Ward Bray, third generation family member associated with Western New York Amusement.
Ward Bray is a board trustee and current treasurer. He has volunteered in countless roles with the museum. Ward is following in the footsteps of some familiar shoes. Ward is the grandson of Ward Olver and the Great Grandson of Wallace Olver and Fred H. Brant, former employees of the Herschell Amusement Companies. Ward Olver was a carving shop foreman. Additionally, Wallace was a carousel designer and painter, while Fred Brant was a carpenter. Their work was featured on hundreds of carousels, including the still operating Herschell-Spillman Carousel at Golden Gate Park.
A fourth generation of the family, Michael Bray, a local architect, designed our Kiddieland Testing Park Exhibit. He was awarded the Pro Bono Publico Award for Distinguished Service by the Buffalo Architecture Foundation for his work on the project. The fifth generation of the family has been frequent patrons of the museum, including Emma pictured below. According to Ward
“The museum is a cherished community asset. It tells the stories of countless families and the generations before us.”
The family is proud of the association with the museum and of the work their family did. This includes providing works for an exhibit portraying artwork from Ward and Wallace. Linked here is the Buffalo News article detailing the exhibit.
Our museum loves being a space that brings families together to learn about the history of amusement in Western New York, and, of course, to enjoy a carousel ride. Our family friendly programs, events, and exhibits are all supported by your generous donations. There are fewer than 90 hand-carved wooden carousels remaining of those created in Western New York. Our museum tells the story of those machines, and the families that helped create them.
Thank you for your visits, kind words, and continued support.
To view some of our past stories, click the links below: