Saving the Carousel

Saved Carousel Newspaper article_small
A newspaper clipping from The Journal that tells the story of saving the Glen Echo Park carousel, July 5, 1973.

National Park Service, Glen Echo Park Museum Collection

As soon as the owners of the amusement park announced its permanent closure in April 1969, they began efforts to sell the various rides and attractions in the park.

The sale of the carousel to James Wells, a Falls Church, Virginia, collector led to the formation of a Save the Carousel Committee. It was headed by Nancy B. Long, a Glen Echo councilwoman and the town archivist.

While the committee was negotiating with Wells to purchase the carousel and thus keep it at Glen Echo Park, Wells sold it to Color Productions of California, Inc., in April 1970, and the firm made plans to move the carousel to Berkeley, CA.

Negotiations to purchase the carousel with the its new owner then commenced, and they agreed to sell the carousel for $80,000, provided the Save the Carousel Committee had the necessary funds by May 1.

The funds were raised and the carousel was sold to the National Park Foundation, which transferred it to the National Park Service, thus keeping the carousel in the park.

Donors for the fund raising effort included the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the Alvon Foundation of Washington, Montgomery County Councilman Greenhalgh, Montgomery County Government, the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the Town of Glen Echo, Girl Scouts, and "hundreds of donations from individuals and groups."

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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