Niagara Gazette


August 30, 2013

Plenty of stories behind Kiddieland exhibit in NT

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


Niagara Gazette — "As an architect, I have to take that project under my wing and sign and stamp the drawing and hold myself responsible for what's designed and what's out there," he said. "I'm just grateful the carrousel recognized that need and came to me for that."

Besides a professional success, the project was also very personally rewarding for the great-great-grandson and great-grandson of artists who worked on countless pieces of work in the building adjacent to where the Kiddieland exhibit now stands. 

"I'm just glad the museum got the outcome that it did. It's really going to contribute not only to the museum's success, but to North Tonawanda's success," Bray said of Kiddieland. "There's going to be a lot more folks coming to that museum, I think."

"Things just fell into place, almost like it was meant to be."


Sam Hummel of North Carolina thought so.

Proefrock said Hummel called her out of the blue one day and offered the museum his 1940s kiddie car and fire truck ride, even offering to transport it to North Tonawanda. 

"He just said he had this ride and would we like it?" she said. "We couldn't turn it down. And I think they were so pleased to see where it ended up and how it ended up, and how it was restored."

Hummel, who asserted at last week's dedication of the exhibit that "All good rides have a story," has many of them about the ride, which he purchased in the mid-1970s after reading an ad in an automotive magazine. The local arts council, he said, had been looking for a way to bring more people to a festival supporting the Carolina Theatre, and he thought the ride would be a good draw.

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