Friday, July 15, 2011

Empire State Carousel’s Sam the Bear

By: Mary Margaret Kuhn, Supervisor, Empire State Carousel and Country Fair

After going around in circles for five seasons with the animals of the Empire State Carousel, I have gotten to know the animals intimately.  All the animals have names, and stories as to why they are part of the museum you can ride.

One story that is especially fun to share with our guests is that of Sam the Bear.  Created by William Cooper, Sam tells the story of Waterloo, NY.  You can find Waterloo hugging Route 20 as you drive between Seneca Falls and Geneva.  It is a pretty little town that has a connection to the anniversary weekend of the Empire State Carousel – Memorial Day.  In fact this year marks the 145th time Memorial Day has been honored in Waterloo, and Sam is part of the celebration’s logo.

If you look at Sam, you might wonder why he holds a flag from the American Revolution in his jaws.  The current town was founded in the year 1792 by Mr. Samuel Bear – get it? 

Sam’s saddle blanket has a map of the Finger Lakes, with a medallion marking his home town.

If you see the items Sam carries behind his saddle, a canteen, bedroll & saddlebag – they are reminiscent of those carried by Civil War soldiers.  Waterloo held the first formal observance of Decoration Day on May 5, 1866, honoring both Union and Confederate soldiers who had given their lives defending their homes.

1 comment:

JJ said...

Thank you for the wonderful story. Sam "The Bear" has found a place in my heart. God bless and have a wonderful week.
Jimmy Massey

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