Historic Carousel, Albany, Oregon

Established as a city 11 years before Oregon became a state, parts of Albany are a showcase for history. Restored homes give a feeling of times gone by and people who care about history. Our goal yesterday was to visit the site (503 1st Avenue West) of the soon to be opened Historic Carousel & Museum that is being constructed using donations and volunteer labor. People around here have been working on this project for 14 years. They hope to open the Carousel for business in June of this year. There will be a Carousel Museum on the site along with the working carousel. The drive mechanism was used by the Dentzel caroursel in Point Pleasant, New Jersey from 1909 to 1953. The animals are all carved by hand from Basswood. We stopped at the Carving Studio at 250 Broadalbin St SW, in Albany where we visited with docent, Donald Albright and watched two carvers carefully bringing about the shapes that will be part of this amazing project. The hope is to have 32 animals when the carousel opens in June. Because of limited space, many of the animals that are already finished are housed in local places of business. I’ve attached pictures of a few of them. My favorite was probably The Guardian, a hippocampus. I was unable to get a good photo of the front due to not knowing how to avoid the glare on the glass. I guess you’ll just have to go see it for yourself!

We were very impressed by the local people. As part of a fundraiser, a local photographer, Dee Brausch (deebrauschphoto.net), was taking photos and donating proceeds to the project. How could we resist?

Locals were polite (we were able to cross at crosswalks without fearing for our lives) and one man even stopped to ask if we needed directions. We are making plans to go back and take a ride when it is finished. In the meantime, check out their website: http://albanycarousel.com/

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