Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, 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.MuseumThe 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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125 reviews
  • Awesome place to learn about the past... historic carving and painting of wooden horses for the amusement carasoul In the nicer weather, outdoor kiddie amusement rides.  more »
  • Awesome place to take the grandkids, lots to see and do. Plus, hands on activities too. Indoor carousel was amazing  more »
  • I grew up a few miles from here and never went till last year...We took our 4 year old grandson and we all enjoyed it. There was more there than I thought including a few rides outside. There is an in...  more »
  • The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum is a historical landmark. Herschell was this first carousel factory built in North America and is located in North Tonawanda (which explains why you will see signs all over the place that says "Welcome to Tonawanda the Home of the Carrousel"). It’s a great place to take your small young children to have a blast of a good time. I tell all of my out of State friends and family members that I live in a town that is the Home of the Carrousel.
  • There weren't rides when we went, maybe out of season, but the museum was a great and had a couple of carousels to ride. We had a great time here with ages 7-67! It was only 20 min from the falls. It was interesting to see all the different vintage carousel animals and read about the process. There were a couple of videos in different sections to teach more about the carousel process. They had old pictures from when the factory was running that you can read about. One of the best parts for my family was the children's section. They provided games to play, crafts to make and pictures to color. There is a small kids carousel in the children's section also but we opted to ride the 101 yr old bigger one! It was a blast! The music was authentic and the horses were original. There is a 200 lb weight limit so anyone over that will have to ride the spin seat or chariot though. We loved it and are really glad we stopped by after visiting Niagra Falls!
  • Take the little ones to kiddielAnd this summer. History in North Tonawanda. thanks.
  • Very unique place. I remember riding carousels as a child. I never thought about the hand-carved artistry that went into the figures. Also learned about the partnership with the Wurlitzer Company to provide calliope music for the carousels (Wurlitzer is also based here). There is also a cool factor of just being in the place where those horses and other animals were carved. They have actual carousels and other rides for kiddies.
  • They do a great job doing fun things for families. People are friendly & fun. You can see the history of the carousel!

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