Old-fashioned fun at old-fashioned pricing is often hard to find. The Carousel at Pottstown offers visitors both, with $2.00 rides on a beautifully restored merry-go-round, plus an arcade and an 1865 horse-drawn, trolley snack bar. The newest attraction in Pennsylvania’s Americana Region is actually quite old, but its history and restoration make a trip to the carousel more than worthwhile.
Built in 1905 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, the Carousel’s initial design was rather simple with stationary animals, set up in rows of three across. The merry-go-round opened to riders at Euclid Beach Park in Cleveland, Ohio that same year and remained there for five years before being replaced in 1910.
The carousel next moved to Hartford, Connecticut where it operated until it 1925 before returning to Philadelphia Toboggan to be reconfigured. Two chariots were placed between the inside and outside row of animals, plus gears were added to move the animals up
and down. In 1926, upon completion of the work, the carousel found a home in Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania. The move, however, proved to be short-lived and in 1929, the carousel was again returned to the factory for more reconfiguring. This time, outside animals were moved so they no longer lined up with those in the other rows. When the change was completed, the carousel was shipped to a park in Lexington, Kentucky, where is stayed until 1965, when the property was demolished to build homes.The carousel made one final stop to Twin Grove Park in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, arriving in the mid-1960s. By the late 1970s or early 1980s, it was sold and dismantled.
Luckily for the carousel – and us, a group in Pottstown, Pennsylvania took on the ride and its restoration. The endeavor was undertaken to help revitalize the local community. For 18 years, a team of dedicated volunteers worked on the Carousel. Thanks to their efforts, the second oldest carousel in the US is now open for business on weekends from noon to 5 p.m. Run totally by volunteers, the profits are used to help revitalize the community. Some weekend soon, make a trip to The Carousel at Pottstown to take a spin on this beautiful piece of history.