The Royal Charter

Rhode Island Carousels

Rhode Islanders are proud that of the 150 remaining original American wooden carousels, three can be found within the borders of the Ocean State.

The Flying Horse Carousel at Watch Hill in Westerly is considered to be the oldest in the United States. The carousel is unique in that its horses are not attached to the floor, but hang by chains suspended by overhead "sweeps". The faster the ride, the farther out the horses swing, hence the name "Flying Horse Carousel."

The Crescent Park Carousel was designed in 1895 by Charles I.D. Looff (1852-1918). Looff was one of the earliest and foremost manufacturers of carousels, and his Crescent Park Carousel is the finest surviving example of its type in the United States.

At the Slater Park Carousel all but one of the hand-carved horses are original. When you ride, see if you can identify the lead horse, the one that all the others seem to follow. As you watch the many paintings turning on the center of the carousel, tip your hat to the man in a derby hat-he's Charles I.D. Looff.