A piece of history has been put out in the light again in Liberty Park after spending years in the park maintenance shop.
The Liberty Land Flyer has a lot of good memories for many Sedalians, but one lesser-known attraction that was once at Liberty Park was a carousel. After discovering one of the old horses from the carousel in a shop, the parks department has restored it and turned it into an art piece to be displayed in the park.
“We were just trying to get things around here cleaned up,” Sedalia Parks and Recreation Director Amy Epple explained. “We wanted to try to get rid of some things so maintenance was cleaning up their shop and attic. They stumbled across this horse and they radioed, ‘Does anyone know why there’s this horse?’ I looked at it and then (Landscaping Supervisor) Shawna (Yager) was like, ‘Oh my gosh my grandma talked about riding the carousel.’”
Epple said the department already had money in its budget for more Art in the Park installations but decided to push a previously scheduled one back to get the horse restored. The horse was sanded down and then painted by local artist Linda Hoover.
For now, the horse has been placed on a stand for display in the greenspace facing West Third Street. Since the carousel was located by the Liberty Land Flyer, Epple is planning on moving the horse over by the train once the train house is completed, which is expected to be finished in April.
“For us, it’s really exciting because we’re getting the train up and going and then the train house coming,” she said. “So that was one of the other reasons for pushing to get this up, to showcase part of the history of the park…”
The only picture Epple has of the carousel shows it in the background, making it hard to see. The staff is looking for more information or pictures of it. Epple has little information on it, guessing it was in use in the ‘70s.
“They (people the staff asked) were thinking the mid-70s,” Epple said. “They talked about in the ‘70s that it was there and people remember it. It’s not that long ago that I would think there is history on it. That’s what we really want to get our hands on, any history or information on it...
“I’ve been trying to find out and get information for when the carousel came down,” she continued. “I’ve heard rumors but nothing accurate yet. Just things stating it was taken down because of liability purposes and stuff like that. I wish I could get my hands on the full thing.”
Epple said she and the parks staff are looking for more information on Sedalia parks in general since there is not a lot of information available.
“The history of the parks is important to us to make sure when we’re doing things that if there is a historical reason, maybe something should go in one park or another...” Epple explained. “When doing special projects, making improvements to parks and adding new things it’s nice to know the history so you can know what’s been there before. This (horse) was just kind of a hidden treasure we found. A lot of people said it has lots of memories.”
Anyone with information or photos of the Liberty Park carousel is encouraged to contact the parks department at 660-826-4930.
“If anyone has pictures please contact us, reach out to us,” Epple said. “We’d appreciate it.”