Only two sources uncovered so far make note of Rainbow Gardens, and only in reference to a carousel that operated there. According to those sources, the park opened in 1927 and closed in 1971. The closing date is very similar to that of Sans Souci Park, which according to author C. Charles Ciesla is where this carousel was rumored to have originated from.
The carousel in question remains in operation at Spring River Zoo in Roswell, New Mexico. According to the second source, the carousel was built in 1927 by Spillman Engineering and features three rows of all wooden horses, menagerie animals, and chariots. The menagerie includes three roosters, two deer, two dogs, and one each of a pig, rhinoceros, zebra, ostrich, swan, tiger, lion, and cow. The chariots are attributed to Muller & Dentzel, with the rest of the figures a collection of various carvers. It was reportedly donated to the city of Roswell by Marianne Stevens in 1971.
It seems unlikely that a Rainbow Gardens park actually existed in the Wilkes-Barre area for nearly 50 years with no contemporary sources available. It’s more likely that the origin of the carousel is actually from Rainbow Gardens in White Oak, near Pittsburgh in the western part of the state. That park existed from the 1920s until it closed in 1968.
- Sans Souci Park, by C. Charles Ciesla
- National Carousel Association Web Census
- Historic Pittsburgh – Picnic at Rainbow Gardens
Last research update: March 11, 2021
Last page update: March 11, 2021