Go for a spin on Lakeland's Carousel
Whether at an oceanfront boardwalk, a county fair or that magical destination where one famous mouse named Mickey resides, the sight of a carousel is sure to conjure smiles. After all, with its signature up-and-down, round-and-round movement, a carousel is a quintessential and nostalgic symbol of fun.
Taking a spin on a merry-go-round with its majestic and colorful creatures doesn't have to be saved for a vacation or trip to an amusement park. In fact, Lakeland Orchard & Cidery is the proud home to our own carousel with quite the history.
Lakeland's carousel was built in 1951 by the famous Allan Herschell Company. The Allan Herschell Company was located in North Tonawanda, New York, and was the fourth in a series of companies that manufactured rides, according to the Herschell Carousel Factory Museum. Herschell was a partner in earlier carousel manufacturing companies dating back to 1872. According to the Museum, the company was known for featuring “striking yet simple horses.”
Our carousel's original home was with the Catskill Game Farm in Catskill, New York, which operated as a zoo from 1933-2006. When the zoo closed, the carousel was sold at auction. It then traded hands twice before we were able to buy it from its owner in Chicago in March 2018.
Carousels often are known for intricate and detailed designs and pretty colors, but our carousel had certainly seen better days. It was old, rundown and inoperable and far from the showpiece it is now. We knew beneath its dusty and broken exterior it could shine again and be a centerpiece to our completely renovated orchard. So began its restoration back to essentially new condition.
Restoring the classic ride with its 30 horses and two chariots took about six months of work with about 20 people working on the project at any given time. We went from knowing almost nothing about carousels in January of 2018 to having a fully restored Allan Herschell carousel in August 2018. The work came right down to the wire: opening day was August 25th, and we finished the project August 21st.
Bringing this carousel to its new home was a labor of love, but just like any good ride it was worth it to bring joy and laughter to our guests. Since beginning operation in August of 2018, we’ve seen over 40,000 guests!