pawsitive host of the Alphabark Challenge, 2014!

    ReplyDelete
  19. The carousel is the only ride I can do without getting sick. All those twisty, rolling ones scare me into giving up my lunch.

    ReplyDelete
  20. @Crystal, they make me dizzy now but I did love them as a kid.

    @David, I love old things like this.

    @Ava, this is the only one I've ever been on like that.

    @Penny, you're very clever as always. :D

    @Lee, me too and sadly now I can't even ride a carousel without feeling sick. I am pitiful LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Carousels are so pretty! I'm looking forward to the kidlet getting to ride one, maybe at the fair this summer.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ah, the classic brass ring!! I've been to the carousel and watched a friend take her young daughter on it, but never been on myself. It's a beautiful carousel, though :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm pretty surprised it was brought from Coney Island so long ago. I'm delighted it's still running as a Historic Landmark. It's lovely! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. That's wonderful! I'd ride on the Flying Horses. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. @Leandra, oh, I hope your kiddo does get to this summer.

    @Liz, it really is. And I love the red barn.

    @Lexa, I know, I don't know why it was moved but glad it was.

    @Christine, you'd like them! :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I've never been on a carousel, but always wanted to go on one. I will do this one day.

    ReplyDelete
  27. So glad it got preserved. It seems so easy sometimes for people to dismantle things that should be treasured.

    ReplyDelete
  28. That's cool, I defiantly go check that out! Thanks for the info!
    : )

    ReplyDelete
  29. Now those are my kind of horses! Glad that the carousel was declared a landmark, and that the Flying Horses hold such special childhood memories for you, Julie!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love carousels and am so glad this one was saved from some boring collector who probably would have hidden it away forever.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Glad to hear this carousel was able to be preserved! It would've been a shame if it had gotten torn down...

    ReplyDelete
  32. @Medeia, oh, you have to. :)

    @Sheena-kay, I totally agree.

    @Joseph, my pleasure, glad you're interested!

    @Julie, thanks! :)

    @joss, agree 100%.

    @Heather, yeah, I love historical things like this and think we can be way too quick to get rid of them.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am so glad the Carousel was saved. I hate it when I hear something of history is destroyed to make way for a parking lot or strip mall. I believe I saw this when I was there many years ago

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Julie - how fantastic that the Carousel has been preserved, especially as it's so special. The Trust seems to be doing a good job for the Vineyard ..

    Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  35. Carousels are always fun to find, especially when you find them without looking for them. They pop up in the strangest places. Sometimes I think they're spooky, other times they are just beautiful to look at...

    ReplyDelete
  36. I've been there! But despite riding it at least a dozen times I never got the golden ring.

    ReplyDelete
  37. @Hilary, yeah, they are a great organization I think.

    @Lisa, I feel the same way! Sometimes the horses are a little creepy LOL. I thought I was the only one who thought that. :D

    @Bev, I would never be able to either LOL.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments!