Texas

 

 

There are 5 classic, pre-1930 carousels in Texas.

 

Arlington

The Silver Star Carousel at Six Flags Over Texas is a 1926 Gustav Dentzel carousel. It was the last carousel made by Dentzel. We have not visited this carousel.

 

 

Brenham

Firemanís Park

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The C. W. Parker portable, two-row carousel at Firemanís Park was manufactured in 1912. There are 24 country fair style jumpers (grasshopper mechanism) and 4 chariots. Several (perhaps all) of the horses are from Charles W. Dare and have the Dare characteristic martingale. It is only one of two all Dare horse carousels still functioning. The other is in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

 

At least two horses are marked ďArmitage-HerschellĒ. The presence of horses marked ďArmitage-HerschellĒ that look just like the Dare horses on the platform is a mystery. The Armitage-Herschell company became the Herschell-Spillman company in 1903, well before this carousel was manufactured. Dare closed his business in the late 1890s. It is possible that Parker purchased the Dare horses from left-over stock after Dare closed his business, or he purchased them from Dare while Dare was still in business and stockpiled them for future use, or he purchased them from Herschell who had purchased them from Dare and had them on hand as old stock. Who knows?

 

This carousel is the oldest in Texas. The carousel was beautifully and meticulously restored in 2008. It is wonderfully maintained and spotlessly clean.

 

The carousel was abandoned in Clay, Texas (about 22 miles from Brenham) some time before 1930. Apparently, the carousel was left abandoned in a field since the carnival owner could not the pay the rent for the land. F.C. Winkelmann, Hans Schleider, and O.H. Fischer rescued the carousel and moved it to Brenham, Texas for repair. O.H. Fischer, owner of Brenham Furniture Repair, and Clarence Fischer refurbished the 24 horses (www.ci.brenham.tx.us/parks/antiquecarousel.php). The carousel opened in Brenham in 1932.

 

There is no band organ.

 

The 16-sided building which houses the carousel was built in 1935 by the WPA. In 1999, the dirt floor was replaced with a brick floor.

 

Rides are $1.00.

 

Brenham is lucky to have such a rare carousel.

 

Firemanís Park is a most beautiful park which is meticulously groomed and maintained. In 2014, Firemanís Park was named a Lone Star Legacy Park, one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a park.In addition to the carousel, the park includes a baseball stadium, the Finke Pavilion, a playground, a skate park, volleyball courts and much more.

 

For further information about operating times call 979-337-7250 or access their web site at www.ci.brenham.tx.us/parks/antiquecarousel.php.

 

We wish to thank Tammy Jaster, Aquatics Supervisor, and her staff for arranging for us to view this classic and historic carousel.

 

For additional information:

National Carousel Association

http://carousels.org/USACensus/stdqueries/census-CLA.html

 

Brenham, Texas Parks

https://cityofbrenham.org/parks/antiquecarousel.php

This web site has a wonderful history of the carousel.

 

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Center Pole, Ring Gear, Main Bearing, Sweeps and Sweep Stay Rods

 

 

 

Dallas

State Fair of Texas

Fair Park

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This beautiful and excellently maintained carousel is a four-row, park model, 1923 Gustav Dentzel with 50 jumpers, 16 standers and 2 dragon chariots attributed to Marcus Charles Illions. The carousel was originally at Carsonia Park in Reading, Pennsylvania from 1923 to 1950 and has been at State Fair Park, Dallas, Texas since 1951.

 

The band organ is a Wurlitzer.

 

The carousel only operates during the State Fair of Texas in late September through late October.

 

For information about opening times call 214-421-8711 or access their web site at www.bigtex.com.

 

For additional information:

National Carousel Association

http://carousels.org/USACensus/stdqueries/census-CLA.html

 

Youtube videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN4o1lGa_UY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irKE_fEffsc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpJAflqjWms

 

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Inside Panels

 

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Inside Panels

 

Rounding Boards

 

 

 

Giddings

Firemanís Park

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The carousel at Firemanís Park is a 1915 C. W. Parker two-row, portable with 29 jumpers. The large horses were manufactured by Herschell-Spillman, and the small horses were manufactured by C. W. Parker. The carousel was part of a traveling carnival probably since 1915, but it was acquired by Giddings in 1931 when the carnival operator could not pay the fair association. The carousel is now owned and operated by the Giddings Volunteer Fire Department.

 

The carousel could use some restoration. Some horses are missing eyes, and some need new tails.

 

The carousel usually operates the third weekend of May and the 4th of July. For information about opening times call 979-542-2311.

 

We wish to thank Mr. David Burtschell, Captain, Giddings Fire Department, for taking the time to show us this rare and historic carousel.

 

For additional information:

National Carousel Association

http://carousels.org/USACensus/stdqueries/census-CLA.html

 

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Small Parker Kiddie Horses

 

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Grasshopper Mechanism

 

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The gasoline engine that powered the carousel before it was converted to electricity.

 

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San Antonio

Kiddie Park of San Antonio

 

The carousel at Americaís original Kiddie Park of San Antonio is a portable, 1918, 3-row Herschell Spillman with 26 jumpers and 2 chariots. The carousel needs restoration as much of the paint is chipping and the wood panels are cracking as can be seen in the photographs below.

 

The carousel was originally located in Miami at an unknown location, but it has been at the Kiddie Park since 1935.

 

The park has other classic rides including pony/carts, boats, airplanes (without propellers) and a Ferris wheel.

 

For further information access their website at www.kiddiepark.com or call 210-824-4351.

 

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Other Rides

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