Pullen Park’s carousel celebrates 100 years in Raleigh, NC

Pullen Park carousel, 2020 | via Raleigh Parks

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Did you know? The Pullen Park carousel is one of only 23 remaining carousels in the world designed by German maker Gustav Dentzel, who founded the Pennsylvania Carousel Company.

The carousel — which was built in 1912 — first debuted a few miles down the road as part of an amusement venue called Bloomsbury Park. It was relocated to Pullen Park in 1921, where it has remained ever since. The wooden carousel features 52 carved animals, all of which were restored in the mid-1970s.

Pullen Park carousel’s original site 1912 | via NC State Archives

Next year, Raleigh Parks will celebrate the carousel’s centennial + has issued a call for donations from the community to help commemorate its history. Here’s what they’re looking for:

🎠 Photographs of the carousel
🎠 Photographs of major attractions in Pullen Park
🎠 Images or objects (e.g. ticket stubs) relating to past events at Pullen Park

In particular, parks staff are hoping to receive submissions that capture the full scope of the carousel’s history — from Pullen Park’s opening in 1887 through 2010. Artifacts dating since 2010 will be considered for inclusion, but are not preferred.

Stay tuned: in March 2021, Pullen Park will roll out programming to celebrate the carousel’s very first spin. Raleigh Parks hopes to develop a series of activities and exhibitions over the coming months + you can contact the park’s Curator of Collections Ainsley Powell to submit items for review. The deadline is Friday, December 18.


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