If you find yourself anywhere near Greenport Village on Long Island, give yourself a treat by visiting Mitchel Park and take a ride on Greenport’s antique carousel!
As the term “antique” implies, this is not your average attraction. Housed in a specially built glass pavilion, the Jess Owen Carousel House is a ticket back to the golden age of carnival rides.
Constructed in 1920 by the Herschell-Spillman Company and donated to Greenport in 1995 by the Northrop-Grumman Corporation, this classic, 40 foot-wide, portable wooden carousel is one of only 13 in the US (if wikipedia is to be believed) that still features a brass ring dispenser.
If you’ve ever been told to “reach for the brass ring” before, now you can discover just where this phrase originated.
The brass ring is on an arm with other, non-brass rings that can be reached by those riding on the outer ring of animals on the carousel. If, when you pass by the arm, you can reach out and grab the brass ring, you get a second ride on the carousel for free!
Greenport’s antique carousel also features a working band organ, a 1919 Wurlitzer 105 Military Band Organ recreated by Michael Falco. The infectious and delightful, old-timey carnival music of this wonderful organ fills the air to mingle with the laughter and squeals of delight rising up from the riders of the beautiful, hand-carved carousel animals.
Nearby, another antique invention captivates passerby: a camera obscura. This unique, medieval optical device uses the natural light to project an image of the outside world onto a round projection table inside and, as such, is one of only the few public camera obscuras in the world.
Mitchell Park also has a rink that features open-air ice-skating in the winter and a refreshing mist walk in the summer.
So, the next time you’re on Long Island’s North Fork, stop by Mitchell Park in Greenport Village and grab that brass ring.
Greenport’s Antique Carousel
Mitchell Park (Front Street), Greenport, NY 11944