Merry Go Round Museum

301 Jackson Street
419-626-6111

History:

The doors to the Merry-Go-Round Museum opened to the public on July, 14, 1990 but the idea was born on October 1, 1988 when the U.S. Postal Service issued four carousel stamps. Paul Calle of Stamford, Connecticut designed the first set of stamps. One of the featured animals was from Cedar Point’s Kiddieland carousel. The first day issue ceremony was held at the Sandusky amusement park.

The block of stamps included a Gustav Dentzel deer (ca. 1895), Charles Looff goat and camel (ca. 1880), and the King Armored horse by Daniel Muller (ca. 1925), The King horse is from Cedar Point’s Kiddieland carousel. This particular King horse is considered to be one of the rarest and most beautiful of all carousel figures.

To make the first day issue special, a group of local citizens borrowed the vacant former Sandusky Post Office and gathered together a wonderful carousel display to celebrate the Cedar Point horse as well as other figures.

The group hoped for a few hundred visitors, but surprisingly more than 2,000 came from across the nation to share the joy of carousels. In the following months a non-profit corporation was formed with the mission, “to preserve and promote the art and history of the carousel.”

The corporation purchased the unique post office building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and preserving the building became part of the mission. The Corporation received a 501 c (3) status and fund raising began soon after.

The Merry-Go-Round Museum display artifacts that add to the public’s awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of the history of the carousel. Dentzel carving shop tools are a permanent exhibit, along with a working woodcarving shop, and the museum’s own machine, (circa 1939 Allan Herschell Corporation). The museum continues to seek artifacts from amusement parks, carnivals, and private individuals, and encourages long and short-term loans of memorabilia and antiques from earlier periods of the amusement and carousel industry.


Reviews

Laura Mears

Rating:
Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017

Ride a carousel. Look at every type of carved animal and creature you can imagine. Watch and talk with real carvers. Get a guided tour from a knowledgeable docent or just wander. Buy something from the nifty gift shop. All inside a unique round building that was our post office when I was young.

Andrej Walilko

Rating:
Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017

Very cool exhibits on merry go round animals from all around the nation, in-house animal repair workshop, and a full size operating carousel (with organ) all in a historic building! I wish there was a bit more information on other aspects of merry go rounds, such as their mechanics, organs, and the fabled brass rings, but it's a great 45 minute visit just to see the carvings. Ticket includes a trip around the merry go round.

Beth Carey

Rating:
Saturday, July 29, 2017

This was our 2nd visit. First one was 3 years ago. This museum does a wonderful job of honoring the American Carousel Heritage. The exhibits allow for up close viewing. There is a wonderful carousel to ride. 5 stars in my book!

Paul Lemmon

Rating:
Wednesday, Sep. 13, 2017

Very cool. Good for about a 45 minute to an hour stop. Ride the old carousel, Its really neat and wonderful to see all this stuff preserved!

Denise Speckhardt

Rating:
Saturday, July 22, 2017

Very cute and historic. A lot of information on merry go rounds. Small probably takes 45minute stop. Tickets reasonable and includes a merry go round ride. Great for kids, small activity for kids as well.