Magical memories have been made on the Carousel for over 100 years!

To celebrate our 1922-2022 centennial, we are inviting all former and current Carousel riders to contribute their favorite memories. We are particularly excited to hear about Idora Park, the original home of the Carousel.

We can't wait to hear your memories!

Sign Jane's Memory Book
As a young kid, that was one of the safe rides when you were transitioning from the kiddie to the adult rides. They had a brass ring that you could grab if you were older. It was a great part of Idora Park! Sorry that the park is gone, but not the memories!!

Roger Blackstone

Youngstown, Oh

My parents used to dance to the Big Band sounds in the Idora Park ballroom and would let my sister and me ride the merry go round. I would try to catch a ring but I wasn’t big enough to reach. Also the Idora Park French fries (with vinegar) were the best. Many wonderful memories.

Dennis Germadnik

Fountain Hills Az

I spent many summers at Idora Park on the carousel 💗. It’s on my bucket list to ride again💗

Kimberly Eberman Garcia

Aztec NM

I lived on Billingsgate the road into the park. I also met my husband at the park. He ran the paratrooper ride. We traveled all over the world but never forgot our roots in Youngstown. To this day whenever I travel home I go see the abandoned park at the end of my street. Visiting the carousel is on my bucket list.

Vickie Bondy

Dayton,Ohio

sam married val massena ny 1943 came home to youngstown,,ohio after ww11 they enoyed many days at idora …..angela born 1947…when she was 4 yrs old made a record with her voice at arcade idora …angela had her children there many times and stood by merry go round day it was auctioned off…sad .yrs later sam 98 yrs old seen a video of idora,, said how his father took him there age 10,,in 1932..now angela age 76 went to nyc ..couldn’t get to see carousel but plans to go directly back to it spring 2024…

angie barbone

st regis falls ny

Our memories are more than one, my daughter loved it. And I’m a NYC tour guide and love to show the Carousel and make them take a ride ! Great memories!

Paula

Staten Island

I went here on a school trip and I loved it. It is so fun. You can make so many memories here. It is also so cheap. Wonderful place. I will definitely come here often.

Spogmai Bibi

Brooklyn, NY

I rode the merry-go-round at Idora Park when I was a kid (say, around 1963) and again in 2022 in Brooklyn. The circle is compete. Thank you, Jane.

William Powers

Houston, Texas

I grew up in western Pennsylvania. My dad’s company had a company picnic at Idora Park every summer. The merry-go- round there was always my favorite. I am so happy that Jane saved it, and I hope to come and see it again someday!

Mary

Reading PA

Came to an office event on July 11th, 2023. Connect with my inner childhood and in essence with myself.

Hyppolite Pierre Jr

Brooklyn, NY

I have so many memories and was overjoyed to add the experience of my ride in the carousel’s new home. At Idora Park, a diesel airplane engine ran the ‘round with noise and some fumes. The Wildcat could be heard over the engine noise and the ride would surge and ebb with the sound of the engine. We each had our favorite horse. I saw the Eagles for the first time at Idora Park. I could ride my Stingray bike there easily. There was not an admission charge until later. Local bands played scattered through the park and one strives to recreate the long drum solo from Whipping Post. I have more memories and what a time it was. Thanks to Volney Rogers for the creation of adjacent Mill Creek Park.

Joyce Hann

Glen Allen VA

Brought my son here for his first carousel ride with my sister! It was his first trip to NYC as well. His daddy felt bad he wasn’t with us, but we couldn’t love him anymore if we tried, so it’s okay 🙂

Marina Maselli

Brooklyn, New York

2012: it was one of the first @VivereNewYork meet up. I shared online my love for Jane’s Carousel and I asked if anyone wanted to join me for a ride. Four people showed up and we rode at least 3 times… because one ride is not enough!

