What is it about antique carousels that keeps us coming back for more? In today’s high-tech thrill driven amusement landscape they seem decidedly quaint. And yet we keep coming back for more. It may be that it connects us to a time when things were more simple and not so complex. It may also be a visceral connection to our inner child still wanting to look out at the world and still see everything as magical… Whatever the reason, come back for more we do, even into the 21st century.
If you would like to take in some magical antique carousels, then Connecticut has much to offer. Carousel buffs may want to start their tour of Connecticut antique carousels at the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol. The New England Carousel Museum houses one of the largest collections of antique carousel pieces in the United States. They also maintain and operate the Bushnell Park Carousel in Hartford.
With that as background, it’s now time to tour Connecticut’s antique carousels. According to the National Carousel Association’s census, Connecticut has four antique wooden carousels and one antique metal carousel.
Connecticut’s Antique Wooden Carousels
- 1893 – Lake Compounce Carousel, Bristol, Connecticut
- 1916 – Lighthouse Point Park Carousel, New Haven, Connecticut
- 1914 – Bushnell Park Carousel, Hartford, Connecticut
- 1925 – Sound View Beach Carousel, Old Lyme, Connecticut
Connecticut’s Antique Metal Carousels
- 1924: Lake Quassy Grand Carousel at the Quassy Amusement Park, Middlebury, Connecticut
Connecticut’s Modern Wooden Carousels
In the interest of being complete, Connecticut is also home to two modern wooden carousels:
- The Beardsley Zoo Carousel (1950s) at the Beardsley Zoo, Bridgeport, Connecticut
- The Fish Tale Carousel (1999) at Lenny and Joe’s Fish Tale, Madison, Connecticut