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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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City Park Carousel, Shelby, NC
Shelby City Park Carrousel, Shelby, NC. Photo: Randy McNeilly

City Park Carrousel

In 1952, a traveling carousel was bought and given to the Shelby City Park in Cleveland County, NC, as a gift from the First National Bank and Union Trust Company. Dating from 1919, the Herchell-Spillman carousel was placed on park ground and used until approximately 1980.

This unique and valuable property is no less than a mobile display of American folk art at its best. The carousel was manufactured in North Tonawanda, NY, and originally had 36 wooden horses. Over the years, a few horses had been removed and four menagerie animals added.

Carousel horse
Carousel horse, City Park Carrousel, Shelby, NC. Photo: Tommy Forney

Today, after complete restoration, there are 32 horses, two hand-carved chariots, spaces for wheelchairs, and 28 "rounding boards" and scenery paintings. The Shelby City Park Carrousel has been returned to its original splendor so that future generations may once again experience this historic treasure.

The Anne Dover Bailey Carrousel Pavilion houses, showcases, and protects the carousel, one of five restored in North Carolina. Visitors are treated to a unique experience including music provided by the 1923 Artizan/Wurlitzer Military Band Organ playing arrangements of marches, waltzes and foxtrots from the golden carousel era.

The carousel was restored by the City of Shelby Parks and Recreation Division and Shelby City Park Carrousel Friends, Inc., which helped provide support, guidance, leadership, financial contributions, and volunteer labor. Besides offering rides for the vintage price of fifty cents, the Pavilion is a popular place for parties of all kinds, and especially family-oriented events.

Originally submitted by: Sue Myrick, Representative (9th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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