Laura Giromini

New York, NY

As a 7 year old girl in 1966, admission to Idora Park in Youngstown Ohio was free. My parents bought ride tickets though and at the end of the day we would give our left over ride tickets away by throwing them from the Merry-Go-Round or dropping them from the Airplane. In the early 70s, my best memories at Idora Park were of he Spring Things with LIVE Concerts and summers when WHOT Radio Show sponsored HOT Days and FM 101 (really 100.7) DJ A.C. Mccullough held a Gong Show in the ballroom. In 1976, at 16 years old, I entered the competition and belly danced to win the Gong Show! Prize was supposed to be $50 Cash. A.C. told me to pick up my prize at the radio station. In leu of the cash prize, I was invited to choose from a stack of used albums til the value was roughly $50. DJ A.C. from A.C. & Kelly in the morning show was also the coach for a Debartolo Women’s slow pitch softball team that I played on. He coached us to city championships in 76 & 77! Now my husband, Kent and I are radio show hosts known as the #2Hippies on AM1490 Every Wednesday 8-9pm est playing the best (All genres) of #OhioMusic.

Kurana Angelica Glaros

Youngstown Ohio, Idora Park

I grew up in Columbiana Ohio and year after year, visiting Idora was a highlight of the summer. I rode the merry-go-round until my parents tired or my little brother fell asleep and it was time to go. Her beauty and cultural significance was not lost on me at even the tender age of 5. My last visit was in 1982 – a grown woman, but still I rode my adored carousel. I wish I had known it would be my last; I would have kissed the nose of my beloved “black beauty”.

Jackie Weikart

New Windsor, MD

mom pregnant w/ me ,born 1 march 1947..mom rode carousel before and after my birth youngstown ohio Idora park,, every summer as i grew up i’d ride carousel & admired the beautiful pictures,,..my own children loved every minute there too..hearing the music from carousel was wonderful…..sadly idora park closed for good..i stood w/ my son then his age 10 right next to the railing as the auction went for sale of carousel…how sad to know it went to some where in ny…. yrs i found out and now 27 may 2023..i plan on personaly going to see,,,thank you for such good care time and expense in taking good care of it…

angela barbone

north jackson ohio

I grew up hearing about Idora Park from my parents and grandparents but never got to experience it myself so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to ride the carousel now. I also maintain a carousel at another park so enjoyed getting the experience even more.

Andrew

Youngstown, OH

I remember as a child to adulthood, going to Idora Park weekly. I lived in Youngstown until 1983. We had the best times at Idora Park. I remember racing for the horses that would go up & down. There was no better way to ride the Carousel. It’s magnificent beauty will always be instilled in my mine. 💕

Carmel Vivo Minnom

Hardeeville, SC

When Idora was closed to the public the guard whom I knew let me into the park to take pictures. I took pictures of each one then climbed on my favorite black horse and pretended he was real. He and I rode a long time that day. It was a sad, sad day for Youngstown and me and a very hard time to leave the park that day knowing it the very last time.

Kate. Wallace

Youngstown, Ohio

The ride on the carousel was the unforgetable highlight of a nice and sunny day with my daughter at the East River

Bernd Pehl

Wuppertal, Germany

I spent so much time riding this carousel when I was growing up. Idora Park, it’s original location was our family’s ‘splurge’ vacation. Tons of races on those beautiful horses! I made sure my oldest son had at least one ride before the park closed. Now as Jane’s Carousel the beauty is back along with so many wonderful memories for me. Thank you! Maybe I’ll get that one last ride. Forever with me. Tia Carney

Tia Dalambakis Carney

Youngstown, Ohio

Love Jane’s Carousel. Many memories.

