Flying Horses Carousel, Oak Bluffs

4.5
The Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest operating platform carousel in America. Located in the historic resort community of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, on Martha's Vineyard, the carousel was apparently first located in New York City before being moved to the island in the 1880s.
The carousel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The carousel is one of only a handful of carousels that still have brass rings for a rider to attempt to grab as the carousel rotates.
Oak Bluffs, located on the northeastern part of the island of Martha's Vineyard, was originally settled as part of Edgartown in the 17th century. In 1835 the Methodist camp known as Wesleyan Grove (also a National Historic Landmark) was established in the area. Development of the area as a summer resort became more formally organized with the establishment of the Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf Company in 1866. The company developed what was then one of the earliest planned communities, guiding the community's growth over the following years.
The exact date of construction of the carousel is not known. Its artwork closely resembles that found in an 1870s catalog published by the Charles W.F. Dare Company, a major manufacturer of carousels in the late 19th century. At least one expert believes that artwork of the carousel itself was done by the same artist whose work appears in the catalog, suggesting its construction date to be between 1876 and 1878.
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Flying Horses Carousel Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
344 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I don't ride carousel horses but I sincerely appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into making them. The tools and artistry that went into making this carousel reminds me of the turn of the century c...  more »
  • This is the nations oldest platform merry-go-round. It is called the Flying Horses Carousel. If you take a ride on it, try to grab the brass ring.  more »
Google
  • Very interactive. It is not your typical carousel, where you just sit and ride the horse. While riding, the goal is to pull some rings, out of a sleeve. These rings grant you free rides. I thought it was very entertaining. Plus, it is the oldest operating carousel! How cool is that!
  • Love this place. It's a must that I go everytime I'm on the Island. It was something I did as a child, and now I get to take my kids.

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