Running Fork believes merry-go-rounds are one of life’s greatest joys.
Fortunately the Children’s Creativity Museum in Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco thinks so too.
And Krewe d’Agave is very proud to be one of the lucky outside donors who got to ‘adopt’ a merry-go-round horse, ‘Lil’ Liza Jane‘, in exchange for pitching in on a fantastic renovation project.
The carousel had been showing it’s wear-and tear of late so a $330,000 rehabilitation was in order that included every piece, right down to each of the 70 horses.
Each were disassembled, repaired and put together again. No attention to detail was spared, each of the horses’ tails are made of actual horsehair.
As the story goes master merry-go-round builder Charles Looff created the now legendary ride over three yeas in his Rhode Island shop during the early 20th century.
It was supposed to be part of a Fun Park near Van Ness Avenue and Market Street, but the 1906 earthquake and fire changed all that.
The carousel instead headed north to Seattle’s Luna Park, where it stayed for 10 years until a fire engulfed everything except the wooden merry-go-round.
Later the orphaned ride returned to its original destination city, San Francisco in 1912 – not to Van Ness and Market but to Playland-at-the-Beach, where it remained until mothballed in 1972.
It then unfortunately met the same dismal fate as many antique carousels, it was dismantled and put up for auction.
To make a long story short it was saved to turn another day. Now the newly rechristened LeRoy King Carousel, named for the former redevelopment commissioner who helped re-acquire, was saved.
After the successful fund raising drive it has been fully restored and the sounds of laughter that fill the air once more.
Head on over to the Children’s Creativity Museum and find Krewe ‘dAgave’s ‘Lil’ Liza Jane‘, take her on a ride then do it over and over again.
Merry-go-rounds are a national treasure that hark back to a simpler time. Enjoy the fun while you still can and by all means adopt a carousel animal too!