Karl Junkersfeld

Brooklyn

Idora Park was THE place for fun!🎊🎉 We had big name summer concerts sponsored by our local rock & roll radio station WHOT (Bay City Rollers, David Cassidy, Donny Osmond…). Many industries including Youngstown Sheet & Tube steel held there company picnics there. The park itself sat in the middle of a larger park, Mill Creek. We had one of the top 10 wooden coasters in the country, secret recipe fries, SkiBall, arcade games to win all sorts of prizes, & something I’ve never seen before or since: 3/4 separate vacuum trash collectors in the shape of animal heads, I remember the pig but not the others. And then….the carousel that Jane so tenderly restored, at tremendous cost but a labor of love, for sure. I always wanted to ride one of the horses that moved up & down. In 2011 I came to NYC with a close friend & that was the first item in our agenda: go see & ride the Idora carousel. We cried, of course! Remembrance of all the happiness & joy we had at Idora was crystallized into that carousel. I’m coming back before Christmas & intend on going back for some pictures & a couple of trips on it. Many of us here in Youngstown were thrilled to know it found a wonderful new home. Thank you, Jane. 🥰

Karen Landry

Youngstown Ohio

I brought my daughter to NYC for her 13th birthday. We visited DUMBO and rode the carousel to end our trip. The best way to celebrate my daughter was this trip this weekend!

Lori Christiansen

Yorkville, WI

As a kid I loved riding this carrousel at Idora Park in Youngstown. As an adult I enjoyed seeing the amazing restoration of this merry-go-round in its new setting. I have ridden it a couple of times on visits to NYC. Glad it was saved intact.

Linda Purser Hahn

Youngstown, Ohio

My mother passed away unexpectedly at the end of August. She would go to Idora Park when she was younger. She always talked about all the fun memories associated with that. Growing up in the Youngstown/ Poland area I quickly grew to love Mill Creek Park. The thoughts and history of Idora Park fascinate me and make me want to learn more. My dad who also would go to Idora Park ( with my mom) has taken me to all of the Idora Park Experience events. I’ve learned so much and am so amazed with everything. Idora Park always leaves me wanting to know more. My mom would always talk about the beautiful carousel and how she would make her way there. Unfortunately, her human form is no longer to do that. I am so excited that I will be going to visit the carousel in November of this year. I know my mother is always with me and she will be so happy that I am there. I am truly looking forward to seeing this piece of Youngstowns amazing history!

Rebecca Cunningham

Poland, Ohio

Living in Western PA, Idora Park was just a short drive across the state line for us. All of the steel mills in the area would hold their annual company picnics at the park. My dad was a steel worker so I remember riding the carousel from 1969 through 1983 with him. I was in NYC this past Thursday and only had 1 day to explore. This was the foremost attraction that I had to see. Yes, my 56 year-old butt was on a horse, and I cried the entire time just so overwhelmed with memories and emotion. Stunningly beautiful restoration.

Lisa Cordes Hresho

Sharpsville PA

I grew up on Brentwood Avenue , about 6 blocks from Idora Park, and I remember watching fireworks from there in the summers from my bedroom window in the 1950s. My morher used to ride the carousel in the 1920s and go to big band dances there. I was going to Brooklyn to see it when the bad storm hit NY , but luckily it survived! God Bless Jane… the book is lovely, I was lucky to get A copy

Marcia Montague

San Mateo, California

Bonjour ! Je suis étudiante en architecture en France. Je m’intéresse aux manèges et spécialement aux carrousels, car je réalise un travail de pré-diplôme sur ce sujet. Je suis complètement contente d’avoir trouve ce projet et d’avoir connu l’histoire de ce carrousel ! Il est absolument magnifique ainsi que le Pavillon créé par Jean Nouvel !! J’espère pouvoir vous visiter bientôt ! Je vous montre un carrousel qui se trouve dans ma ville ! haha Mes sincères salutations., Valeria Castillo

Valeria

Toulouse France

I only wish I had the opportunity to thank Jane personally in giving of her time and talent to afford precious memories for me and my childhood friends in riding the beautiful horses so long ago on warm summer days. Hearing the lovely music play and dreaming and hoping our special day would never come to an end. So very grateful to have Jane’s carousel restored and back to life for those of us old and young alike who can still remember the Joy of a carousel ride on any day.

Grace Devore

Angelica, New York

I’ve always loved carousels and my daughter surprised me with a ride in Jane’s Carousel for Mother’s Day! Such a beautiful piece of art!!

