Euclid Beach Carousel

More than forty years after its last ride in Cleveland, the Euclid Beach carousel operates once again in the city, a testament to both the hard work of a number of non-profit organizations and Cleveland's enduring love for all things Euclid Beach.

When Euclid Beach Park closed in 1969, the carousel was sold to Palace Playland, an amusement park in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Palace Playland itself closed in 1996, and the carousel went up for auction. This put the carousel in danger of being broken up, horse by horse, to a number of different bidders. The Trust for Public Land, however, a national conservation organization, provided an emergency loan to Cleveland Tomorrow (now a part of the Greater Cleveland Partnership) in an effort to bring the carousel back to Cleveland intact. The auction took place in July 1997 in Olmsted Township during a Euclid Beach memorabilia show. In a dramatic scene, the bidder from the Trust for Public Land secured the entire carousel - all 54 horses along with 2 chariots - with a final bid that came to $715,000. When the auctioneer hollered "sold," onlookers erupted in cheers. The carousel was coming back to Cleveland.

Once the carousel was purchased, however, it quickly became clear that funds were lacking to put it back into operation. In 1999, Cleveland Tomorrow gifted the horses to the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS). They sat in storage for a number of years, periodically being displayed around Northeast Ohio. A 2003 plan to return the carousel to the site of the old Euclid Beach amusement park fell through. Some doubted whether the carousel would ever actually be operated again. In 2010, Euclid Beach Park Now and the Euclid Beach Park Carousel Society, two non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving the history of Euclid Beach, collaborated with WRHS on a plan to place the carousel on the front lawn of the historical society's University Circle museum. A multi-million-dollar fundraising effort was launched to restore the carousel's mechanics and build a glassed-in pavilion to house the ride. The fundraising campaign was successful, and the carousel opened in November 2014.

Images

Audio

Euclid Beach Band Organ
This is a brief musical selection played by the Italian band organ that was located at the Euclid Beach roller rink from 1910-1969. While the American-made band organ operating inside the carousel was slightly different, carousel riders heard music...
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Returning the Carousel to Cleveland
Jim Seman talks about the efforts to restore and return the Euclid Beach carousel to Cleveland after it went up for auction in the mid-1990s.
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