This blog post is part of a series on the Carrousel Courier called Remember When. These posts are written by our staff, volunteers, and fans on memories of carousels and amusement. See how these memories have influenced us to this day. Interested in sharing a fond memory of your own? Leave a comment or email Ian K. Seppala at email@example.com.
By Rae Proefrock
In the 1940's and 1950's my family took its traditional trip to Crystal Beach. We drove to Buffalo Harbor and boarded the Canadiana, a wonderful tourist boat that crossed Lake Erie to Crystal Beach. As we approached the long dock in Canada, the large roller coaster came into view. My sister, Elaine, and I knew we would soon be enjoying our favorite rides. These always included the Little Dipper, Caterpillar Ride and the Fun House with its laughing clown. My favorite ride, however, was the merry-go-round with its horses, lion and especially the blue wolf. Sadly, those enjoyable boat trips came to an end when the Canadiana went out of business. My family was on the last return trip to Buffalo. A band was playing and people were lamenting the end of a tradition.
Rae Proefrock is a retired teacher and former Director of the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum. She is currently the Board President of the Carousel Society of the Niagara Frontier.