Last updated: Thu. Jul. 26, 2012 - 02:02 pm EDT
WOODBINE, Md. (AP) — As a little girl growing up in Baltimore, Joanna Peregoy became fascinated with horses.
She made a habit of petting the horses of the street vendors with horse-pulled carts and loved to ride the carousels at Baltimore's amusement parks, relishing in those brief opportunities to ride a horse, even if it was a wooden one.
"You can't have a horse in your backyard if you live in Fells Point," she said.
Peregoy, now of Woodbine, never outgrew her love of horses and carousels, and so she started collecting figurines of carousels and carousel-horse figurines.
"God only knows how long it's been, I'd imagine 40 years or so," she said of when her collecting began.
While the figurines, ornaments, snow globes and even cookie tins decorated with carousel themes normally grace bookshelves of Peregoy's living room and TV room, they are on display at the Carroll County Farm Museum through August.
Peregoy said she had a small portion of her collection on display at the Mount Airy branch of the Carroll County Public Library earlier this year and mentioned it to Tori Fowler, curator at the Farm Museum. Since carousels had their heyday in the early twentieth century, which falls into the era that the Farm Museum portrays, Fowler asked if she would lend her collection to the Farm Museum for part of the summer.
It took six plastic bins and a lot of tissue paper to relocate the dozens of pieces to the Farm Museum, where Peregoy arranged them in the extra-large display case in the farmhouse.
"I said I didn't think I had enough," she said, knowing how large the case was, but sure enough her collection was more than enough to fill it.
Throughout her years of collecting the carousel horses, Peregoy has become an expert on carousels. She pointed out five different stances of carousel horse positions: stander, jumper, charger, prancer and stargazer.
Many of the pieces are also music boxes. The majority play "Carousel Waltz," she said, but other songs include "Camelot," ''Toyland," ''The Sound of Music," ''As Time Goes By," ''Endless Love" and more.
Peregoy said she doesn't have a favorite horse, but she does especially like the more feminine figurines, such as a white horse with a blue feminine saddle and white flowers, and another carousel with pink roses lavished over the horse figurines.
Most of her collection has been purchased at thrift stores, she said, the only way she could afford so many pieces. After her collection grew rather large, she started looking for more unusual pieces, such as a carousel with angels riding the horses, and another even more unusual one with piggy angels riding the horses.
"This is what happens when you're a little girl who wants a horse and can't get one," she said.