Back in 1914, an enterprising man named Austin McFadden paid the Philadelphia Toboggan Company $8,500 to build a carousel, bring it to St. Paul, and assemble it on the grounds of the Minnesota State Fair. He ran it as a concession for many years, after which it passed to other owner-operators.
During its 75 years at the State Fair, the carousel wove itself into the stories of many generations of Minnesota families.
Most of those families thought that the State Fair owned the carousel, and took for granted that “their” carousel would be at the fair forever. That was not to be.