The Carousel Is Back Around Town

MADISON, SD-  It’s safe to say that most people’s first carnival ride is a carousel.  It could also be a “warm-up” ride before they hit the big roller coasters.  This particular carousel at Prairie Village is special.

“This carousel was built sometime between the late 1890s and the early 1900s. It had a couple of different owners before it came here,” said Manager of Prairie Village Faron Wahl.

Its been at the village for over fifty years.   Two years ago, it was sent off to be restored.

‘Carousel Works’ in Mansfield, Ohio repaired damage from years of use.  Each horse was also repainted by hand.  What you see today is what could have been seen a hundred years ago.

“They left every part this carousel original that could possible be left original and still allow you to operate it for years to come and operate it safely,” explained Wahl.

This unique ride can also be powered by steam since electricity did not exist during the late 1800s.

According to Wahl, not that many carousels in the United States still run on steam.  “The carousel we have at Prairie Village (to our knowledge) is the only left of its type and age still operating.”

Almost two years later, Prairie Village marks the official grand re-opening of the vintage carousel.  Organizers say that it feels like the village is whole again.

“To see it now returned, be reassembled, fully restored, and ready to continue being history to life here is a huge moment here to date,” said Wahl.

For half a century, the carousel has been a staple at the historic town and now will continue to be for generations to come.

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