I am a sucker for history and preservations stories. The St. Louis Carousel qualifies as both. Located in Faust Park in Chesterfield, Missouri, the St. Louis Carousel is open for business. The carousel has more than 60 hand-carved horses and deer and was built in 1920 by the Dentzel Company of Philadelphia.
The Dentzel Carousel Company began in southern Germany as the winter occupation of Michael Dentzel. His main occupation was wagon making. According to company history, Michael Detzel sent his son Gustav to the US in the 1850’s with a full size carousel to America. Gustav settled in Philadelphia and began making cabinets and carousels. The company became a Mecca for European woodworkers. The business remained in the family passing on to Gustav’s sons William and Edward.
The St. Louis Carousel was originally part of an amusement park located in Forest Park. The disaster befell the park when it caught fire. Log onto the website and you can see a video of the raging fire that destroyed the park and left only the carousel standing. The carousel was then as purchased by a St. Louis native and carefully preserved. Over the years the carousel operated as part Sylvan Springs. In 1980 the carousel arrived at its current location and is operated by the Faust Cultural Heritage Foundation. There is something about a working piece of history that pulls at the heart strings.
The beautiful machine is run by a non-profit organization. The historic carousel remains open for riders to see and enjoy. This was one of my favorite stops and is a great place for kids of all ages to enjoy. Only $2.00 a ride, log onto http://www.stlouisco.com/ParksandRecreation/ChildrensFun/StLouisCarouselatFaustPark, and St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission’s www.ExploreStLouis.com website for travel information.