After 64 years of dormancy, a nearly century-old carousel is set to be unveiled in Sandpoint, Idaho. The 1920 Allan Herschell Carousel, believed to be hidden in a time capsule, will finally reveal its 36 hand-carved wooden horses, rounding boards, and original artwork. Despite needing restoration, project coordinator Jan Griffitts assures that all the components are intact. The carousel, which spent decades in storage after a Midwest fair closure in 1952, was saved by Clay and Reno Hutchison of Sandpoint 16 years ago. The couple, who hope to establish the carousel, nicknamed “The Carousel of Smiles,” as a permanent fixture in Sandpoint, express excitement about bringing the 96-year-old machine back to life. The rarity of preserved carousels with original components is highlighted by Bette Largent, president of the National Carousel Association. The unveiling is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Sandpoint Granary on Oak St.
Reno and Clay Hutchison are embarking on a heartwarming journey to unwrap a piece of history – a long-forgotten 1920 carousel rescued from obscurity. Purchased in 2000 and recently transported from New York to Sandpoint, the vintage carousel, believed to be a 1920 Allen Herschell creation, is set to be unveiled on December 3. This rare, fully intact gem, complete with 36 hand-carved wooden horses and original artwork, is one of only 150 remaining of its kind. With dreams of restoring it as “The Carousel of Smiles,” the Hutchisons envision a permanent home in Sandpoint, hoping to bring joy to future generations and enhance the City Beach experience. The ambitious restoration project, funded by the couple, aims to create a magical community focal point and has the potential to become a cherished Christmas tradition.
We’re getting press! Check out our featured write-up on page 20 in the latest issue of Sandpoint Magazine, Winter 2017 edition. Pick up a your free copy of the magazine at distribution locations around town, or read the online edition of Sandpoint Magazine here.
News & Updates
- Merry-Go-Roundup – Another First-Timer’s View of the Convention December 1, 2023
- Sandpoint Magazine marks progress of carousel restoration November 19, 2023
- The Daily Bee: Annual festival celebrates winter, community February 17, 2023
- Sandpoint Reader: Carousel of Smiles restoration passes halfway point December 18, 2022
- The Daily Bee: Carousel’s ‘ponies’ closing in on home of their own December 15, 2022
Carousel Restoration Project