Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fairyland Park...and the Carousel of Happiness!

Fairyland Park...
Do you remember Fairyland Park?  You do if you were a child growing up in American Fork, Utah in the 1960s and 1970's.  The park was a magical place filled with giant fairy tale and storybook figures.  The picture on the left shows the Pied Piper of Hamlin. It was located on the campus of the Utah State Training School...now called the Developmental Center...a school for the developmentally disabled.  The superintendent of the school, Dr. Vernon F. Houston, believed in doing everything possible to enhance the lives of the residents.  He developed a campus recreation program, with dances, outings and other sports.  The park was created during his tenure.  When it was complete, it contained both a miniature railroad...complete with a tunnel...and the merry-go-round from the old Saltair Resort.  Grateful parents erected a bronze statue of Houston at the park entrance.

A schoolhouse and castle.  Swings in the background.

I have so many fun memories of visiting Fairyland Park.  Grandma Zetta worked in the laundry at the school, so we came quite often.  I have had a real hard time finding photos of the park.  With the help of some of the members of the American Fork Facebook Group, we managed to come up with a few.  Recently I found the grainy photos in my high school yearbook.  The student body officers were photographed goofing around on some of the attractions.

This was Peter Pumpkin Eater's house.

Giant wedge of swiss cheese. 
I was afraid of getting stuck in the holes.
Not for the claustrophobic!

The Old Woman's Shoe was a slide.
A few people have mentioned that it "smelled funny."
Probably like feet!

I am having a hard time remembering all the structures in the park.  Besides the ones pictured...my favorite (for a scary shiver) was Red Riding Hood's Grandmother's house.  When you looked in the window, there was the wolf in Granny's nightgown.  Terrifying!  If you are from American Fork and can remember other storybook items...please let me know in the comments.  Do you have photos you could share on the Facebook group?  I know everyone would love to see them.  There is nothing left of Fairyland Park now but the sign.

Everyone's favorite was the carousel. 
It has a long history all it's own.
A fairy tale of sorts...

"The Carousel of Happiness"
Charles I. D. Looff

Once upon a time there was a man named Charles I. D. Looff, a master carver and builder of hand-carved carousels and amusement rides in America.  According to Wickipedia, Mr. Looff...who was born in Denmark...built the first carousel in Coney Island in 1876.  During his lifetime, he designed and manufactured over 50 carousels, several amusement parks, numerous rollercoasters and Ferris wheels.  He built California's famous Santa Monica Pier and was known for creating the Coney Island style of carousel carving.

Saltair Resort...located on the Great Salt Lake outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.

In a 2006 article in Carousel News and Trader Magazine, Roland Hopkins writes, "In 1910, Charles Looff delivered the grand 4-row carousel to the Saltair Park outside of Salt Lake City.  The park was built on a pier over the Great Salt Lake and proudly referred to by its owners as the 'Coney Island of the West.'  Thus it was fitting that they would choose a Looff carousel, as it was Looff who produced the first carousel for New York's Coney Island amusement park in 1876."

The Saltair Looff Carousel...
"The grand Saltair carousel was placed prominently on the pier to be the first attaction people would see as they arrrived at the park by train.  This proud placement may very well have saved the ride from the numerous calamaties to come."

Carousel Riders...

From the Carousel of Happiness web page:  "During its 49 years of operation, the Saltair carousel survived fires and windstorms.  Once, it was the only attraction to survive a devastating park fire unharmed.  After a windstorm, during which the roller coaster was blown over onto the carousel, it was rebuilt with 2 rows of animals from the original carousel.  In 1959 the park was declared bankrupt and Utah's governor gave the Looff carousel to the Utah State Training School in American Fork not far away."  Residents of the school and nearby communities enjoyed the carousel for another 27 years.

In 1976, the horses and carousel were repaired and restored.

In 1975-76, the carousel was completely renovated and its animals repaired by the staff and students of the vocational training section of the school.  The students stripped up to 30 layers of paint from the animals and found one horse with the date "1872" engraved in the wood.  The last time I rode the carousel was in 1972 at a Drama Club party...George and I shared a "romantic" ride just before a rousing game of "Kick the Can."  The restoration hadn't been done at that time.


In 1986, a buyer purchased the ride to sell its animals at auction.  The school's residents were devastated as the ride was dismantled and taken away.   Luckily, a man named Scott Harrison was on hand to purchase the carousel frame.  He wanted to take it to his hometown of Nederland, Colorado and restore it to glory.  Harrison made no effort to recreate the original animals, but spent over two decades carving a fanciful menagerie of 38 wooden animals.

The "Carousel of Happiness" in Nederland, Co.

Museum of Idaho

If you enjoyed learning about the history of the "Carousel of Happiness" and you live in the Mountain West, the Museum of Idaho, in Idaho Falls is currently hosting an exhibit called "Carousels: Art and History in Motion."  The exhibit runs from Jan. 25 to May 27.  My granddaughters have seen it and loved it...especially loved riding the full-size carousel!

I love visiting the museum at Christmas...they do a vintage Christmas display and have a room filled with gingerbread houses!

Thanks for letting me share my childhood memories!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy Easter Lamb!

