Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, North Tonawanda

4.5
#1 of 7 in Things to do in North Tonawanda
Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum is a historic carousel factory building located at North Tonawanda in Niagara County, New York. The factory complex was constructed between about 1910 and 1915 and consists of six primary structures and five contributory additions. The primary structures are: the Mill Building (ca. 1910), Carving and Pattern shop (ca. 1910), Paint Shop and Storage Building (ca. 1915), Roundhouse (ca. 1915), Machine Shop (1915), and Assembly and Testing Building (1915). Also on the property is the Number One Special Three Abreast portable carousel, built in 1916.
At one time five carousel builders operated in North Tonawanda. The Allan Herschell Company, and its predecessor the Herschell-Spillman Company, was the most notable of them and operated from 1883 to 1955. The company produced wood carousels into the 1930s.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 as the Allan Herschell Carousel Factory. Nearby is located the Herschell–Spillman Motor Company Complex, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.
The Herschell Carousel Factory Museum is located at the original factory site on Thompson Street. It was first open to the general public in 1983, with a full operational carousel from 1916. The first floor of the factory has been opened up to provide exhibits and demonstrations. Two operating carousels give visitors first hand experience of the magical ride and authentic band organ music. The Children's Gallery presents interactive learning activities. Different programs are offered, such as woodcarving of various skill levels, guided tours, and a summer lecture series. Events for a family audience are presented throughout the year. New in 2014 is the outdoor Kiddieland Testing Park exhibit where children can "test" restored company rides from the 1950s.
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Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
154 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • its a great place for the younger kids and if you want to see the older carrousels. if you have older kids (11 and up) they wont fit on the outside rides. only the carrousel inside  more »
  • This was a fun museum. The reason I recommend it for younger kids is because of the rides. There are 2 carousels to ride. Only one is okay for older kids. The tiny one is for smaller kids under 43 inc...  more »
Google
  • This Museum represents a valiant effort by local volunteers to restore some of the history involving Carousel and slam machine Manufacturing. When you consider that the factory was stripped completely empty ,the large amount of displays, carousel horses and other Carousel related equipment is impressive. They have an operating Carousel they're happy to run for you, as well as a lot of history artifacts ,horses, wooden animals and other Carousel related stuff. One of the largest selections of Carousel animals you will see all fully restored and displayed, giraffes, elephant ,zebras, lions, tigers and other animals you probably have not seen on a carousel. The staff docents were very friendly and the work they've done is amazing considering how little they had to start with. This Museum effort is worthy of support as the history of they're trying to recover was almost completely lost and without this Museum it would be completely lost. I hope in the future they can find some of the slam type equipment as well, as that was mostly missing from the museum. Company also manufactured Ferris wheels and anything on Ferris wheels would be fun to see added also. Definitely a must-see Museum if you are even remotely interested in carnival equipment Ferris wheels carousels and the like.
  • My husband and I moved to this area over to years ago and now have a nice month old daughter. I have been wanting to come here got awhile now and I'm so glad we got the chance to check it out with my parents!!! I love the history, the array of different carousel horses and animals, and how informative it was!!! Very kids friendly and the staff are amazing!!! Everyone should check it out!!!

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