PTC #9 Yesterday as today, there was competition in the amusement park industry. Other parks and resorts were already operating in and around Cleveland. In 1905, Luna Park opened on Cleveland's east side. One of its first rides was a carousel, a menagerie machine, mixture of horses and other animals. This carousel was made by the T. M. Harton Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A coincidence or to be competitive, in 1906 Euclid Beach Park obtained obtained a new carousel, also a menagerie machine. Three rows of stationary figures or standers, no jumping figures. This was the ninth carousel manufactured by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Note 1) No photos of this carousel when operating at the park seem to exist. PTC was the only carousel manufacturer to consecutively number their carousels by carving the number into the center pole.
Around the 1930's Euclid Beach Park made alterations to the facades of the three main roller coasters and to the band stand in the dance pavilion, incorporating an "Art Deco" design style. The carousel was also altered to reflect this style that flourished in the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's. Refer to the image of the colorized carousel postcard above and the postcard image on the right. Most of the original Baroque details were removed or altered. Each rounding board section had two cherubs holding a swag between them with a row of beveled mirrors below. It appears they were removed and replaced. New shields, between the rounding board sections were made. The interior upper surrounds were replaced or altered with most of the intricate decorative carvings in between removed. There may also have been alterations made to the lower scenery panels. The 58 horses received a makeover. All of the horses were painted white with just the trappings and saddles receiving color. It was also at this time that the park no longer called it the "CAROUSSAL" but "CARROUSEL."
Kiddie Carousel Photographed When at Shady Lake Photo Courtesy of Richard Wickens
The park had one other carousel, built for the smaller amusement park visitor. This carousel was located in kiddieland, manufactured by the Wm. F. Mangels Company Carousal Works of Brooklyn, New York.
Euclid Beach Park Postcard View of The Great American Racing Derby
In 1921, Euclid Beach purchased and had installed a racing derby manufactured by the firm of Prior and Church. It was installed next to PTC #19 and given the name The Great American Racing Derby. The ride featured rows of four horses that not only moved up and down but forward and backward. The platform would begin to revolve and pick up speed, at a certain rpm a large bell would sound signally the start of the race for each row of four horses. As the platform revolved one could hear a deep rumble. At a given point the horses would stop moving forward and backward and the ride would slow down to a stop, Many seasons saw a ride attendant place a small American flag in a hole behind the ear of the row's winning horse, awarding the winning rider with a free ride. Besides watching the park whiz by riders also watched the ride attendants as the stepped on and stepped off the revolving platform.
A Later Colorized Postcard of the
Caroussal Euclid Beach Park Cleveland, O.
Colorized Postcard of the Carousal at Installation, 1910
Four years later, Euclid Beach Park approached PTC for a new, larger, grandeur carousel. The carousel was installed in 1910, had a 50 foot platform with 4 rows of horses, 3 inside rows of 44 jumping horses and an outside row of 14 nearly life size stationary horses and 2 chariots. Into its center pole was carved "No 19". Euclid Beach park advertised the new ride as, The Finest Carousal ever made, Euclid Beach, Cleveland, Ohio as seen in the early postcard to the left.
PTC #19 had an initial purchase price of $7,734.04. A new 90 foot diameter building was erected to house the carousel with an initial cost of $9,713.94. PTC #19 was larger than PTC #9 plus it had 3 rows of jumping figures. All the figures on PTC #9 were stationary as were the figures on Luna Park's carousel.. In 1915 Luna Park installed a new PTC carousel #35. This one also had 4 rows of horses, 3 rows of 58 jumpers, 1 row of 10 standers and 2 chariots. (Note 2) PTC#19 was the last large park carousel purchased by Euclid Beach Park. It would remain the centerpiece of the park until Euclid Beach Park closed on September 28, 1969.
Note 1: After leaving Euclid Beach Park PTC #9 went to Laurel Springs, Hartford, Connecticut. It returned to the PTC shops in 1925 to be refurbished and received number 74R. It then went to Kaufman's Park in Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania. It was then relocated to Twin Grove Park in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania and in the early 80's the figures were sold off at auction. In 1998 the Pottstown Historical Society (Pennsylvania) purchased the mechanism and rounding boards. Fundraising efforts are continuing (2017) to have figures carved and place the carousel in operation.