Kayla Serrano

New Rochelle, NY

Grew up in Struthers and remember my Grandfather (Bob Mamone) would take me to Idora Park every year in 60/70’s and highlight riding the Carasel and Lost River. Awesome to see it restored and under Brooklyn Bridge. We go by every time we visit the City

William BILLY & Leona Malone JR

The Woodlands, TX

First of all, I was so fortunate to have visited the carousel on the 100th Anniversary! I am also so very grateful that I was able to go on this day trip with my two beautiful daughters. It has been a while since we were all able to get together and have fun like this. I will forever hold this memory near and dear to my heart. Kimberly DePugh Jonestown, PA

Kimberly DePugh

Jonestown, PA

Growing up in the 1970’s & 1980’s in Youngstown, Ohio… Idora Park always meant it was the last day of school! Thank you for restoring the beauty of something that brings back a million memories.

kim giangiuli

Brooklyn, NY from Youngstown,Oh

My family and i discovered the carousel a few years ago and love it. So much that my kids have hosted their birthday parties there. We love visiting the park and always amke a point of riding the carousel. its a true landmark in our hearts.

cameca bacchus

Long island city, NY

Every time I visit this website or reference this carousel I am reminded of Jane’s generosity during our 1995 visit in the early stages of the carousel’s restoration. The restoration and operation of the carousel is a wonderful legacy to Jane. We are so fortunate to have this carousel available for future generations. Patrick Wentzel – President National Carousel Association

Patrick Wentzel

Parkersburg, WV

Rode this when I was a kid also the wildcat great memories

nate miller

Youngstown ohio

I was saddened to hear that JANE had passed away! Living about 20 miles from Idora Park I had the pleasure of riding JANES CAROUSEL while it was at IDORA! My first visit to IDORA was on a SCHWEBELS DAY picnic at IDORA back in late 50s or early 60s! I found out that my family came to the USA from Germany and settled in SAXONBURG, Pa. Also discovered my family is related to John Roebling the builder of the BROOKLYN BRIDGE! ROEBLING came from Germany and settled in SAXONBURG! I was thrilled to learn JANES CAROUSEL was located at the BROOKLYN BRIDGE! Looking at JANES photos shows she was a very BEAUTIFUL LADY! My Heart and Sympathy goes out to JANES Family! “JANE” You are Loved by many who never had the pleasure of meeting you! Your Admirer from NEW CASTLE, PA. Jack REST IN PEACE PRETTY LADY!

JACK

Ne w Castle, Pa.

Having been born in Campbell Ohio, Just a few miles from Youngstown I remember taking my daughter when she was a 4 yrs old every Friday to Idora Park and have pictures of her in the carousel. The restoration is absolutely beautiful

As a kid growing up in the 70’s- 80’s, Idora Park was the place to hang out. I have many wonderful memories with friends and family riding the WildCat, the Jack Rabbit, the train, Lost River, etc..but didn’t matter how old or young you were, the Carousel was the favorite by all. Many of us were devastated when the park caught fire and the Merry Go Round auctioned off, but it is wonderful to know that it was bought intact and restored lovingly. Though it is not here at home, many of us here in Youngstown appreciate that it still exists in the world and is still loved by many generations.

jonnie wright

Youngstown ohio

we are a group of students who have been reading about the restoration of Jane’s carousel and we wanted to share this with you. we loved hearing about the journey and now looking to see if it’s still being used and where it is. we can’t believe it’s been 100 years! thanks for sharing this story with us in Melbourne, Australia

Cassandra Bird

Melbourne, Australia

Having grown up in Youngstown, Ohio, visiting Idora Park was a treat during the summer months. I have many fond memories of all of my trips to Idora but especially enjoyed the magical ride of the carousel, AKA the Idora Merry-G-Round. I hope it remains at this park for years to come.

