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    Parks, Recreation and Trees
    Lighthouse Point Carousel
    The Facility

    The Carousel at Lighthouse Point Park is a unique historic facility. Besides housing the antique Carousel, the building provides ample space for private functions with beautiful views of New Haven Harbor and Long Island Sound, especially at sunset. Brochures and registration forms are available for download online. Contact Sabrina by Email Sabrinaemail for information regarding the Carousel and Lighthouse Point Park facilities. To view recent wedding events at Lighthouse Point, go to troyphotography.com (look at April 2, 2005, July 4, 2004, September 6, 2003) and see the magnificent settings the Park provides.

    Come to Lighthouse Point Park, spend some time, ride the carousel, walk the boardwalk along the beach and enjoy a bite to eat at the Shore Shack.

    Carousel Carousel House Beach Beach Pavilion Lighthouse Playground Splashpad
    Click on an image above to see the full size photo.

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    Carousel hours of operation - summer season
    Directions to Lighthouse Park
    • Northbound on I-95 (from New York)
      Exit 50 to second traffic light. Turn right on Townsend Avenue. Go 2.2 miles to Lighthouse Road. Turn right on Lighthouse Road. Go 0.7 miles to Park entrance.
    • Southbound on I-95 (from Hartford, New London)
      Exit 51, go 1 mile to Townsend Avenue. Turn left on Townsend. Go 2.2 miles to Lighthouse Road. Turn right on Lighthouse Road. Go 0.7 miles to Park entrance.

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    History
    The Carousel at Lighthouse Point Park – A wonderful Ride

    Although there were more than 10,000 such carousels in operation in the 1920's, The Lighthouse Park Carousel is one of less than 100 in use today. For a small fee, come take a ride on one of the 72 figures mounted in 20 ranks on a 60 foot platform.

    Glory Days
    The Lighthouse Point Park Carousel is a unique and magnificent treasure. Built in 1916, it is a rare and important example of American folk art. Although there were more than 10,000 such carousels in operation in the 1920s, the Lighthouse Park Carousel is one of less than 100 in use today.

    For years, a ride on the carousel was the highlight of a day at New Haven’s Lighthouse Park. But time and use took a heavy toll. Hurricanes, age and gradual deterioration from the seaside location caused the carousel to eventually close down, and the building was boarded up in 1977. The carved creatures were dismantled and placed in storage, and the Wurlitzer Band Organ fell silent.

    A New Life
    In late 1980, the mayor of New Haven appointed a group of citizens to investigate ways to restore the carousel with private funding. These dedicated volunteers joined together to reclaim this piece of New England heritage. In 1983 the carousel and its clerestoried pavilion were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The City of New Haven, which purchased the carousel in 1927, allocated funds to rehabilitate the neglected building. An "Adopt-A-Horse" program was developed to help pay for restoration of the endowment was established at the Community foundation for Greater New Haven to build al Reserve for the future. After hours of scraping, cleaning, painting, fundraising and restoration, the carousel twirled once again. Yet there is much to be done.

    Carousel Horse Carousel Horse Carousel Horse Carousel Horse Carousel Horse Carousel Horse
    Click an image for enlarged view.

    A Labor of Love
    Keeping the carousel beautiful and in working order is a continuing task.

    The motor that sends the carousel spinning requires regular refurbishing, as does the organ that accompanies riders on their flights of fancy. Horses need new tails, manes, and jewels. Routine wear and tear caused by the damp bathing suits of seaside riders make frequent paint touch-ups necessary. Maintenance and restoration must be ongoing if the carousel is to remain beautiful and vibrant.

    Carousel Facts: History and Trivia
    • It was assembled in 1916 by the Murphy Brothers in their Savin Rock workshop.
    • The carved animals were the work of the Murphy Brothers, Charles I.D. Looff and Charles Carmel.
    • Few carousels are bigger. It boasts 72 figures mounted on 20 ranks on a 60-foot platform.
    • There are animals aplenty. Jumping horses are set four abreast alternate with horses standing three abreast. Two exotic dragon chariots charge from opposite sides of the platform. Nearby strides a camel.
    • Paintings of the New Haven Harbor – steamboats, sailing ships, barges, lighthouses and mermaids add to the attraction.

    Carousel Scene
    Carousel Scene illustrating New Haven's Lighthouse and Harbor

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    Rental Information

    The Carousel and building are available for rental. For information on availablility and rental fees, please contact Sabrina Bruno by email at sbruno@newhavenct.net.

    Downloads

    Lighthouse Point Carousel Brochure
    Lighthouse Point Carousel Reservation Form
    Note: email sbruno@newhavenct.net to confirm available dates before submitting reservation forms.

    Note: To view PDF files you must have installed a free copy of Adobe Acrobat® Reader

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    Click To Visit Department
    Polar Plunge at Lighthouse Point Park
    Canoeing at East Rock Park
    Winterfest at West Rock Nature Center
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