Woodcrest Commons resident Kathy Hart rides a 1916 carousel at the home of the Allan Herschell’s merry-go-round factory, one of the last existing complexes in the United States to house the production of wooden carousels.

Turning Back the Clock

No matter when you were born, when you step foot on carousel, you are ageless. Residents at Woodcrest Commons were delighted by the lilting melodies from the Wurlitzer and fantastical displays of artistry during a recent trip to the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in North Tonawanda.

Fascinating history flanked with gorgeous artistry awaited Woodcrest Commons residents upon their arrival to the complex, which is listed on both the New York State and National Registers of Historic Sites. Opened in 1983, the museum hosts about 15,000 visitors each year. According to the museum’s website, “the Allan Herschell Company, the most prolific maker of carrousels, specialized in producing portable machines which could be used by traveling carnival operators.”

The company produced over 3,000 hand-carved wooden carrousels. Of the 148 antique, hand-carved wooden carrousels still in existence in the United States and Canada today, 71 were manufactured in North Tonawanda in one of the four Herschell companies and of the popular carnival rides today can trace their origins to the company. The only Herschell carrousel that remains in this area is at Seabreeze amusement park.

Quite a few residents were delighted to see the Little Dipper amusement ride which they recalled riding as children at Crystal Beach. For more information about Woodcrest Commons, please contact Administrator Melissa Brien at (585) 334-1800 or visit us on Facebook.

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