Little brings back childhood magic more than a carousel ride, and Nunley's Carousel's bumpy history, including its almost mythical rescue, doesn't fall short of that.
There is simply no reason not to saunter on over and take a spin; again and again; as it is set among Museum Row, the Long Island Children's Museum, the Cradle of Aviation Museum, and Nassau County Firefighters Museum in Garden City.
You need only ask eleven—year-old Rachel Obergh if you don't think a carousel is inspiring. As a child watching her parents talk nostalgically about riding on Nunley's carousel in and around Garden City, New York, she knew that the amusement park had closed before she was born. As a first grader, she was lucky to get a personal look at the carousel her parents spoke so highly of. It was sitting in a hangar at Mitchell Field, in desperate need of repairs and a new home. Despite recognizing the property's historical significance, the county has been slow in deciding what it will do with it.
As a result of her inspiration, Rachel developed a website that she has dubbed "Pennies for Ponies."
One horse and one lion of the carousel were symbolically adopted by individuals, groups, and schools for 2,000 dollars. A name for the animal was given in exchange. After that, each animal was adopted and given a name. The county rose to the occasion after realizing just how many people were interested in preserving the prized carousel, and committed $1 million to restore the beloved structure. Now that Rachel and Nassau County did their part, visitors can journey on the ferry even with rain or shine. Giddy up!
The Artistic Carousel Company was started by two recent immigrants fleeing anti-Semitism in Russia, Harry Coldstein and Solomon Stein, in Brooklyn, NY in 1905. Feel the carvings with your hands while visiting the carousel. You should pay attention to their intensity of gaze and the elaborate ornaments on each animal. This is truly humbling to see the majesty of the lion. Stein and Goldstein have created only three carousels still in operation, while individual pieces are usually available for sale on eBay. Also designed by Stein and Coldstein are the carousels at Central Park and Bushnell Park in Hartford.
Opening along Brooklyn's waterfront in 1912, Murphy's Carousel became an instant landmark. By 1938, the city of New York condemned the park because it would be affected by the construction of a new highway, the Belt Parkway. Nunley's Amusements acquired the carousel after it was auctioned off. It was reopened in 1940 as Nunley's Carousel. The Carousel at Nunley's Amusements, which had operated for 60 years, closed its doors, much to the disappointment of its fans, and once again was under threat of being dismantled. Now the carousel is open for $2 a ride for the public, thanks to the efforts of Nassau County and Rachel Oberg.
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