Effort to save historic Seaside Heights Carousel gaining traction online

Carousel News Cover, Sept 2007 IMAGE CREDIT antiquecarousels.com
Carousel News Cover, Sept 2007 IMAGE CREDIT antiquecarousels.com

Who doesn’t love a merry-go-round? Dr. Floyd L. Moreland once described the “magic” of riding these “awesome machines.” His 2007 cover article for Carousel News and Trader is reprinted in a recent post at Antique Carousel News.

Also see Dr. Moreland’s photo slide show for the historic Seaside Heights carousel at the National Carousel Association’s carousel.org.

The toll taken by Jersey storms, boardwalk fires, and economic downturns has increasingly turned old seaside amusement parks into endangered species.

Soon, the joy of experiencing a ride astride one of these magnificently restored hand-carved carousel creatures,  surrounded by the sound of an authentic Wurlitzer Military Band organ, may be a thing of the past.

A July 29 NY Times piece (Auction Could be Undoing of Carousel That Survived Hurricane and Fire) details the developments which have led to this sad plight, and the Asbury Press has some luminous photos posted online.

It was a distraught Sunbelt State resident leaving feedback here who first alerted me to the effort to save the historic 1910 Casino Pier Carousel in Seaside Heights, NJ from being auctioned off.

Will you please email me? I am interested in saving the Seaside Heights Carousel and am wondering if you and the community are trying to get donations to save it, instead of dismantling it as I have been told. I live in Arizona now, but grew up on the Jersey Shore and was very sad when I heard the Asbury Park Carousel was auctioned and dismantled. I have signed an online petition but feel there needs to be more done. Thank you, Carol J Mann

We can only add our voice to the intensifying movement to preserve this rare seashore treasure that is now approaching critical mass.

Beach Scene at Seaside Heights, NJ
Beach Scene at Seaside Heights, NJ

Doubtless, Ms. Mann arrived here at rivertonhistory.com searching for Seaside Heights images. While we have a few SSH images, we have none of the carousel. (If anyone cares to send us a card or a scanned image of one we can add it to our exhibit. Send me your info below and we can make arrangements.)

Speaking of postcards, cardcow.com, a reputable online seller from whom I have made purchases, posts two examples of already-sold vintage postcards showing the Seaside Heights carousel. The description below comes from one.

The famous 1910 Dr. Floyd L. Moreland Carousel at Casino Pier, Seaside Heights, N. J. this hand-carved landmark on the boardwalk, which received an Historic Preservation Award in 1991, is one of only two surviving American-made classic carousels in the State of New Jersey.

You can see them here. Among my favorites are the large letter postcards.

The Seaside Heights Carousel IMAGE CREDIT casinopiernj.com
The Seaside Heights Carousel IMAGE CREDIT casinopiernj.com

Why is it that the mere glimpse of an image, or the whiff of a scent such as that familiar sea air as you approach one of the Garden State’s barrier islands, can release a flood of memories transporting one, at least for a while, back to an earlier time?

If you think this classic seashore attraction is worth preserving, you might check out the FB page, or possibly add your name to the 5000+ signatures already on the petition at Save the Antique Carousel.

Don’t feel left out if you live elsewhere. Use the features of Google Maps to find carousels from coast to coast at The National Carousel Assn. website.

Cherish these last days of Summer 2014, wherever you are, and make some more memories. Remember, these will be tomorrow’s “good ol’ days.” – John McCormick

 

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