A Lookback at Carousel


The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program has been working for over 20 years to keep the Herschell-Spillman Carousel (or, to some of you, the Over-the-Jumps Carousel) at the Little Rock Zoo restored and running.

From their website:

"The Herschell-Spillman Carousel was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on December 1, 1989, with statewide significance.  At the time, the nomination stated that the carousel was 'a rare collection of wooden sculptures carved by artisans of his [Allan Herschell’s] company, one of the earliest carousel manufacturers in the United States.  They are rendered even more significant by their continued attachment to the largely-original sectional wooden riding platform which allows its unique motion.'

Subsequent research revealed that the Herschell-Spillman Carousel is the last remaining example of a Spillman Corporation “Jumps” model, and likely one of only five examples originally produced.   As a result of the new information about the Carousel, and the rarity of the resource type, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program seeks to increase the Herschell-Spillman Carousel’s level of significance from statewide to national.

In 1991, a non-profit group, Friends of the Carousel, Inc., formed to save the carousel from an out-of-state purchase.  After purchasing the carousel, the organization donated a historic easement on the carousel to the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program."

Enjoy a look back at this Arkansas Traveller piece, and also check out our updated piece on the Carousel from 2012.