The Flying Horses, The Oldest Carousel In America

The Flying Horses

Riding on The Flying Horses is a right of passage for anyone who ever steps on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s right up there with getting Ben and Bill’s Ice Cream, or jumping off Second “Jaws” Bridge. For children, the ride’s magic reaches them as soon as the iconic music hits their ears way down Circuit Ave, but for adults, the magic doesn’t truly hit them till they find themselves vying for their horse or chariot and then competing desperately for the Brass Ring.  No matter how old you are for your first visit to The Flying Horses, its magic, and memories obtained there stay with you for a life time. That magic is what has kept this historic, and iconic ride around for over 100 years.

OakBluffs1880s

The Flying horses in it's original location in Oak Bluffs
The Flying horses in its original location in Oak Bluffs

The Flying Horses first came to life in 1876 where Charles Dare built it originally as a Coney Island  attraction. The remarkable ride didn’t stay there for long though. In 1884 a very wealthy New York resident, F.O. Gordon, purchased the spectacular ride, and had it moved to Oak Bluffs, where it was situated basically where the Island Queen parking lot is today.  When originally built, the carousel was powered by steam, until 1900 when it was converted to electricity and a 10hp motor. The Flying Horses came to its final resting spot in 1889 when the town acquired the ride, and moved it to where it stands today.The Flying Horses  is on the National Register of Historic places, and is designated as National Historic Landmark. 

The Flying Horses in its final home on Circuit Avenue
The Flying Horses in its final home on Circuit Avenue

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