Thom George

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315

My fathers steel mill annual employees appreciation day was held once a summer at Idora Park circa 1960. We traveled an hour to get there. The carousel was one of my favorite rides. I remember being so happy every single time I rode the horses. The music, the colors and the different poses of all the horses. It was so exciting waiting in line and watching and picking out the horse I wanted to ride when my turn came. Finally the horses slowed down, stopped and it was my turn. I remember running on the carousel to get to the horse I wanted. My memories are truly unforgettable. I’m so happy to learn children are still able to ride the horses; I’m positive they are loving it as much as I did and making their own memories

Cindy Little

Youngstown, Oh

I grew up in Youngstown, Oho. My first amusement park was Idora. So many memories from there but by far the best was always riding the Carousel. It was a wonderland ride. A trip to Fairyland. Such a beautiful ride that surpassed all others. I was well past my teens when the park burned down but the thing I missed most and still do is the carousel. I rode it every year several times till it was no longer there. New York will never really know what a true timeless treasure they have. I pray that one day I will see it again.

Debbe Tkach Paskowski

Madison, Ohio

I grew up in Struthers Ohio and my parents would take my sister and I to Idora Park. The highlight … besides the french fries and the Wildcat … was riding the carousel when we first got there and the last thing we rode before going home. The most beautiful carousel 🎠! So glad that it was saved and giving so much more love and joy to more children of all ages!! ❤️❤️❤️

Beverly Rine

Minerva, Ohio

I was born and raised in Ohio. My maternal grandparents would take my brother, cousins, and I to Idora Park during opening week every year when we were young. I was the only girl and my favorite ride was this Carousel. I loved it and would ride it over and over again. I’m so happy that it has been restored and continues to make happy memories for children.

Melinda Van Wye

Orlando, Florida

My wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a long weekend in NYC in October of 2014. One of the highlights of our weekend was a visit to Jane’s carousel! We both rode the carousel as kids at Idora Park in Youngstown. It brought back wonderful memories. We couldn’t believe how beautiful it looked and the incredible restoration effort Jane had accomplished. It looked exactly the way we remembered it! Thank you for the great memories. We hope to go back soon someday!

Tim and Diane Garthwaite

Youngstown, OH

The carousel was our weekly spot for several years, when our kids were in preschool. We celebrated many birthdays there. My daughter loved loved being at Jane’s Carousel. I on the other hand loved seeing the process over the years, from when it was being restored. I remember as far back as 2000 seeing these very cool gals in zip up jumpsuits splotched with paint. They were then working on restoring the carousel horses before putting it together. Another memory where I realized it’s importance was when I was traveling in India and super storm Sandy hit, I was watching the news but couldn’t quite get the full picture of how Dumbo was doing till I scrolled on Facebook and saw the carousel posted on a friend’s account . It was shocking to see it emersed in water and I was so relieved to see it survive the flooding. It became a landmark piece for me. I loved reading how the encasement would be a designed by architect Jean Novel adding Dumbo to the map as a tourist destination. It was a perfect addition to Dumbo. Above all, It is truly special to see Jane’s passion live on and be enjoyed by so many. It’s a great example of improving our neighborhood with something that creates so much Joy!

Monica

Dumbo

I rode this very special carousel as a young child in the early 1960’s at Idora Park. While visiting my daughter, Jane, in NYC, I happily rode it again. Best surprise of all was that the tiny horses on the inside circle were still there. I had forgotten all about them! So special and I am looking forward to riding with my grandchildren some time soon.

Joy

Florida

HOW MANY TIMES, GROWING UP, I RODE THIS MAGICAL CAROUSEL! IDORA PARK WAS ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO BE IN THE SUMMER: THE RIDES, THE FOOD, THE PEOPLE! SUCH WONDERFUL MEMORIES! THEN THAT FATEFUL FIRE BACK IN 1984 THAT SNUFFED OUT OUR BEAUTIFUL IDORA PARK. THANK GOD FOR PEOPLE LIKE JANE, WHO HAD THE FORESIGHT TO SAVE AND RESTORE OUR BEAUTIFUL CAROUSEL! I HOPE TO GET TO BROOKLYN TO ONCE AGAIN SAVOR THE ENJOYMENT OF GOING IN CIRCLES, UP AND DOWN, AND GET LOST IN THE MUSIC AND MY MEMORIES! THANK YOU JANE!!

