Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

114-0111 Buckroe Beach Carousel

Buckroe Beach Carousel
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 02/28/1992

NRHP Listing Date 10/27/1992

NRHP Reference Number 92001396

This colorful example of American popular art is a rare surviving hand-carved wooden carousel, kept intact and working for nearly 70 years. The Philadelphia Toboggan Company of Germantown, Pa., built the Buckroe Beach Carousel in Hampton, originally designated “Philadelphia Toboggan Company Number 50.” Commissioned by the Newport News and Hampton Railway, Gas and Electric Company, the carousel was a focal point of the Buckroe Beach Amusement Park, and carried its first riders in May of 1920. Thirty-eight oil paintings, eighteen beveled mirrors, forty-eight hand-carved horses, two hand-carved, upholstered wood chariots, and a Bruder band organ embellished the carousel. Master carvers Frank Caretta and Daniel C. Muller produced the horses and chariots. In 1988, the carousel was restored by R & F Designs in Bristol, Ct., and reassembled in a new pavilion on the waterfront of downtown Hampton. It resumed its cheerful operation on June 30, 1991.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: February 23, 2021