Cherished Memphis Carousel almost ready for the public

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A piece of Memphis history is coming back to life Dec. 2.

That’s when 1909 Dentzel Grand Carousel that once charmed generations of Memphis children at Libertyland will be reopened for public use.

“He was a carver it is all hand carved wood and ours is one of the unique ones in that it has all horses,” Art Davis, Chief Operating Officer of the Children’s Museum of Memphis, said.

The restored attraction now lives in the new Memphis Grand Carousel Pavilion and Ballroom at The Children’s Museum of Memphis.

Ohio-based Carousel Carvings restored the original hand-carved pieces and repainted to the nearly century-old original color scheme.

“One of the things I think is the most amazing part of all this is a lot of times in today’s economy. A lot of cities have to let historic places go, but because of their having faith in us and the people who have supported us and those who will support us in the future we were able to do this,” Davis said.

The carousel has 32 jumping horses, 16 standing horses, 2 chariots and 1,350 lights.

One of the original chariots will be on display for photos. Its replacement will be an ADA-compliant carved replica.

The entire cost of the project was a little over $1 million.

“The main thing is this is a historical piece of work there is so much labor that has gone into it but when it was originally carved and then just the artistic talent that was needed to bring it back to restoration,” Davis said.

The children’s museum is still seeking donors to help reach that goal. You can find that link here.