Note 2: After Luna Park closed at the end of the 1928 season, PTC #35 was moved to Puritas Springs Park which was located on the west side of Cleveland till that park closed in at the end of its 1958 season. Then onto Shady Beach Park in Russells Point, Ohio until 1971. It now operates (2017) at Six Flags over St. Louis.
In 1903, another carousel was erected at Euclid Beach Park. This one was manufactured by the Herschell Spillman Company and was called the Flying Ponies, the figures being suspended from above, thus allowing them to swing out as the carousel turned. A unique feature of this particular carousel was that the entire machine was installed at a 10 degree angle, making the ride a bit more exciting as it revolved. This unique carousel operated at Euclid Beach Park until 1949.
Early Euclid Beach Park Postcard. Towers in the Background are on the Scenic Railway
On Saturday, June 22, 1895 a new summer resort opened eight miles east of Cleveland's Public Square. Greeting patrons: Pier, German Village, Theater, Dance Pavilion, and Bath House. The name of this new summer resort Euclid Beach Park. The parks second season, 1895, saw the addition of amusement rides; Ferris Wheel, Swings, Switchback Railway and a Merry-Go-Round. This first carousel was a "track" machine, movement of the figures was generated from underneath the platform. This carousel was built by the Armitage Herschell Company of North Tonawanda, New York, approximately 15 miles north of Buffalo.
D. S. Humphrey II, having a successful popcorn stand on Cleveland's Public Square, obtained in 1895. In 1896 a popcorn stand was operated by the Humphrey' at Euclid Beach Park. However, after being unable to persuade park management to change the way the park was being operated, Humphrey pulled out of the park in 1899. In 1901 Euclid Beach Park was up for sale. D. S. Humphrey, while on a business trip in Chicago saw an article in Cleveland's Plain Dealer regarding the park's sale. He immediately returned home and called a family meeting. The outcome, the Humphrey's made a deal to take over management of the park. Now they had the chance to operate the park without the beer garden, gamblers, fakers, and questionable side shows. The things the family tried to persuade the old management to eliminate from the park.
Old Orchard Beach is a summer resort town located on the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 16 miles south of Portland, Maine. The main street of the resort, Old Orchard Street, ends at the beach. Directly at the end of the street and extending into the Atlantic Ocean is Old Orchard Pier. The Atlantic has claimed part of the structure at least three times since it was built in 1898. In the early summer of 1969 two small amusement parks operated in Old Orchard Beach; Pier Amusements north of the pier and Palace Playland, south of the pier. Pier Amusements had a carousel, Palace Playland did not. A fire broke out at Pier Amusements on July 19, 1969 destroying its old carousel and much of the amusement park. PTC #19 arrived at Palace Playland in the early 70's. A local newspaper article In a 1987 reported on a commercial artist who was repainting the carousel. The article mentioned that this same artist "restored the ride" in 1971. The horses were no longer painted white with just the saddles and trappings getting colors, but repainted in a variety of colors and hues. The carousel's frame also saw changes when in Maine. The curved, vaulted ceilings and the inner scenery panels, which hid the center pole and its supports were removed. The postcard photo of the carousel shown here, displays the "art deco" rounding boards that were on PTC #19 but in later years they were altered getting painted all white.
Euclid Beach Park Now (EBPN) honors and preserves the memory of arguably Cleveland, Ohio's most beloved amusement park EUCLID BEACH PARK, which operated from 1895 through 1969.
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The mid 60's to early 70's saw many of America's traditional amusement parks close. Euclid Beach Park came to its end at the close of the 1969 operating season. Some of the rides from kiddieland and larger rides that could be easily dismantled and moved were placed in storage, to once again operate at a future date in Humphrey's Shady Lake Park which opened in 1978 in Streetsboro, Ohio. Larger rides like the roller coasters, saw cables tied to bulldozers, changing them from their towering vertical landmark features to horizontal rubble. PTC #19 was sold to Palace Playland, a small amusement park in the resort community of Old Orchard Beach, Maine.
The Kiddie Carousel also received an "Art Deco" makeover, take note in the photograph above taken when it was at Shady Lake Park.
Euclid Beach Park's First Merry-Go-Round Installed in 1896
Note: Armitage Herschell Company invested much of it money in real estate. The land boom bubble burst in 1899, forcing the company into receivership. Allen Herschell with his brother-in-law, Edward Spillman, formed a new company, the Herschell-Spillman Company.
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