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The first photo of the carousel (under the canopy) was the first carousel to operate at Whalom. The Charles D. Looff carousel operated at Whalom from around 1893 until about 1899. The second machine, also under a canopy, arrived in 1907 and was replaced in 1914 by the Looff machine pictured below (following #1 photo). The carousel we all remember was the third at Whalom. It was built in the 1890s and operated at a park in NJ for an unknown period of time. It arrived at Whalom in 1914. To prevent damage to the hand carved animals, a building was constructed with a dome roof and the wonderful classic ride remained permanently in this location until 2000 when the park's board of directors decided that a major sale was necessary to raise desperately needed capitol to continue another season of operation. It was not unanimously agreed that the 'Looff' horses and animals (including two rare sea dragons, goats, camels, sleigh's etc) be sold at auction on April 15. The final sales were disappointingly lower than expected, and a major blow to the owners. Mark Chester, a former employee, (carousel operator) during the 1970's, learned of the auction and returned to Lunenburg where he painstakingly restored the inner workings of the ride, including restoration of the motor, electric wiring and lights, detailed mirror and other original woodwork. He was also able to lease the horses and animals which replaced the original ones. Because of the tremendous amount of work and effort Mark placed on this project, the carousel was able to continue on one final season. Mark purchased the ride after the season ended. He dismantled, packed and moved it almost entirely himself.
The building remained empty for several years longer, and efforts were made to save it from demolition for it's historical significance, however as in most instances where major redevelopment is to take place, the domed building was eventually bull dozed as well.
The original carousel (and the 'Bouncer') were used in the filming of the "Cars" music video "Touch and Go". To see the video, click on the shape on the Carousel roof on the interactive map.
Write your memories of the 'Carousel' here ~ and click the Submit button below
The demolished carousel building and coater were the worst. If I had been there I would have taken a board from the Comet. I am so glad to have Greg (Horse from Carousel) and thrilled that he is pictured in the photos above. I remember my first thoughts when I heard about the carousel and the park. It was I would never be able to take my son there. He would never know.. he would never see... he would never understand... but he does understand, as he will take care of Greg long after I may be gone. Greg did get a new tail since arriving in South Dakota, so its not bobbed anymore. He looks wonderful... but the thought of the horses and animal being together for so many years to be separated by greed still hurts. If only they could talk.
Rose Lomaglio-Esche ~ June 2010
Our memories of the 'Carousel'
Oh my...The "Flying Horses" were my favorite ride in the park from the time I was little boy. Even after I grew up I would NOT get off the "Horses". I could sit and cry. Thank you whoever put this site together from my heart!
Dennis R. Troy ~ March 11, 2011
I was so fortunate to spend two summers working at Whalom Park. (1982 - 1983) To this day, it remains my favorite of all the jobs I've ever had. Though I worked many jobs those two summers, including painting, groves, games and rides, the carousel was always my favorite to work on. It was shaded and the building was cool on a hot summer afternoon with a breeze from the horses going around. I always thought the carousel was magic and so beautiful.
Wendy Ambruson-Baird ~ March 13, 2011