Archive for Thursday, May 3, 2007

Carousel museum marks namesake’s birthday

May 3, 2007

Because of countless volunteer hours, a fully-restored and operational 1913 carousel sits in the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum in Leavenworth.

C.W. Parker lived from 1864-1932, yet his creations are still around today.

Saturday the museum had an event to commemorate the second anniversary of its opening and the birthday of Parker.

Cyndi Peters, a Lansing resident and museum volunteer, helped put together the event.

She said C.W. Parker was able to build carousels for a living and had a factory in Leavenworth.

Peters said it took eight years to restore the 1913 carousel, one of the two Parker carousels the museum has on display.

Mary Ellen Walker, Lansing resident, helped with the restoration of the 1913 carousel.

She and two other women helped to paint the pictures that go around the top portion of the carousel, called the rounding board.

It took them about two years to get all of the images painted, she said.

"We tried to do buildings that used to be here," she said.

She said she and the other two women were excited to be part of the carousel restoration.

Loretta Schimke, docent, said C.W. Parker had no formal education but, "everything he built he wanted to build better," she said.

"The man was a genius with what he accomplished in his lifetime," she said.

Carved on the horses behind the saddle were usually plants from Kansas, Schimke said.

For example many of the horses have an ear of corn behind their saddles.

Schimke said the museum had been well received since its opening two years ago attracting visitors from every state except Delaware.

- Kim Lynch is a University of Kansas journalism student. Her work will appear this semester in The Current.

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