Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, North Tonawanda

4.3
#110 of 260 in Museums in New York State
Specialty Museum Museum
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
117 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • This museum is very interesting and fun!! The entrance fee is pretty small and then we happened on a day when it was free. The history of the carousel was very interesting and there is a kids area and...  more »
  • This museum was so much more than expected. Our husbands decided to skip this attraction and they were sorry afterwards. $7 entrance fee was worth every penny. From antique examples of carousel animal...  more »
  • We took four children under 4 and had a wonderful time. The kids loved the kiddie land rides , they decided the copter ride was the best. The volunteers at the carousel and in the kiddie land were exc...  more »
Google
  • Great museum with a couple carousels that are operational. There is a nice arts and crafts room for kids. Some nice exhibits inside and four rides for kids outdoors. Great way to spend a few hours.
  • What a cool place for a 4 year old birthday party!! The room has so much for the kids to do on top of riding a carrousel without mom and dad makes them feel so special. Then off to the big carrousel and the small rides outside what more could a young child as for in a birthday party! The staff was so wonderful and the fact that they decorate and include gift bags is such a nice treat compared to other places. We didn't get a chance to really look around the museum but we will definitely be back to visit this summer.
  • They had a single person operating all four rides, which meant that they only ran one at a time. Despite that obvious management oversight, you truly felt like you stepped back into the past. The rides were great for the little ones. The museum, however, was not very interesting for them; nothing was interactive, it was all reading.
  • Wonderful little place to visit with the family (particularly those with small children) and those who are history buffs. It's also VERY reasonably priced. You really can't go wrong. They also have events throughout the year which add to the return trip value.
  • Nice, small, very clean. Friendly staff. perfect outing with grandchildren. Beautiful memories of a time gone by....new memories created.

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