Carousel expert and author Eric Pahlke recently emailed me with a question. The question is about the Grand Carousel that currently operates at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium.
Eric is trying to resolve some conflicting information about the history of the carousel. He writes,
The oft-repeated story is that the carousel came to Olentangy Park in 1914, and was moved to Scioto Ranch Park in 1937-38 after Olentangy closed. Scioto later became Zoo Park, which became Wyandot Lake Park, which is now a combination of Zoombezi Bay and Jungle Jack’s Landing. I have a source that says the city of Columbus bought the carousel in 1981. The carousel apparently operated at Wyandot Lake until 1999 and has been running at the Zoo since 2000.
The problem is that I have some photographic evidence that says the carousel started on Coney Island and didn’t come to Ohio until the mid-1920s. This alternative story doesn’t distinguish between the carousel then coming to Olentangy Park and then to Scioto, or directly to Scioto.
I’m hoping that someone has materials in their archives that would help solve this dilemma. The primary question is whether the carousel came to Olentangy Park in 1914 or sometime in the 1920s. After that is solved, the other issues probably follow.
Does anyone have any information that could shed light on the issue? Eric is the author of Treasures from the Golden Age: West Coast Carousels, and Treasures from the Golden Age: East Coast Carousels.