Sweet Little Lamb...
Most of us remember the decals of sweet lambs and bunnies that decorated our cribs and highchairs.  Every time I see them it brings back such lovely memories.  New mothers in the hospital received gifts of flowers in cute containers shaped like lambs, storks, bassinettes or baby shoes.  Whatever happened to the sweet nursery items we remember?  When my daughter Missy was expecting our first granddaughter I decided to do a vintage nursery theme for her baby shower.  I went to every thrift store and purchased vintage nursery planters to use as decorations  and make fun arrangements for door prizes.
Like the hoarder I am...the little nursery containers have been sitting in a box for 15 years...Madi is 15 in June...waiting for something Pinteresting to come along.  Last week I saw something so cute I just had to find a way to make it...a cute lamb planter turned Easter Parade Float.
This is the Pin...so cute I could hardly stand it!
It's the creation of  Sandy of Sandy's Show and Tell
Pinterest Inspired...

I was so happy to find this lamb in the box.
I made a pincushion-like filling with pink/white stripe fabric.
It makes room for a sweet bunny to ride amid thrift store Easter ornaments.

Pink ruffled skirt tied with a bow.

Happy Lamb party hat.
I think I may have another lamb upstairs in the Grandkids room...
the Easter Parade needs more than one float.
Happy Easter Crafting!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Sweet Swap Appreciation Day!

Belated...but sooooo appreciated!
I am so sorry for being among the last to thank my Valentine Swap partners for all the lovelies they sent my way.  I had so many crafting ideas for this fun red and white holiday...but Life and Winter's ills kind of got in my way.  I was kind of glad I only traded with three friends this time...I would hate to disappoint anyone. So...last the best of all the game?

Perfectly Printed...
Beautiful Valentine Chocolate Box.
My lovely partner was Chris of Perfectly Printed.
This swap was hosted by Erica of Golden Egg Vintage.

Chocolate Box detail...

So pretty...I told Chris I felt like a movie star getting this box. 

So many fun, vintage doo-dads and crafting materials.

I don't know how she fit everything in the box...plus all these wonderful things.

But my favorite thing of all...Vintage Valentine Zetta's Aprons letters!!
These will be on my Valentine's sidebar for years to come.  
Thank you, Dear Chris!

Tammy's In Love...
Tammy of Tammy's In Love is such a dear friend!
She made me this clown planter for my still-in-the-planning-stages Circus of Love!

So much cuter than Pennywise...adorable!

Tammy is so talented at card-making.  I am still a relative newby...but I'm learning all sorts of techniques from my blogging friends.

These laughing little ME girls will go on my friendship banner garland!

These pictures just do not do this snowman card book justice.
Each page is a work of art.
Thank you, Miss Tammy! 

Creative Breathing...
Sweet Elizabeth from Creative Breathing tells stories with her creations.
She seems to know each of her blogging friends so well...she knows what will light up their eyes.
Vintage Dutch girls...Wooden shoe just know it?

Sweet two-sided card to hang in my office year-round.

Bluebirds of Happiness...Baskets of Joy.

Detail of tiny bluebird.

A wee party bird for my Valentines Tree...next Valentines.
(Kitty Luna knocked it over too many times this year.)

Have you ever heard a Cuckoo in the trees? 
They sound like the woods are full of clocks.

Little Swiss and German boys...remind me of a little boy who lived in my neighborhood.
His name was Andreas.  An adorable charmer...missing his two front teeth.
He was the naughtiest boy in Germany!
Thank you, Sweet Elizabeth!

A few of my pictures didn't turn out like I wanted...but I hope I did okay.  I am so grateful for the little things you do to brighten my day...my words are inadequate.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I Heart Vintage Tin Toy Kitchens!

 New Fun Find...A Fridgie!
George was a good sport yesterday and took me to the Treasures Antique Mall in Springville yesterday. I bought a couple of Valentines and was going to call it a day...when I heard this sweet little white and red Wolverine fridgie calling my name.  I answered sweetly, "For only $25...you can call me any time!" I've enjoyed the fun posts around the blogs lately about dear little stoves and darling doll houses.

This little fridge is in really nice shape...just needs a little cleaning...which I didn't do before snapping the picture!  I plan to give the cute couple a home on my laundry room counter as soon as I rearrange a few things.  I wish I had taken my camera as there were two more stoves...both different from mine. One was made in West Germany.  I also saw a toy washing machine with wringer.  As I was wasting time today,  I found a bunch of pictures on Pinterest of toy kitchen appliances, so I thought I would share some of them.

For the Love of Tin Kitchen Toys!
I have probably pinned this cupboard more than once!
Was available on Etsy.

Red, white and black!
Kind of looks like plastic maybe. ..eBay

Shelf one of a collection found on Pinterest.  
They belong to a woman nicknamed LittleNell.

I wanted a pink set when I was little.
German...from eBay

Shelf two.  The collector has a shelf unit filled with miniature kitchen appliances.
Shelf three.  Aren't they cute?

"Ginny"  Made in Japan...eBay.

Every now and then I find myself trying to buy my childhood back.
Even if I can't go back there to stay...I sure wish I could visit for a while.
Do a little shopping maybe?