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Wait Until It Stops: 1925

Wait Until It Stops: 1925

"Glen Echo Park Co., 1925." Dentzel Carousel at the Glen Echo amusement park in Montgomery County, Maryland. View full size. National Photo Company.


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Glen Echo

This a lovely photo. I worked for the park service a couple years ago as a summer job, and one of our tasks was to polish the brass on the carousel, and I'll never be able to polish metal or think of the carousel without remembering the fumes. An excellent excuse for riding the carousel for free, though. Glen Echo has changed drastically over the years -- it's been a Chautauqua, trolley stop, amusement park, raging streambed, a lovely ruin, and most recently, a national park and center for the arts.

I live in the nearby neighborhood of Bannockburn in the house my father grew up in, and my grandmother was a vehement protester of the park's segregation, pushing my uncle in a stroller while she and her other kids carried signs. In 2007 she and Gwendolyn Britt were among guests on the Kojo Nmamdi radio show discussing the park's desegregation. Also on the show was park ranger Sam Swersky, who is always combing eBay for old photos of the park to add to its collection. I don't know if he's seen these yet, but now that it's summer and I have time I'll have to comb through the Park Service's photo albums and see.

Glen Echo Echo

Here is an excellent article on the protest with a touching reunion of sorts.

Glen Echo

I rode on this carousel as a child in the 1980s. Glen Echo was being "revived" as an artists' colony back then, but the midway and dance hall were still there, the bumper car pavilion could be walked through, and the site of the pool was marked. It was a strange place because it was so devoid of activity. The carousel was still in decent repair with paint peeling, and you could ride for a dollar. We did, many times. My diplomat father was always careful to point out that the park was controversial because it excluded people of color, and as a child I thought that was why it failed, considering the diversity of the area.

Thanks, Anonymous Tipster!

The link to the restored carousel was terrific..although I liked the carousel horses pre-restoration, with their "dark varnish and park paint" almost as much as the new and improved steeds!

It almost makes me want to drive to Maryland to see them in person! (Almost. With gas at $4 a gallon, the visit through the Internet photo slideshow was as close as I'll get to Glen Echo.)

Dentzel Carousel

Restored and in color here

Wait Until It Stops

Which the photographer didn't quite do.

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