ANITA K WILLIAMSON

YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO

To A future memory, I look at you lovingly my daughter and my son, your green eyes glistening as you look to me and your pop whose eyes you got. I wave you wave back, and there are so many people watching and waving at you too, a burden of fame, but so much love nonetheless.. I root for you my sweethearts, the whole world is yours

Priya Chowdhury

Hells kitchen, new york.

My sister and I were born in Brooklyn but raised in Youngstown, Ohio, home of Idora Park where we spent many a summer riding what is now Jane’s Carousel. A few years ago we took our boys to the carousel. We hopped on and squealed with delight to find our favorite horses while our millennial sons rolled their eyes. I was so moved by the experience, it made a brief appearance in a personal essay I wrote for Belt Publishing’s From Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology. I love that the carousel has lived, like me, in both of my hometowns.

Christine McBurney

New York, NY

Idora Park. Idora Park!! Just hearing the name brings a rush of memories full enough to bring a smile to this aging grandfather. Growing up in Youngstown in the 50’s and 60’s meant begging your parents to take you for a day at Idora Park. The Penny Arcade, the Wildcat and Jackrabbit, the Old Mill and, of course, the Carousel. I was so impressed with Jane’s attention to detail and dedication to bringing the Carousel back to life in as “good as new” condition. And how my heart swelled to watch my wife, daughter and granddaughters delight in a sunny day in Brooklyn sharing in a piece of my childhood.

Growing up in Struthers, a Youngstown suburb, the highlight of summer was always going to Idora Park. I had no less than 20 cousins, and their parents, and my wonderful grandparents, who joined me, my mom, dad, and four siblings for a full day of rides, rollercoasters, cotton candy, French fries (with vinegar, of course!), and the merry-go-round! I vividly remember that Carousel and was overjoyed when I learned it had been saved, restored, and positioned on Brooklyn’s Dumbo/East River waterfront. I knew I had to go visit –and ride– “my” merry-go-round. My daughter, who was born in 1985 and never got to see Idora, lives in Brooklyn and made sure we went to Jane’s Carousel! I did ride it-and made sure I got the horse that went up and down! I felt so joyful with the connection to Idora, my family and childhood, and happy that my daughter got to experience it too. A favorite event was Idora’s Tee Ross Day, which culminated with live music in the Idora Ballroom. Yes, the historic Ballroom that had presented performers from John Philip Sousa to the Eagles. We’d crisscross the park the entire day and wind up there for the show. My brother worked at Tee Ross-our local music store-and he always got us good seats! Cities, large and small, were crushed when Idora Park caught fire in 1984 and ultimately closed. It was as if a part of our childhood and teen years was ripped away. I’m forever grateful to Jane & David Walentas for purchasing this beautiful Carousel at auction in 1984.

M. Peggy Quattro

Savannah

While living in Dumbo for 5 years, I loved having Jane’s Carousel in my own “backyard.” Morning runs taking me past the horses, quietly waiting to be ridden along the waterfront will always be magical to me. Happy Birthday. Photo: @jenepiphanyphoto

Jenny Bates

New York, NY

I grew up around the carousel but its the Ps307 kids for me trips and many Graduations pre-k and kindergarten went there and I was bless to be one of the Parents /Volunteer to always help the teachers to visit the carousel. thank you for lots of fun.

Ebony Richardson

111Bridge st

I had so much fun riding in 2021 as a teen, just as I did when I was much younger, 3 or 4yrs old. And I will see you when I’m….and so on!!😊 Happy Birthday J🎉

Yasmeen R

Brooklyn

Here I am celebrating my 60th birthday riding one of Jane’s lovingly restored horses in DUMBO, just as I had done 50+ years before on my birthdays at Idora Park. I rode the very same horse! For the several yrs I worked in DUMBO at 10 Jay Street, I felt like I was home, especially when I glanced out our 10th floor window and saw the Carousel. And, it was always a treat to greet Jane in town. She called me Youngstown.

