Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, North Tonawanda
(4.3/5 based on 100+ reviews on the web)
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
  • Who doesn't love a carrousel? Carrousels create smiles, joy and happy children. So, I was so happy to find this hidden gem in our hotel room list of things to do. The museum takes you back to the past...  more »
  • This is a very interesting museum where you can see how Herschell made carousels, carousel figures, the shops and much more. There is also a Wurlitzer organ/factory display, a childrens room with an o...  more »
  • The good - it's a must see for carousel enthusiast and families with small children. I loved actually being on the carving floor, and seeing and riding on the lovely figures. the staff were a decidedl...  more »
Google
  • It's a top notch operation all around, good for a few inexpensive hours of fun for the whole family. They've really planned the restoration/expansion out well. Awesome job preserving a fun and significant part of North Tonawanda's history! Close to Niagara Falls and Buffalo too, so it's worth tacking on to a visit.
  • A great place to take little kids for rides and learn about the history of carrousels too. From wooden horse carving, to the music of a Wurlitzer, to arts and crafts for the kids and the classic rides too.
  • Terrible service. Employees did not stop their personal conversation when I tried to buy tickets so I left without viewing.
  • Nice to visit an historical place that my child enjoys as well.
  • Local gem! Our little girl could ride the carousels all day!