Teresa Farrell 2017-04-05 01:49:17
Looking for something to wow the kids? Nearby North Tonawanda is home to the Herschell Carrousel Museum®, a living piece of history dedicated to the bygone era of wooden carousel production. Under the direction of carousel mogul Alan Herschell, who bought the original property in 1915 for his pre-existing carousel business, the company became one of the most famous of its kind. It remained in operation until 1970, became a museum in 1983, and has since drawn thousands of visitors wishing to experience this iconic time in American history. Today, the Herschell Carrousel Museum® is one of only two surviving buildings that once housed wooden carousel production, earning it a spot on the National Register of Historic Sites. Visitors can tour the carving shop, woodworking shop, paint shop, upholstery shop, and machine shop where workers once labored to make these famous hand-carved carousels, as well as a “roundhouse,” where carousels could be fully assembled and tested before being shipped off to destinations around the country. Exhibits include the Wurlitzer Music Roll Department, which gives the history behind “carousel music”, and the Lockman Collection, which takes a look at how carousel animals evolved throughout Alan Herschell’s involvement. The Kiddieland Testing Park Exhibit, an outdoor area, features four refurbished kiddie rides from the 1950s, when the company expanded from carousel making to include making carnival rides. The museum has two antique carousels for visitors to enjoy—one is a ‘thrill ride’ for adults, and the other a slower one for the kids. Two vintage carousels at the museum are ready to ride: the 1916 Special #1 (above) and the c. 1940s Kiddie Carousel. Photo credit: Herschell Carrousel Museum. Wilson harbor. Photo credit: John Farrell.
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