Our adventure crew started our trip to the Dentzel Carousel in Logansport, Indiana, on a rainy Saturday morning. We discovered this amazing attraction online. For the cost of one dollar, a person could take a ride on this wooden carousel built in the year 1885. The four of us couldn’t wait to experience this unusual attraction. As we got close to Logansport, we passed a train yard with the giant mural painted on the side and a colossal grain elevator. A high level of excitement filled the car when we pulled into Riverside Park.
The history of the carousel
Carousels became popular in the 6th century in ancient Byzantium as a secret of mounted military training. The practice spread to Europe with the popularity of jousting tournaments. They became a form of entertainment as the wealthy and nobility placed these early merry-go-rounds in their gardens to entertain their guests. The first carousel for children, made in the 17th century, had small wooden horses. These merry-go-rounds became popular in the 18th century, as attractions at fairs and gatherings.
The Dentzel Company, started by German immigrant Gustav Denzel, made carousels from 1860 until 1928. Their company, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, became a family-run business. These marry-go-rounds included a menagerie of animals such as horses, bears, giraffes, lions, tigers, and other animals. One hundred fifty of these creations are left in the country, and the Logansport Carousel is one of those national treasures.
Our experience at the Dentzel Carousel in Logansport
We arrived at Riverside Park soon after the doors to the structure that housed the merry-go-round opened. A few pleasant surprises were waiting for us once we walked inside. The first concerned the fact each ride would cost only one dollar. The reasonable cost made the Dentzel Carousel ride the best bang for our buck on a rainy Saturday.
The second surprise centered around the length of the ride. We were the first customers of the day. The horses rode round and round while pipe organ music played through an assortment of songs. It seemed longer than any amusement ride I had ever ridden on in the past.
The final surprise we encountered came in the form of a miniature train. The girls enjoyed taking a couple of trips on this tiny train.
Concluding our Dentzel Carousel in Logansport adventure
Everyone enjoyed spending time at this National Historic Landmark. If you can find one of these old merry-go-rounds, I recommend taking a ride. I’ve heard there are at least two more in our area. One is located at the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis. Another is stored in the city of Carmel, waiting to be set up there. We might make carousel rides a part of our adventures. The experience was both fun and interesting.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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