n 1919, George F. Johnson, president of the Endicott Johnson Shoe Company provided a new carousel to Ross Park in the City of
Binghamton to replace a smaller, damaged merry-go-round.
Coming from a poor, working class family, Johnson could not afford the nickel it cost to ride when he was a child. His gift came along with one stipulation — that the carousel would be forever free to children of all ages. These conditions were also required for the other five merry-go-rounds Johnson and his family gave to the people of Broome County.
Today, there are fewer than 100 wooden original merry-go-rounds in the United States. As America’s Carousel Capitol, Broome County’s six carousels have been lovingly restored and remain free for the thousands of residents and visitors every year who continue to enjoy this special ride on New York’s Path Through History.
Photos Courtesy of:
The Broome County Historical Society