Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Magical Merry-go-round

 
 
Magical Merry-go-round Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 8, 2013
1. Magical Merry-go-round Marker
Inscription. Whether you call it a merry-go-round, carousel, or whirlgig, visitors have always been enchanted with the Boardwalk’s oldest ride. At the grand opening of the “hippodrome,” as the carousel and its building were called, one hundred rocking chairs were provided so that mothers could sit comfortably to enjoy the music and watch their children ride the brilliant new horses.

Preservation of the carousel is labor of love. Boardwalk artists repair and repaint the horses during the off-season.

The Boardwalk’s carousel was named a National Historic Monument in 1987.

The Man
Charles I.D. Looff began building carousels in 1880. By 1911, when he delivered the Boardwalk’s shining new carousel, Looff was well known for his work and it had made him wealthy. His son Arthur built the Boardwalk’s Giant Dipper roller coaster.

The Brass Ring
This carousel has one of the few remaining ring dispensers in the country. Rings once fed manually into the metal arm by a “ring boy”. The process was mechanized in 1950. The Boardwalk goes through more than 70,000 steel rings each year. Brass rings are still used on special occasions.

The Horses
All 73 were originally produced by Looff’s company.
Each horse has a real horsehair tail.
The 71 “jumpers”
Magical Merry-go-round Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 8, 2013
2. Magical Merry-go-round Marker
The marker is on the wall to the left of the ticket booth.
move up and down, the two “standers” are stationary.
The chariots ensured that ladies of the early 1900s could be modest and safe when the rode the carousel.
 
Erected by Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 36° 57.864′ N, 122° 1.052′ W. Marker is in Santa Cruz, California, in Santa Cruz County. Marker can be reached from Beach Street. Click for map. This marker is near entrance #3 of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Marker is at or near this postal address: 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Boards (here, next to this marker); Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (a few steps from this marker); Burgers at the Beach (a few steps from this marker); Fickle Fashion (within shouting distance of this marker); Beauty and the Beach (within shouting distance of this marker); Boardwalk Goes Hollywood (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Love Story (about 400 feet away); The Santa Cruz Seaside Company (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Santa Cruz.
 
More about this marker.
Looff Carousel National Historic Landmark Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 8, 2013
3. Looff Carousel National Historic Landmark Plaque
Looff Carousel
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
National Historic Landmark
This site possesses national significance in commemorating the history of the United States of America
1987
National Park Service
United States Department of the Interior
This marker is located on the grounds of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
 
Regarding Magical Merry-go-round. If you were lucky and skilled enough to throw the brass ring into the clowns mouth, you won a free ride!
 
Also see . . .  1911 Looff Carousel - Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s Looff Carousel is a National Historic Landmark and local treasure. The hand-carved merry-go-round has been turning children’s seaside dreams into golden memories since 1911. (Submitted on January 25, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Entertainment
 
Entrance to Looff's Carousel image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 8, 2013
4. Entrance to Looff's Carousel
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 330 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photos of the merry-go-round. • Photos of the horses and chariots. • A photo of the clown where riders try to throw the ring into his mouth. • Can you help?
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