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Rising sea level puts 103-year-old Hampton carousel in danger

Historic Hampton carousel
Posted at 10:21 AM, Mar 01, 2023

HAMPTON, Va. — The 103-year-old carousel located in downtown Hampton is steeped in history, but the city said the artifact is being threatened by sea level rise.

The city council is currently discussing proposals to relocate the living piece of history to either Mill Point Park, Buckroe Beach, or to keep it at its current location and build it up higher.

The carousel has been in Hampton since 1920, when it was delivered to Buckroe Beach by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company.

103-year-old carousel threatened by sea level rise

“It really was done by craftspeople by artists, and they were hand-carved horses, we have 48 hand-carved horses, two hand-carved chariots and then we have 42 oil paintings,” said Luci Cochran, the executive director of historic resources for the City of Hampton.

She said more than the craftsmanship, it's a connection to the community.

“We have people that come to the carousel that their great grandmother may have ridden it, their grandmother, their father, then the sons and daughters are riding it now," Cochran said. "It really is a thing that becomes part of their lives.”

Hampton resident Cynthia Hites told News 3 she has fond memories of the carousel with her father and son.

“Everything about this carousel is very special,” said Hites. "It's a historic artifact and we have to protect it."

The public will have the opportunity to voice their opinion about the possible relocation of the carousel later this spring.

Hand-carved historic horses on Hampton carousel

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