Judy Cash 12/03/45 – 11/12/17
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” Walt Disney
The Cottage Grove Carousel started our as one woman’s dream. In 1995, Cottage Grove resident, Judy Cash Purchased a 1929 Allan Herschell Carousel and transported it to her hometown of Cottage Grove, OR. Her dream was to restore the carousel and donate it for the enjoyment of future generations in the Cottage Grove Area.
Upon its arrival in Cottage Grove, the Carousel was placed in storage from 1995-2014. The Friends of the Cottage Grove Carousel began their project to see the smiles on the children’s faces riding the carousel. This project now become a dream of many hard -working volunteers.
Our carousel was manufactured by the Allan Herschell Carousel Works Factory located in North Tonawanda, New York in 1929. Judy Cash purchased it from a Virginia roadside amusement park. It has a 36 ft diameter that contains a menagerie of 34 animals and three and a half chariots. Most of the animals are half and half this means that their heads, legs, and tails are aluminum with wood bodies. Other animals, like the pigs, rooster and gazelles are all aluminum. All the horses are jumpers with laid back ears. This presents damage to the horse and is easy to transport them without any breakage. Between 1925-1937, the Allan Herschell Carousel Company is reportedly the only company to make half and half animals.
Due to the length of time in storage, being immersed in floodwaters and lead paint contamination, the entire carousel and its mechanical and electrical components need ed to be restored We are extremely fortunate to have a project manager and volunteers that are skilled woodworkers, machinist, electricians and painters. To date, we have 7,287 volunteer hours and $66,691.00 in kind donations invested in this restoration.
In 2017, the restoration began in an exhibition building on the Western Oregon Exposition fair grounds in Cottage Grove. The restoration team replicated all the wood parts from deck panel to sweep arms. The inner upper and lower panels were also reproduced. All the lead paint was stripped from all metal components. We reached a point in the project that in order to continue we needed to be able to erect the mast. The exhibition building had height limitations that prohibited us from it up inside the building. In August 23018, we were able to do a static display of the carousel during the W.O.W. Fair. It was rotated by “volunteer poser”! The community was thrilled. As a result of the fair publicity, we received and offer from Ed King, CEO of King Estate Winery for the use of a portion of his warehouse in the Cottage Grove Industrial park. In October 2018, we moved to the King Estate location where we assembled the carousel and continued our restoration work. We have replaced all mechanical and electrical components. The lighting is still an ongoing project. We continue to work on our carousel certification that will enable us to officially open the carousel to the public.
Our next step will be to obtain land and the necessary money to build a permanent home for our carousel. We are holding fundraisers and look to merchandise sales, donations, animal adoptions, component sponsorships and grants to continue our dream. The $3000.00 grant money we received from the National Carousel Association was applied toward accessibility and LED Lighting. The total cost for the modifications is $11,235.00. We appreciate the National Carousel Association’s support and resources.