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Flying Horse Carousel, Watch Hill

(4.4/5 based on 85+ reviews on the web)
The Flying Horse Carousel is a historic carousel in Watch Hill, the principal summer resort area of the town of Westerly, Rhode Island, United States. It is one of two in the state designated as National Historic Landmarks, along with the Crescent Park Looff Carousel in East Providence. It is the oldest operating carousel in which the horses are suspended from chains.DescriptionThe carousel is believed to have been built around 1876 by the Charles W. Dare Company of New York. This is about the same time attributed to the construction of the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, although both dates are based on inferences and lack certainty. It consists of twenty horses in two sizes, which are suspended by chains from sweeps radiating out from the center of the carousel under its canopy. The bodies of the horses are believed to have been carved from single blocks of wood, with the legs carved separately and attached. The horses still have their original agate eyes; other trappings, including manes and reins, have been replaced. The chains holding the horses are attached to the rump, and to an iron bar (apparently a modification) added to the pommel. When the carousel rotates, centrifugal force drives the horses outward, giving rise to the name "flying horses". The horses in the Oak Bluffs carousel are fixed to columns between spreader panels above and a platform below.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • a great place for the kids to go on one of the oldest carousels in the country. well taken care of,clean.a small price to pay for history. near the beach. go up the hill and look to your right. now do...  more »
  • Along the beach in Watch Hill, Rhode Island is a lovely strip of shops, eating bistros and an old children's carousel. It makes the children laugh and grab mom and dad's hands to pull them toward a pe...  more »
  • Took our grandkids to the Flying Horse Carousel. Brought back memories from when we took our own kids as well as when we were kids. Horses are beautiful and it is a step back in time.