Goats and Horses and Mermaids... Oh My!

It was a cold wintry evening in Pottstown that we carried our gear into an unassuming building in Pottstown.  The snow outside was pretty to watch from the huge windows overlooking the mini-golf course. But what was inside was truly magical!

The Historical Pottstown Carousel is the second oldest operating Philadelphia Toboggan Company wooden carousel in the United States.  It was originally built in 1905. Originally the animals were all stationary instead of the ones there now that move up and down as the carousel spins.  Originally installed at Euclid Beach Park in Cleveland, OH it moved to Twin Grove Park in Pine Grove, PA in 1935. It was dismantled and parts sold at auction in the 1980s where they lay in storage.  

A volunteer group came together to rebuild the gorgeous carousel. Sadly, the original animals were lost to damage and decay while in storage.  The group commissioned Ed Roth, who was the master sculptor that carved animals for carousels at Disney Parks. Once the animals were carved, local artists went to work painstakingly painting and finish the animals to their glory.  The carousels original mechanism was updated and restored by local machinists and mechanics.

We enjoyed our time light painting this piece of local history!  The colors on the animals are simply amazing. Once cool thing about light painting is we really get a chance to take in all the details.  The photo panels on the inside column of the carousel are images chosen by the sponsors to the carousel restoration project. Each photo panel has a painting that portrays the early 1900s and architecture of that period.  

The 16-year restoration project finally came to an end when the Carousel opened for the public on January 7, 2017.  Each animal took 250-350 man-hours to carve and paint! The local Pottstown Memorial Hospital even sponsored a custom chariot for handicapped visitors.

The Historical Pottstown Carousel is a beautiful sight to see in person!  You can come in and enjoy the Carousel, play a round of putt-putt out back, have a snack and enjoy a local treasure.  They even rent out the space for events! I’ve seen several friends host birthday parties for their kids here (how cool is that!  To have a Carousel at your birthday party!). There have been weddings, dinners, birthdays, and more! Stop on in and check them out!  We’ve been talking about going back and light painting more of the animals to create postcards for visitors… stay tuned on that project!

Want more info on the Historical Carousel at Pottstown?  You can check them out at their website here.  Or their Facebook page here.  You can easily walk to the Carousel from the coming soon Potttstown stop of the Colebrookdale Railroad Secret Valley Line (read about our excursion on this cool train here)!!  It’s also within walking distance of the Pottsgrove Manor, Memorial Park (where you can also view the Veteran’s Island Memorials) and the Schuykill River Heritage Area.

About the author: Lori Keefer is an entrepreneur, Jerry’s other half, avid bird watcher, band mom, lover of a good cup of hot tea, and your guide in personal branding photography. The opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author. You can connect with her on her personal website, her business website,  on Facebook or Instagram. 


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