The Second Carousel While at Monarch Park


The only known image of Monarch Park’s second carousel’s building. This was the first of two buildings.
The second was raised off the ground. Image believed to be from the Oil City Derrick 1915.

The second and last carousel at Monarch Park.
Oil City heritage Society image.

The purchase of a new (second) Carousel (the term was so new the Franklin Evening News took pains to advise its readers of the correct pronunciation) was the big news for the opening of the 1915 season. The $9,000 attraction, replacing the old merry-go-round, was fifty feet in diameter. It contained 52 animals set on the platform three abreast. The sixteen animals in the outer row, which was stationary, included lions, tigers, goats, giraffes, deer, and different breeds of large horses. The second and third rows contained thirty-six galloping animals including cats, pigs, ostriches, rabbits, and horses of various sizes. Hand carved frescoed chariots, also mounted on the platform had seats that were upholstered in real leather. At the center of the carousel above the arms extending over the prancing steeds were eighteen scenic panels, each in hand-carved frames. Below them were eighteen large mirrors. Together they formed a circle at the center. Above them were shields, scrollwork, and other decorations. The bright lights and the new organ complete with bells and cymbals at a cost of $1,200 made it a very showy ride indeed. The addition of a ring “board” over the patrons’ heads, so that riders may get a brass ring … and a free ride …was noted as being “very popular in the parks of large cities.” Note: This description of the Monarch Park carousel was provided before the carousel model was identified by Barbara Fahs Charles as seen in the paragraph found below. Please compare the catalogue’s description to the park’s description and the image of the park’s carousel to that of the catalogue. We believe that these two carousels are essentially the same model, the only significant difference being the additional wooden scroll work above the park’s carousel sweeps that would have been an option at purchase.

The W.H. Dentzel No. 106 from the company catalogue.
Barbara Fahs Charles Collection.

Barbara Fahs Charles, has identified our carousel as a No. 106 manufactured by W.H. Dentzel of Philadelphia, PA. The W.H. Dentzel description of this carousel states:

"This is our popular combination stationary and galloping animal machine. The diameter is 50 feet with an 18-section platform, animals placed thereon three abreast. The outside row is stationary, consisting of lion, tiger, deer, giraffe, and different styles of large horses, 16 in number. Two chariots are also placed on the outside row and are handsomely carved, fresco-painted, and upholstered with leatherine. The two inside rows of animals are of the galloping type, 36 in number, and consist of the following: Cats, pigs, rabbits, ostriches and different styles of horses. The galloping animals are operated by an overhead crank motion and are equipped with safety step irons in place of stirrups. The decorations on this Carousel are exceedingly attractive. The upper and lower frames on the inside rim, enclosing the sceneries and mirrors, are hand-carved, fresco-painted and gilded, and are very massive. This machine is equipped with our patent roller-bearing at the top of the center pole. We furnish with this Carousel a card-board organ of the latest design, using the suction system in place of keys, thereby preventing the tearing of music and adding to the life of the instrument. Carousel furnished complete with motor, ring-board and attachments, and ring-catcher. This is our most popular make and has satisfied a large demand for an ideal Carousel for first-class parks and seashore resorts."

Editor’s note: Two of the Monarch Park Dentzel model 106 carousels are still in use in 2012. They are operating at Pullen Park, Raleigh, North Carolina and Ontario Beach Park, Rochester, New York. You may see color photos of what our carousel must have looked like by going to the following two web sites:

Pullen Park, Raleigh, North Carolina
Ontario Beach Park, Rochester, New York