Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Very Special Carousel

This past weekend, while attending an annual folk music festival, I photographed a local treasure situated near my home just outside Washington, DC: the beautiful, almost antique, Glen Echo Carousel.  The carousel is entering its 91st May through September season of delighting young and old at Glen Echo Park.

The Glen Echo Carousel Building
This "menagerie carousel" was created in 1921 by the Dentzel Carousel Company of Germantown, Pennsylvania.  The 28 jumping horses, 12 standing horses,  12 menagerie animals (1 giraffe, 1 lion, 4 ostriches, 4 rabbits, 1 tiger & 1 deer) and 2 chariots - as well as the canopy - in this large three row carousel were hand wood-carved and painted.  Still in its original location, the carousel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and received the National Carousel Association's Historical Carousel Award in 2005.

A carousel restoration and fairground art specialist, Rosa Ragan, completely restored the aging carousel and its wonderful Wurlitzer 165 band organ to their original beauty and splendor over a 20 year period ending in 2006.  Ragan developed a new process of uncovering the original paint, recording the colors and design, and then covering the original paint with a reversible varnish before giving each animal a white base coat and repainting it in the original colors.  She left a small "window to the past" of the original 1921 paint on the inward-facing side of each animal for riders to find.

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The Canopy


  1. We've been there with Quinn! It's wonderful! And it won't be long before you get to take little Alice! :)

  2. Thanks for this beautiful post Cassandra !
    I love the music too.
    Happy week.


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