The Bushnell Park Series -- Bushnell Park Carousel  LbNA # 14792 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateApr 30 2005
LocationHartford, CT
Planted ByWild Rover    
Found By The Tendler Tribe
Last Found May 5 2005
Hike Distance?

The Bushnell Park Series
The Bushnell Park Carousel

***Box missing Fall 2005; to be re-planted ASAP.***

Bushnell Park in Harford boasts a vintage 1914 "Stein & Goldstein" hand-carved wooden carousel, one of only three left in existence in the world. The carousel is housed in a 24- sided pavilion, and is made up of 48 hand-carved wooden horses (36 jumpers and 12 standers) and two lovers' chariots that revolve around a vintage Wurlitzer band organ.

Simon Stein and Harry Goldstein immigrated to the United States from Russia in the late 1800's to carve carousel horses for Coney Island, which at the height of the carousel craze had two dozen carousels. Like many other carousel craftsmen, Stein & Goldstein began as carvers of women's combs in Russia. Eventually, they built a reputation as "artistic carousel manufacturers" with horses "distinguished by their flamboyance, their big teeth, bulging eyes, by the huge and colorful cabbage roses which festoon their bodies and their real horse hair tails." {Fn.1}

In the early 1900's there were more than 3,000 carousels in the United States. Riders were considered daredevils, as the 15 mph swirling carousels were quite fast for their day. Riders on the outside rows reached for rings produced from a stationary device, one of which would be the "brass ring" that awarded the recipient a free ride (i.e. "reaching for the brass ring"). The invention of the roller coaster caused interest in carousels to wane, and industrial mass production techniques led to the demise of hand-carved carousels. Collectors began buying up individual horses, causing hundreds of carousels to be dismantled, including all but three (3) of the many Stein & Goldstein carousels that once existed. “The Bushnell Park Carousel is one of less than 200 antique wooden carousels that remain in operation in the U.S. – down from thousands at the turn of the century. It is one of only three Stein & Harry carousels left in operation in the U.S. that still provides rides for the public.” {2}

The Knox Foundation brought the Stein & Goldstein carousel to Harford from Canton, Ohio in 1974, and its restoration came to symbolize Hartford's own revitalization. Hartford resident Tracey Cameron spent more than a year restoring the flamboyant wooden horses that Stein & Goldstein hand carved 60 years earlier. The carousel is one of the most unique aspects and most visited attractions in Bushnell Park. To this day, 50 cents buys a 3 1/2 minute ride on this magnificent hand-made bit of history. It is located near the Soldiers & Sailors Arch -- just follow the music booming from the Wurlitzer band organ, and take a spin !!!

The stamp pays tribute to Stein & Goldstein hand-carved wooden carousel horses, although this horse is not as flamboyant as some other S&G horses. Its image is adapted from an artist rendering of a Stein & Goldstein horse "by the famed carousel artist Nina Fraley, matriarch of the carousel world." {Fn.2}. Prints of the artist's work, as well as rubber stamps, are available at The Carousel Store.


This letterbox is part of the Bushnell Park Series planted in Bushnell Park, Hartford by MayEve and Wild Rover. The series, which is made up of six (6) semi-micro boxes discreetly planted in this busy inter-city park, made its debut at the Spring Into April Drive on 04/30/2005 (the opening day of the Carousel for 2005). Be sure to get MayEve’s “Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch” letterbox already planted in the Park. Also be sure to look for MayEve and RTRW’s “Opera At The Bushnell” letterbox at the nearby Bushnell Center For The Performing Arts. ***NOTE: The only letterbox in the Bushnell Park Series with a logbook is the Park River Pump House letterbox.


Enter Bushnell Park near the Soldiers & Sailors Arch and walk on the sidewalk toward the Carousel. You will pass a marked Bald Cypress on the left, and twelve (12) sidewalk-slabs henceforth you will see, on the right side of the walkway, a brownstone pillar bearing a plaque stating: “Bushnell Park Carousel: 75th Anniversary 1914 --1989.” Put your back to the plaque and look ahead to a series of bushes in brownstone boxes. The Bushnell Park Carousel letterbox is hidden within the next-to-last bush. Please be discreet, and re-hide the horse with care, as this can sometimes be a very busy park (you are urban-boxing now). Thanks. --WR


Thanks to MayEve for helping to make this idea for an urban park series a reality, and to Shutterbug for walking the Park with us to find hiding spots for the boxes!!! -- Wild Rover

The Carousel is open Tuesday through Sunday, 1:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., May through October.

{Fn.1} Historical text and information directly from:

{Fn.2} “Bushnell Park Carousel Open For 2005” by Journal Inquirer Staff,
printed April 28, 2005.

{Fn.3}. Nina Fraley artwork as shown at: