Flying Ponies(Euclid Beach Park) by Carl Gaertner

I instantly connected with this picture.  This hangs in the modern art/local artist section at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  I had never heard of Carl Gaertner before but apparently he was a successful painter who lived in Cleveland.  This painting depicts the carousel at Euclid Beach Park.

Euclid Beach Carousel

I never went to Euclid Beach Park.  It closed long before my time.  My parents did, and they have fond memories of the park.  This is common of native Clevelanders who remember it.  The park was open between 1895 and 1969.  Relics of the park can still be seen around Cleveland.  I use the word relic deliberately.

The arch that served as the gateway is a city landmark and is protected from being demolished.

800px-Euclid_Beach_Arch

One of the rocket rides has been repurposed as a ride that can be rented out for parades or other novelties.

blossom time - euclid beach car-L

If you want to know what the carousel in the painting would look like, here is the restored carousel at the Cleveland History Center.

20151127_154126

You can ride it.

While I don’t remember Euclid Beach Park, when I was a kid, many people in Cleveland loved Geauga Lake Amusement Park.  I am NOT an amusement park person so I did not go to them.  Still, many friends went there every summer and grieved its loss when it closed.  The closure was especially painful because the park was closed abruptly after the summer ended, which means people did not have the chance to say their goodbyes to the park.

Periodically people take footage of the abandoned park.  It looks like something out of a zombie movie.  Make sure you read the comments for the video to get a sense of how people feel about the loss.

Are there relics of Geauga Lake out there that will one day be fetishized the way that Euclid Beach Park’s relics will be?  Perhaps. Either way, I am glad that there is a relic of Euclid Beach Park at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

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