Carousels have always fascinated me. When I was growing up we had a permanent amusement park in the town where I lived. It had a skating rink, carousel, dodge cars, a caterpillar ( a covered roller coaster), a gypsy fortune teller and acres to walk on. I got to go occasionally and always rode the carousel. We always called them merry-go-rounds. I will ride one now if allowed to.
So, when the opportunity arose to go to Wahpeton, North Dakota and see the Prairie Rose Carousel, we took it.It was part of a fun-filled rainy day that included a trip to the headwaters of the Red River of the North, a battle field and an a old fort.
The Prairie Rose is an antique restored carousel. And it is gorgeous.
The carousel was found and bought by Roger Jensen and Jim Oliver of Wahpeton. They had wanted to find and restore a carousel, and had about given up when they found one in nearby Minnesota. It was in restoreable shape. All the horses were there along with the machinery. After the removal of 20 plus coats of paint, they were brought to Lonnie Halverson and Delores Berg to get new paint. Tails, legs, teeth, saddles, etc. were re-carved and replaced. The woodwork was an estimated 60-80 hours for each horse. After Lonnie was done with them, they were taken to Delores for paint. She gave each of them a different personality and flare, spending as much as 50 hours on each one.
They are now housed in a climate controlled building where they can be ridden every day despite the weather.
The horses are each named for sponsors or named by a sponsor. It was a real treat to see the horses ride again and hear the music.
We were wanting a special kind of day, and we got it. If you are ever in Wahpeton, ND take time to visit the Prairie Rose Carousel.