The Daily Bee: Community gets first look at classic ride

Over the weekend, a 1920 Allan Herschell Carousel, dormant for 64 years, was joyfully unveiled by its new owners, Clay and Reno Hutchison, at the Sandpoint Granary Warehouse in Idaho. Approximately 150 people gathered to witness the restoration project’s exciting start as 36 hand-carved wooden horses were carefully removed from vintage cargo trailers. The Hutchisons, who named the carousel “Carousel of Smiles,” purchased it 16 years ago after it languished in storage since a Midwest fair closure in 1952. The restoration effort, to be undertaken with community support, aims to revive the 14-sweep, three-row, 40-foot diameter carousel. Despite the need for significant restoration, the carousel is complete with original components, making it a rare find among vintage wooden carousels. Local woodworker Dan Mimmack, a carousel enthusiast, expressed enthusiasm for the project, adopting one of the horses to restore and hoping to showcase the restoration process publicly. The community anticipates the return of the carousel to its former glory and a permanent home in Sandpoint.

Check out the full story here »

The Spokesman-Review: Complete antique carousel finds new home in Sandpoint

The Carousel of Smiles seems to be catching on!

During our grand unboxing this past weekend in Sandpoint, Idaho, The Spokesman-Review was there to share the story with its readers in the Spokane, Washington area.  Check out the full story here »

The Golden Age of Carousels

The Golden Age of the Carousel,1870-1930, was a time when art and the industrial revolution coalesced, as immigrant artisans and industrialists created nearly 4,000 incredible wooden carousels. Names like Looff, Dentzel, The Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC), M.C. Illions, Spillman and Herschell rose to prominence.

During the 1950’s, interest in carousels and county fairs had waned, and many once great machines were destroyed or discarded, more of a bother than something to be cherished. According to Bette Largent of The National Carousel Association, only 152 operating classic wooden carousels now remain.

Every time a carousel goes to the auction block, those animals are never to be brought back together again. So people who hang on to intact rides are very important. They protect an important part of American Heritage.

Louise Lauretano DeMars, Executive Director of the New England Carousel Museum

The 1970’s brought a renewed interest in the carousel arts, especially the hand carved horses and animals. Though some machines were resurrected and preserved intact, most of those not remaining in operation were broken up; the individual horses and parts sold piecemeal, forever losing those icons of American Culture.