Saratoga Bed and Breakfast a 10 Minute Walk to the Carousel at Congress Park
Our Saratoga Bed and Breakfast is so close to Congress Park that it will take you a glorious ten minutes to walk there. Once you arrive at the Park, be sure to ride on the historical Carousel. We were enthusiastic contributors to the community effort to "Save the Carousel". Here is a brief history on the Carousel.
The chance to ride vintage, hand-carved wooden horses on a carousel doesn’t come up very often. The National Carousel Association (NCA) believes that there are only about 180 of what it calls “classic wooden carousels”(those built prior to 1940) still operating in the U.S. (as of May 2014).
And one of them is here in Saratoga, the Congress Park Carousel!
Marcus Charles Illions, a master carver of wooden horses for carousels (his best-known carousel is the Coney Island Carousel), carved the Congress Park Carousel’s 28 horses – with real horsehair tails – and two chariots in 1910. They are carved in his particular style (now known as the Coney Island style of carousel figure carving), one that offers up flamboyant horses decked out in jewels and leaf of silver and gold, powerful bodies, flying manes, and harnesses carved in latticework.
According to the NCA, the carousel actually first was located in Ballston Lake, New York from its creation to 1932. It then moved to the Round Lake area of Ballston Lake until 1943 when it was moved to Kaydeross Park in Saratoga Springs.
It stayed at Kaydeross, entertaining thousands of children young and old until 1987, when the park was sold for development.
Plans called for auctioning the carousel horse by horse, but local residents, led by Tommy McTygue, former Department of Public Workers Commissioner, raised close to $120,000. They then offered the auctioneer $150,000 for the complete carousel and all 28 horses.
All of the horses were then restored and the carousel opened in its present location in Congress Park in 2002.
At just 50 cents a ride, the carousel is a very affordable way for adults and youngsters to enjoy this beautiful piece of moving art. The carousel is open during the summer season only (generally Memorial Day through Columbus Day).
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