The first thing one notices about this 1917 Herschell-Spillman carousel is that it is desperate for a full restoration. The paint is worn and seriously cracking. The carousel is a two-row portable with 28 jumpers and 2 chariots. The horses are of the Country Fair design. Some of the horses are probably not original. There are 2 bucking broncos, and it is not certain that these are original to the platform. Only four horses have been restored in the past four years.
The band organ is a North Tonawanda converted to play 125 Wurlitzer rolls.
It is not known where the carousel was originally located, but it was in Big Bend Park in Green Bay, Wisconsin followed by a stay at High Cliff Park in Menasha, Wisconsin where it remained until 1967. The carousel has been at the Circus World Museum since 1967.
Baraboo was home to the Ringling Brothers, and it is from Baraboo that the brothers launched their first circus tour in 1884. Baraboo remained the home of the Ringling Brothers Circus until 1918 when it joined the Barnum and Bailey Circus which the Ringling brothers purchased in 1908. The Circus World Museum is on the wintering site of the Ringling Brothers Circus and contains many original buildings. The museum has a wonderful collection and display of posters, circus wagons and other circus memorabilia. The museum is on the National Register of Historic Places. When visiting Wisconsin Dells, a few hours at the museum is highly advised.
For information on opening times call 608-356-8341 or access their web site at www.circusworldbaraboo.org/.
For further information:
The National Carousel Association
Three Restored Horses
Two Bucking Broncos
In Fireman’s Park in Waterloo, Wisconsin, resides a most beautiful 1911, C. W. Parker #53 portable carousel with two rows of 28 jumpers and 2 chariots. The horses are of the Country Fair style with simple paint schemes and few trappings. The mechanism is the grasshopper type. The scenery rounding boards sport eagles newly (late 1980s) carved by Ray Jones and Blake Kellogg, beautiful flag shields and scenes of Waterloo.
The carousel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Restoration was performed by Lisa Parr of Old Parr’s Studio in Chicago from 1987 to 1991. The carousel is housed in a 1927, 14-sided building. Because of frequent flooding, the carousel and building were moved to higher ground and re-opened on July 4, 2011. Restoration of the carousel and its building is ongoing.
The carousel was originally located in Lisbon, North Dakota. At some time, it became acquired by William Curtis for the Curtis Brothers Carnival based in Cuba City, Wisconsin where it remained until 1925. It has been in Fireman’s Park since 1925.
The band organ purchased in 1996 is a 1915 North Tonawanda Musical Works, North Tonawanda, New York.
The carousel is maintained and operated by volunteers. Waterloo is fortunate to have this beautiful and historic carousel. It is a source of pride and it shows what a community can do when it becomes committed to a project. The City of Waterloo is known as “Carousel City”.
For information on opening times call 920-478-3025 or access their web site at www.waterloowi.us.
One of the Rounding Boards
(R) Note “C. W. Parker, World’s Largest Manufacturer of Amusement Devices, Leavenworth, Kansas” label.
Beautiful Secondary Carvings
Beautiful Secondary Carvings
The Sassy Horse
1915 North Tonawanda Musical Works band organ