The Flying Horses, the oldest carousel in the United States, are housed in this building at the intersection of Circuit and Lake Aves in Oak Bluffs. They came to the Island in 1884 from Coney Island.
The Flying Horses are not a carousel, or a merry-go-round, they don’t go up and down just round and round. They are flying horses, like Pegasus, and fly to wherever you can imagine . They don’t actually have wings, but as you make the first circuit you feel like you’re about to fly out the open windows.
I flew on these beautiful horses every day when I was a little girl. The ticket taker was a young man who would never take my tickets ! We tried everything to get him to take them… we brought him candy and cookies and tried slipping the tickets in with them… nothing work. At the end of the summer I said I wanted to buy him a gift, so off my mom and I went to purchase what I thought was a novel idea .. a tie. I was 5 years old, what did I know about buying gifts for men… he, by the way was about 13 but in my eyes he was a grown up. We put the tie in the box with all of summer’s uncollected tickets. As he came around to NOT collect my ticket I handed him the box. He smiled. Ah ha, success… or so I thought. As we were leaving the Flying Horses he came over and thanked us for the tie and as we turned to leave he handed us the tickets. I won’t say who he is, just that he turned out to be an official in Oak Bluffs in later years… and someone I’ve never forgotten.
August 13, 2015 at 10:36 am
I always thought the black one was reserved for (just) me; quite luckily every time I went there it seemed it was empty – just for me. i liked it because it was about 1 mm taller than the others and shortstuff me I could almost get the rings. One day I could! One day i got the brass ring!! (It was like I was given the moom!) After that, if that black horse wasn’t available, I’d just ride the shorter ponies because that ONE time the black horse had worked its magical extra height – which I knew was just for me! I still LOVE this place and even if I get to the island when they are closed, I have to go over to the F. Horses building. If they ever (God forbid!) tear it down, I’ll have to go to the spot where it is, like the salmon migrating home. Such a special, special place.
August 13, 2015 at 12:50 pm
I ride on them every time I’m on the Vineyard if they’re open, otherwise I press my nose against the window and peer inside 🙂 Think of all the memories these flying horses have evoked over the years and generations of flyers 🙂
August 15, 2015 at 6:24 am
There is something very special about a carousel with history that creates such a great memory. 🙂