A beloved Carousel at Ontario Beach Park in Rochester has thrilled children and adults alike since the very early 1900s. It’s beautiful with it’s hand-carved animals and brassy organ music.
There is one painting, one of quite a few, at the very top of the carousel which is now the cause of leftist hand-wringing because of one woman with a blog. It has gone unnoticed for decades.
The photo is offensive because it stereotypes.
A local woman wrote a blog labeling the painted panel degrading and racist. Andrea Raethka said it has no place in a public park and should be removed.
Are we now going to erase every element, every bit of history that offends in the present day? The perpetually offended are digging up Civil War generals and defacing their monuments, but is this different? What do you think?
“I have been meaning to write about it for months,” Raethke said. “Now seemed like a good time to bring it up with these types of images being scrutinized more.”
Now the activists are talking about collective action to get rid of the image.
The carousel, built by the well-known Dentzel Carousel Co. in 1905, is owned by the city of Rochester but managed and operated by Monroe County under a long-term parks agreement. The amusement ride, originally dubbed the Duchess, is one of just a few of its kind in the country.
The carousel was designated an official landmark by the city of Rochester in 1980, and any changes to it might require approval by the city preservation board.
Parks officials likely will discuss the image with leaders of the Landmark Society of Western New York at a regularly scheduled meeting next week.
The great grandson of the artist asked that it be preserved somehow, somewhere – it’s history.