Diane Wondisford

NYC (1980- ; Youngstown, OH 1952-1962

I have so many strong memories of this carousel from when it was at Idora Park in Ohio. My parents were divorced and my dad enlisted in the Army when I was young. So when he was home on leave, he would take me to Idora Park and I can recall waiting in line and we would be picking our horses as it spun in front of us with other riders. I always wanted a brown horse with a black mane and tail and he liked the black horse. When it would be our turn to go, he would pretend to knock me out of the way to get to his horse. The anticipation was so great! We had a lot of fun. So today when I see random photos of couples in front of the carousel for their engagement, or see Jane’s Carpusel posting photos on social media it brings me right back to that snapshot in time. Those were the days!

Melanie Parker

NAPERVILLE, IL

My wife and I renewed our vows in Brooklyn on 20/08/2018. To celebrate we rode Jane’s Carousel and had a ball. It was one of the great highlights of a really memorable and precious day! Thank you for being part of it.

Rob and Gemma Wainwright

West Midlands, United Kingdom

16 March 2019 Fulton Ferry State park with Anne, Joanna & Ted!

Vincent Neads

United Kingdom

Celebrated a reunion with high school friends from 1965 by taking a ride on Jane’s Carousel

Clayton Rawson

Brooklyn, NY

*The Best Day of my life* The first time I went to Jane’s Carousel was back in 2013 and i felt in love inmediatly. In 2017 my boyfriend and I back and that day was the most special day of my life because my boyfriend propose to me. Without of doubt, Jane’s Carousel is Pure magic.

Gabriela Olguín

Monterrey, N.L México

I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio and Idora Park was one of my favorite places to go. I was (and am) obsessed with horses Cinderella and to me the carousel was magic, pure magic. It made me feel like I was a fairy princess. I always skipped all other options and always picked a white horse that moved up and down. It gave me butterflies and I thought those magic ponies came alive when I rode one. One of my most treasured childhood memories. When I see the pictures of Jane’s Carousel, it floods my mind with warm and happy memories and a butterfly or two still to this day. I hope I get to visit it in person someday soon.

Mari Lappin

Carmel Indiana

I grew up in Youngstown. We weren’t frequent visitors to Idora Park, so when we went it was a real treat. The carousel was, even for a kid, a trip back in time. The last time I rode it (in Youngstown) was when I was a high school senior in 1973. Then, there was the fateful day when the fast coaster, The Wildcat, situated just behind the Carousel, burnt. The news flash arrived during lunch hour. We could see the smoke rise from our workplaces. But what everyone wanted to know was ‘What about the Carousel?’ It was front page news for days. I suppose it was inevitable in a town whose glory days were in the far past, that the crown jewel would be sold to the highest bidder and moved to a new home. But, how lucky we are that the person who won the prize was a loving conservator and meant to restore it to its original beauty and share it with the rest of the world! I’m thankful for Jane, for the sensitivity she showed to Youngstowners who came (and STILL come) to see their childhood. She did our city and our lost Carousel a great service. Her restoration is a masterpiece.

Lynn Williamson

Parker, CO

Growing up in Australia and having steaming hot Christmases during Summer, I always dreamed about having a white Christmas in New York, just like in the movies. That dream came true for me during Christmas 2013. And, as an avid fan of carousels, visiting Jane’s Carousel was an absolute must. Staring at the Manhattan skyline, while it was blanketed in snow, from my carousel horse was a dream come true. Thank you for providing this amazing opportunity for me and so many others. I can’t wait to get back and experience it again one day.

