A carousel built in 1898 is being restored by a group of Perry, Mo., residents, who will have it operational for the city’s Fourth of July celebration.

A carousel built in 1898 is being restored by a group of Perry, Mo., residents, who will have it operational for the city’s Fourth of July celebration.

“We have it put together and will easily have it ready by the Fourth of July,” said Ron Leake, spokesman with the Friends of the Perry Carousel group.

The carousel also will be used for Perry’s 2016 sesquicentennial events.

This historic carousel was in Perry for the Fourth of July in 1946, when members of the Perry IOOF Lodge operated it. The IOOF members included Ken Stuller, Tom Hicklin, James Elroy and Harold Dooley.

Leake expects some great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren of these men to enjoy the carousel this year and in the future.


Leake provided the following history of the carousel: The 1898 Armitage-Herschell carousel was operated at Perry more than 50 years ago.

Now, “this piece of Northeast Missouri history will operate at this 2014 Fourth of July picnic and bring back many old memories for the old timers and begin new ones for the younger generations,” Leake said.

“From 1942 to the early 1960s this carousel was operated almost every year at the Perry Fourth of July picnic. The Perry IOOF Lodge operated it from 1942 until 1956.

“It was then sold to Mark Twain Amusements Inc., which was made up of five area businessmen. They operated the carousel in the surrounding area and took it to several steam shows including Mount Pleasant; Platte City, Kan.; and Boonville, Mo.”

In 1959 the carousel was set up in Florida, Mo., Leake said.

In 1966 the carousel was loaned to the Agricultural Museum at the Agriculture Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs, Kan.

Later it was owned or operated by Bill Auchly of Montgomery City, Mo. Carlos Sardina of Warrenton, Mo., and the present owner, Faust Park Foundation Incorporation.

The Faust Park Foundation Incorporation has loaned the carousel to Perry residents, Leake reported.

The carousel will be in Perry, “as long as we take care of it,” Leake said. “When they had it, nobody was using it. We wanted it, and they said it would be an ideal situation for us to maintain it and use it.”

A carousel history is being prepared, and Leake invited anyone with pictures, home movies or personal knowledge of the old carousel to provide it, because “it would be helpful in preparing the history.”

Friends of the Perry Carousel was founded “to manage, store, insure, maintain, preserve and support Perry events that the carousel will appear at,” Leake said.

Annual membership dues are $10 for a single or $15 for a family. Another choice is $100 or more for a lifetime membership. A corporation and group sponsorship program will also be available.

Dues and donations can be mailed to Friends of the Perry Carousel, PO Box 463, Perry MO 63462. They also may be left at the Perry City Hall.

Leake said to “be sure and include your address, phone number and email address if you wish.”

For more information or to volunteer or donate, call Leake at (573) 248-6147 or email rwleake@aol.com.