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The Roseneath Carousel – A rare, historic carousel found in a small Ontario town

August 2022

The Roseneath Fairgrounds in Roseneath, Ontario, is home to a historic C. W. Parker Carousel; one of only two in Canada, and eight in total in North America.

Built in 1906 by the C. W. Parker Carousel Company in Abliene, Kanasa, known as the king in the manufacturing of amusement park rides, it’s been owned by the Roseneath Agricultural Society since 1932.

The carousel consists of 40 basswood horses, 3 abreast , and 2 metal boats. The centre row features Herschell/Spillman or Armitage/Herschell horses, with the inside and outside rows featuring Parker Jumper Horses, with the platform balanced from a centre post.

Powdered by a 5 horsepower electric motor, riders travel at approximately 4 miles per hour to the music of a 25 Wulitzer military band organ, built in 1934.

It’s all contained within a 16 sided wooden building, which protects the carousel from the harsh Canadian winters.

The carousel was forced to shut down in 1985, as it no longer met current safety standards. A major restoration of the carousel was undertaken in 1987 by a group of volunteers. Everything from the mechanical to the cosmetic was carefully refurbished. Elements that couldn’t be restored, like the 16 paintings for the gear screen panels and the rounding boards on the Carousel, reproductions were produced by local artists, Herma Seppanen and Avril Bull Jones.

The Roseneath Carousel held an official grand re-opening of the restored carousel on 17 July 1993, and has been in operation ever since.

The Carousel is operated by a group of volunteers each Sunday from 1-3 p.m. from Victoria Day weekend to Thanksgiving weekend, as well as for the annual Roseneath Fair and the Roseneath Agricultural Society’s annual Car/Truck/Tractor Show. The cost to ride is $4 per rider.

The Roseneath Fairgrounds are located at 9109 County Road 45, in Roseneath.

Sources: roseneathcarousel.com, C. W. Parker Carousel – Wikipedia.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/the-roseneath-carousel-a-rare-historic-carousel-found-in-a-small-ontario-town/

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