REXBURG, Idaho (KIFI)-During the events of the devastating Teton Dam Flood in 1976, the Centennial Carousel that has called Rexburg’s Porter Park home for over 100 years. Now, the Museum of Rexburg is the stable for one of the horses from the carousel.
“We’re not quite sure when it first came to the museum, but we know that it’s been here probably since it’s the at least the nineties or even earlier than the eighties,” said Alisha Tietjen the curator of the museum of Rexburg.
She added that all of the original horses for the carousel were built by the Stillman Company in 1926 as a part of their traveling carousel. Before Rexburg had a carousel it traveled all throughout Utah. Calling Salt Lake’s Liberty Park home as well as Ogden.
“And then in 1952, Rexburg heard that it was for sale and they wanted something for their 4th of July celebration. And so they went and they raised $5,500 and went and picked it up and drove it all the way back here and had it set up in time for the 4th of July. So it’s been here since 1952. It’s become iconic thing here in Rexburg. It’s the only wooden carousel in Idaho and is known as the Idaho Centennial Carousel.”
The carousel is just one of the 170 remaining in the United Staes.
During the month of May the museum of Rexburg held a contest to name a horse from the carousel. There were a few options. “It didn’t have a name that we know of. Some of the carousel horses. If you look on the back of the saddle, it has a name. This one doesn’t have a name on the back,” said Tieten.
She added there were five options to name the horse. “There’s Charley, Matilda, Teton, Rex and Cassandra.”
She says the public jumped at the chance to give this horse a name and help him have a conitnued place in Rexburg. “When people come into the museum, they love the idea of being able to come in and see the horse and to give it a name…And so people have been really excited about it. We’ve had a lot of people comment on our Facebook page when we posted it on there. So we’re really excited about that and excited that people are excited about that.”
The name of the horse that won the contest was Rex, by a total of two votes. The name was announced at Rexburg’s block party Friday June 2, 2023. To visit Rex, you can go to Museum of Rexburg in the basement of the Rexburg Tabernacle.