Tonawanda News

Local News

August 31, 2013

The stories behind Kiddieland

Rides, area at new museum exhibit have a history all their own

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Eventually, the rides’ run at the festival faded. Hummel said he and his cohorts gave them to the City of Greensboro for use in a kiddie park ... but after they sat in a warehouse for years, he said, “I simply went down there and said, ‘We want them back.’ “

At some point after that, the Hummels were vacationing in Canada, heard about the Carrousel Factory Museum and decided to stop in on their way home. They arrived nearly at closing, took a whirlwind tour ... and the eventual home of the little car ride was sealed.

“I could tell she had the energy to pull this thing off,” he said of Proefrock. “I could tell y’all were doing an absolutely fantastic job in preservation with the resources you had.

“I wanted it to be in a place where it would be appreciated and used. What you’re doing up there is an absolute miracle.”

The Hummels attended last week’s dedication of the exhibit, and Sam Hummel helped to cut the ribbon on his beloved ride. He spoke about how he had the timing of it down to a science (to maximize anticipation in waiting children) and about how he’d collected “so many grins” from children riding it over the years.

“I’m going to keep those grins,” he told those attending the dedication, “and you can start collecting them from here on out.”

•••

Generations of Western New York children grew up riding the rides at Page’s Whistle Pig in the Town of Niagara, at the corner of what is now the intersection of Packard and Military roads. And Peter Page grew up with them.

Three of those rides -- a helicopter, boat ride and pony cart ride -- now have new homes at the Kiddieland exhibit, and Page couldn’t be happier that they’ve found a new life.

Text Only
Local News