Jerry swears that the Road Dogs paid a visit to the Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky on a prior trip. Punky wasn’t with us on that adventure. Rooster and I don’t remember the visit. What I remember about that particular trip centered around it being the first time we camped while on a motorcycle. Most of my memories centered around setting up and tearing down. It was also the first time we pulled a trailer behind the bike. I guess gaps in memory are a part of the aging process.
The Road Dogs experienced a nice ride into Sandusky. A brief conference at a gas station led us to the decision that we should visit the Merry-Go-Round Museum before grabbing a bite to eat. The morning somehow managed to get away from us. We headed toward 301 Jackson Street and discovered the Merry-Go-Round Museum located in an old Post Office building.
Story behind the Merry-Go-Round Museum location
In October of 1988, the U.S. Postal Service issued four carousel stamps. One of these stamps featured the King Armored horse from Cedar Points Kiddieland Carousel. A group of local citizens borrowed the empty Sandusky Post Office building to make the issue date special. They expect to have a few visitors and were surprised when 2,000 people attended. Thus, the Merry-Go-Museum came into existence in this old historic building.
The Road Dogs paid the five dollar entrance fee. We all received the senior discount, which made our visit a great deal. The guy working the front counter ran every operation of the museum. We walked around the corner to the gift shop, and he came to help us after make our selection. He also operated the Merry-Go-Round located in the middle of the museum. You receive a token for one free ride when you pay to get into the facility. I found this guys ability to hop from one job to the next an amazing accomplishment.
Carved wooden Horses at the Merry-Go-Round Museum
A wooden hand-carved horse became the traditional animal chosen for the carousel. This practice goes back to Mid-Evil knights training for jousting tournaments. Typically, a merry-go-round will have three rows of horses traveling on a round platform. Knights galloped in circles and tossed balls back and forth to one another to increase their skills. Thus the early merry-go-round started as a cavalry training device. Sleds break up the traveling three rows of horses. In modern times, these merry-go-rounds became a thrill ride at fairs and amusement parks.
Examples of these beautiful pieces of art work prances through the tiny museum.
The craftmanship on these wooden horses made us gawk in amazement.
Each of these horses had their own unique story. We read the interesting information as we moved through the facility.
They even included a barber chair in the display. What little boy wouldn’t want his hair cut sitting on a powerful stead?
The menagerie at the Merry-Go-Round Museum
Carousel building evolved over time. The wood carvers added other animals to their repertoires. Even the lowly chicken had its place on the rides.
Lions, tigers, and bears made for a ferocious ride.
Camels and giraffes completed the zoo like theme.
The amusement ride traveled in a circle to the tune of marching band music from colorful band organs. This calliope style music and fast moving ride created the right atmosphere to capture the brass ring and earn another ride.
We didn’t arrive at the Merry-Go-Round Museum on a day when the wood workers did carving demonstrations or for a guided tour. It felt like they might be short handed due to COVID related staff shortages. The road dogs would have liked to experience watching the crafts people work.
However, I need to add a warning about riding on this particular carousel. It travels at an increased rate of speed than most Merry-Go-Round. It made Rooster nauseous. he mentioned it to the guy operating the ride. The man said that the carousel was actually set at an historical speed because these carousels were one of the first thrill rides. The original ones didn’t attract only children.
Our stomachs started to growl and the afternoon got away from us. We went in search of a good meal. A decision would have to be made about where we would travel next. The Road Dogs were ready for a new adventure.
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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