The 1913 Herschell Spillman Carousel, located at North Park in Story City, Iowa, has been selected as a Historic Award Winner by the National Carousel Association (NCA). Criteria for the annual award is that the carousel must be of historic significance, have an innate quality or character, a proven program of restoration and maintenance, a regular schedule of operation, and an owner or support group likely to ensure that the carousel will continue to be available to the public as an operating machine.
The Story City Carousel is a unique carousel that has continuously operated since being put in place here in Iowa. It was purchased by Story City in 1938 and was restored in 1982. The carousel has resided in the city’s North Park since the restoration was completed. It is a rare portable-type carousel that contains a menagerie of figures such as dogs, horses, pigs and even a rooster, complete with a spinning tub as well as an Uncle Sam chariot bench. A Wurlitzer 105 provides the music. Both the carousel and the Wurlitzer were manufactured in North Tonawanda, New York.
Story City has even hosted the NCA Technical Conference in 2008 for owners and operators.
The Historic Carousel Award program, began by the NCA in 1994, comes with a special commemorative plaque suitable for mounting on the outside of the carousel pavilion.
The National Carousel Association was founded in 1973 in Sandwich, Massachussets by a group of nearly 100 people who shared a common love of the wooden, hand-carved carousels. The NCA promotes, and is devoted to, the appreciation, conservation, and enjoyment of the art of the classic carousel.
Today it has memberships throughout the world and will host its annual fall convention in Leavenworth, Kansas this month. The convention is open to all carousel enthusiasts, and will be hosted by the C. W. Parker Carousel Museum, which houses two operating Parker machines and the NCA Primitive circa 1860. The Museum also houses the NCA National Carousel Archives, and will present a special workshop at the Archives prior to the convention. The convention also plans to offer visits to other carousels, both old and new, in Missouri and Kansas.
The NCA has a grant program in place that assists in restoration, preservation and education, for the purpose of promoting conservation, appreciation, knowledge and enjoyment of the art of the classic wooden carousel, and the preservation of the complete wooden carousel. The NCA Photoshow program, which can be found on their website, contains over 6,000 photos of carousels, and is still growing. It is a fun and reference-based photo program, and augments the NCA Census of Operating Carousels. The Story City Carousel, posted in 2008, will be the featured Carousel of the Month for September 2013.
Further information can be found on their web site: www.Carousels.org. Other sites include www.nca-usa.org or www.nationalcarousel.org