Thursday, January 20, 2011
My parents moved to Salem from Astoria last February and a few months ago we started dedicating two Wednesdays a month to what we've dubbed our Wednesday Wanderings. We target a small outlying community, drive on back roads to get there, find a fun place to have lunch, and if we can do a little sightseeing, it is the cherry on top of our day. Yesterday my Mom chose Albany as our destination. I called a friend who has lived in Albany her whole life and asked for recommendations. She immediately suggested we visit the Carousel Museum. So, I picked up my parents and we drove along the windy, scenic River Road, detouring onto Buena Vista road, eventually reaching Albany. Our first stop was the Carousel Museum.
Oh my! What a pleasant surprise was in store for us. We were greeted at the door by a volunteer who took us on our own personal tour of the museum (the museum is free, by the way). We got to see everything from rough blocks of bass wood, to carving stations, to sanding and painting stations. Here is an excerpt from their brochure:
Opened in 2005, the museum houses the world's largest public collection of Dentzel carousel pieces. Gustav Dentzel brought the first carousels to America from Europe, and treasures from four generations of the Dentzel family can be seen. The largest piece in the collection is the mechanism, which will hold the carousel itself, one of the last to be created by Gustav in 1909.
Into the workshop area we went.
As we neared the end of our tour in the workroom, our guide took us through swinging double doors to a huge warehouse where the carousel flooring was being constructed and the gears (from an original, old Dentzel carousel) stored.
These are glimpses of carousel memorabilia from the personal collection of W.H. Dentzel and his family.
This little guy was standing in the corner and I fell in love with him!
I'm drawn to vintage photographs and this one was on display in the museum. It has such rich imagery of a bygone era.
Our nice volunteer guide snapped a couple of photos of me with my parents!