Sandpoint Reader: Bringing the herd together

The Carousel of Smiles restoration project, led by Reno and Clay Hutchison, is approaching completion after four years of meticulous work. The vintage carousel, purchased in 2000 and saved from disassembly, will find its permanent home in Sandpoint. The Hutchisons, supported by volunteers and local businesses, have made significant progress, with 11 horses in paint and six in the final stages of primer out of a total of 36. The community project aims to bring the carousel to Sandpoint’s City Beach, with plans to complete the restoration by 2023. The Hutchisons anticipate the National Carousel Association’s presence for the unveiling, recognizing the rarity of documenting such an original carousel. The project, described as “magic,” has garnered overwhelming community support and excitement. To follow the restoration process, visit or the studio at the Misty Mountain building in Sandpoint.

Read the full article »

Download PDF »

The Daily Bee: Council hears proposal for historic carousel

During a Wednesday night meeting, the City Council in Sandpoint, Idaho, heard a proposal for incorporating a historic carousel owned by Clay and Reno Hutchison into the city’s parks and recreation master plan. The carousel, exhibited in 1952 at the Kansas State Fair, was purchased by the Hutchisons in 2000 and has undergone extensive restoration. The proposed locations for the carousel include City Beach and the Sand Creek parking lot, with City Beach being the preferred option. The council members were broadly supportive of the project, praising the community effort and collaboration with local artists. The carousel restoration involves over 200 volunteers and artisans. The plan is to maintain ownership of the carousel as a 501(c)(3) organization and raise funds for a building, aiming for completion within two years. The council also approved policies for leases at the Baldy Mountain Communication Site and updated plans for access and protection of the Little Sand Creek watershed. Additionally, a resolution to extend the current collective bargaining agreement with the local firefighters union for an additional 90 days was approved to review the upcoming fire services operations study report from Fitch & Associates.

Check out the full story here »