Nunley’s Carousel was created in 1912 by the Stein and Goldstein Artistic Carousell Co. of Brooklyn New York; the same year that the Luxury Ocean Liner Titanic made its fateful maiden voyage. The art of the carousel reached its grandest scale in America during this period. The carousel productions of Stein and Goldstein are among the greatest; their muscular aggressive horses gracefully gallop around a blur of painted landscapes.
The carousel was installed on the Brooklyn waterfront in Canarsie’s Golden City Park, there it was known as “Murphy’s” carousel. Timothy Murphy and William Nunley were partners in the Merley Corporation, operators of numerous carousels in the northeast. Murphy’s carousel operated in Golden City Park for 26 years.
In the late 1930s, master builder Robert Moses was in the process of building the Brooklyn-Queens Circumferential Highway, know today as the Belt Parkway. The route of the highway went right through the center of Golden City Park; the property was condemned by New York City in 1938. In December of that year, Golden City Park was leveled. Earlier, Murphy’s carousel and a large framed carousel building were moved to the Baldwin site on Sunrise Highway where in the Spring of 1940 it reopened as Nunleys Carousel.
After delighting three generations of riders, in Baldwin, Nunley’s Carousel and Amusements closed in 1995. The kiddie rides, games and miniature golf course were all sold off. The carousel, standing alone, was in danger of being auctioned off in pieces. The County of Nassau, recognizing the significance of the carousel, and what it meant to thousands of Long Islanders, purchased it as a historic artifact.
The historic Nunley's Carousel opened in its new home on Museum Row in 2009. The Carousel has been painstakingly restored to its former glory through the magnificent efforts of the County of Nassau and 11 year old Rachel Obergh who helped raise some of the restoration funds through "Pennies for Ponies."
Nunley’s Carousel is a historic object of outstanding design, workmanship and artistry; it will continue to be a revered landmark in Nassau County. The fully restored Nunley’s carousel begins life anew at Nassau County’s Museum Row. Undoubtedly, generations to come will understand the love affair that their forbearers had with this beautiful carousel.