Henderson's old carousel is restored, open to rides

HENDERSON (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - Many who grew up in Henderson have fond memories of riding the carousel in Lake Forest Park.
That includes Lynda Jones, who went out to the carousel with her family members and friends.

She said she and her cousin loved being in control of the horse because a real horse would have been scary for them at that young age. Birthday parties were common.

"I can't ever remember not having fun out there," Ms. Jones said. "Even when I was a teenager a lot of my friends and I would go out there and take a sandwich.

"It's just like something that had always been there. … We just enjoyed sitting and talking and laughing and singing and just enjoying that up and down with the horse. We didn't have to worry about reigns or falling. It was just a good old time back then."

The carousel, which dates back to 1950, was purchased from a traveling carnival and donated to the city of Henderson.

It was placed at Lake Forest Park, which about that time was a park with a miniature golf course, said Vickie Armstrong, director of the Depot Museum in Henderson.
Throughout the years, the carousel underwent repairs and changed from wooden horses to aluminum horses. It was moved to the Depot Museum in 2009 when the city started building a new civic center.

After it arrived there, the museum raised money to repaint the horses through an adopt-a-horse initiative. Donors got to name their animal, Ms. Armstrong said.

Residents can still ride the carousel. The museum charges $1 for rides and runs it throughout the year, especially during special events like the Heritage Syrup Festival, Ms. Armstrong said.

"It's a piece of history, and the museum has it, and I'm very thankful for that," she said. "It's enjoyed by people young and old. … It brings back so many memories for people. I'm glad it's restored and running."

More information about the Depot Museum can be found at www.depotmuseum.com.


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