Debbie Kahl

Brisbane, Australia

This carousel means everything to me. My earliest memories of Idora Park revolve around this carousel. From my parents holding me up on a stationary horse before I could walk, to finally being able to ride alone, when I was old enough, on the coveted white or black stallion. I remember it all as if it were yesterday. As our feet hit the wooden boards, we raced to grab our favorite horse. Every horse and chariot was beautiful and exquisite. The carousel would start moving and music would start playing. It was so magical with the lights reflected in the mirrors. As I spun around I especially loved looking at the different paintings displayed across the top. I have not been to New York to see your work and am so happy that a new generation will be able to share in the wonder and magic this carousel brings. I rode this carousel for over 20 years and my parents and grandparents rode it before me. I am forever grateful to you for preserving my carousel and my memories. Can’t wait to see and experience this carousel again!!!

Kimberly Collett

Bluffton, SC

In 2016 we were lucky enough to get married at Jane’s Carousel. The magic of the Carousel, East River, Brooklyn Bridge and the New York City skyline at sunset was unforgettable. Whenever possible we love to return to Jane’s Carousel to recapture the feelings of that night and create new memories. Congratulations on 100 years and here’s to many more!

Amy & Marisa

Mill Valley, California

When I was in grade school, I lived with my grandparents on Reel Ave which was three blocks from Idora Park. At that time in the 1950’s there was no entrance fee to get in. Consequently, we would walk there a lot with the coins we had in our pockets. I remember the carousel very well. We ran on when it was our turn to get our favorite horse, whether it be because of the color or of the position. I was fortunate to go to DUMBO and ride Jane’s Carousel with one of my daughters and a granddaughter in December 2011, experiencing unusually warm weather. What joy it was to enjoy the carousel again ! Then again !

Judy Armeni

North Lima, Ohio

As a wee little girl…oh the excitement to know Idora Park was on our agenda for the day. I loved the horses and wanted ALWAYS to ride the Up and Down horses. Alas…I was allowed to ride the sleighs because Mom thought I would fall off the horses. As I grew…what joy to ride the horse of my choice. Great memories become alive again when I visit NYC and Jane’s Carousel!! I am so grateful this beautiful piece of childhood is preserved so others can also make memories! Thank You, Jane!

Mary Ellen Smith

From Struthers, Ohio Current Augusta, GA

The local Youngstown Vindicator Newspaper wrote an article about The Idora Park Merry Go Round that was bought by a New York couple, when it was being auctioned in Youngstown. I was so excited to learn that the Merry Go Round, I rode as a child, was being restored in Brooklyn, NY by Jane Walentas. Our son now lived in Brooklyn and I hoped that some day I’d be able to show our Grandson’s a memory from my childhood. During one of my trips to Brooklyn I read in a local paper that the now refurbished Carousel was being displayed, on certain days, in a warehouse in DUMBO. Well I found a phone number and called to see when I could stop by to see it, to my surprise, a few day’s later, Jane called back to say that I could stop by that afternoon. Unfortunately I was flying back to Youngstown that afternoon and missed the chance to see it. A year or so later Jane’s Carousel found it’s home at Brooklyn Bridge Park. What a site to see, it took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes the first time I rode. God Bless Jane, the carousel has never looked so beautiful. Her vision has brought the once Idora Park Merry Go Round to a place for all those who travel to Brooklyn Bridge Park to see and enjoy. During one of my visits, to the Carousel, a couple from New Hampshire heard me tell the attendant I was from Youngstown and they wanted to take a picture with me, knowing I rode the carousel as a child, one of the highlights of my day!!! Thank you for keeping the memory alive ❤️

Charlotte Davolio

Campbell, OH

This carousel brings back such sweet childhood memories. Going to Idora Park with my family in the 60’s and riding this carousel. My parents passed away over 10 years now and my only sibling died of lung cancer in 2019. So, when I heard the carousel was restored in Brooklyn NY it made me smile. I hope this ride gives other little children the grand memories I hold so dear in my heart. Thanks for saving it

Maryann Sudol Hill

Ohio

1922-2022

Magical memories have been made on the Carousel for 100 years!

In celebration of our 1922-2022 centennial we are inviting all riders to write in our new Memory Book.

We are particularly excited to hear about Idora Park, the former home of the Carousel.

We can't wait to hear your memories.

Sign Jane's Memory Book