MARATHON CITY (WAOW) -- The sounds of the past will once again ring through Marathon County. It's all thanks to an area couple's passion for preserving history.
A merry-go-round that thrilled generations of children and adults at Wausau's Marathon Park has sat silent for the past few years. But now, after a major renovation and countless hours devoted to saving the carousel, future generations will once again be able to ride it.
Songs can evoke powerful memories. For Bob Schumacher, the carousel music playing in his backyard evokes his childhood.
“I remember it being fun. It looked different then. It didn't have the aluminum floor, it had the wooden floor,” said Schumacher.
For five decades the carousel was a landmark at Marathon Park. But four years ago, things changed. The carousel was for sale. The county claimed it couldn't afford to buy it.
“If someone didn't buy it soon locally it probably would have been sold out of the area," said Schumacher.
Schumacher wasn't going to let that happen. So in 2010, he and his wife brought it home and now it sits at Schumacher's Family Tree Nursery in Marathon City.
“It might not be in Wausau but it's still in Marathon County," said Schumacher.
For the past four years the couple has been working to fix it up.
“I couldn't even count the hours but its lots, thousands,” said Schumacher.
They've painted the horses all by hand, put up more than 600 lights and worked to find just the right tune.
“Time consuming but enjoyable,” he said.
There are twenty different horses on the ride, and each horse is named after a pet the Schumacher's used to own. In just a few days, the horses will be running again.
“All we have to do is have the ride inspector come and if its approved we can start giving rides."
The rides will only cost a dollar. The Schumacher's say it's not about the money, it's about the music and the memories.