Carousel lost in time freed from its stable

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  • —Courtesy photo Reno and Clay Hutchison of Sandpoint just stand just inside one of two trailers holding what is believed to be a 1924 carousel. The carousel will be unveiled at the Sandpoint Granary building this coming Saturday.

  • 1

    —Courtesy photo A nearly 100-year-old carousel will be revealed in Sandpoint at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Sandpoint Granary on Oak Street after 64 years of being packed away in two cargo trailers.

  • 2

    —Courtesy photo A nearly 100-year-old carousel will be revealed in Sandpoint at 11 a.m. Dec. 3 at the Sandpoint Granary on Oak Street after 64 years of being packed away in two cargo trailers.

  • 3

    —Courtesy photo A photo showing a painting on the carousel.

  • 4

    —Courtesy photo A photo of a rounding board shield on a nearly 100-year-old carousel found by Clay and Reno Hutchison of Sandpoint. The couple hopes to find a location in Sandpoint to put the carousel.

  • 5

    —Courtesy photo A view of some of a 100-year-old carousel found by Clay and Reno Hutchison of Sandpoint. The carousel will be completely revealed in Sandpoint at 11 a.m. Dec. 3 at the Sandpoint Granary.

  • 6

    —Courtesy photo Clay and Reno Hutchison of Sandpoint with one of the carved carousel horses. The couple plans to completely unpack the carousel to see what is in the trailers they purchased it 16 years ago and saved it from being broken up and sold in pieces at auction.

  • 7

    —Courtesy photo An interior view showing some of the almost 100-year-old carousel.

  • 8

    —Courtesy photo A tractor-trailer carrying a nearly 100-year-old carousel crossing the Long Bridge recently. The carousel will be completely unveiled Saturday at the Sandpoint Granary building for the first time in decades.

  • —Courtesy photo Reno and Clay Hutchison of Sandpoint just stand just inside one of two trailers holding what is believed to be a 1924 carousel. The carousel will be unveiled at the Sandpoint Granary building this coming Saturday.

  • 1

    —Courtesy photo A nearly 100-year-old carousel will be revealed in Sandpoint at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Sandpoint Granary on Oak Street after 64 years of being packed away in two cargo trailers.

  • 2

    —Courtesy photo A nearly 100-year-old carousel will be revealed in Sandpoint at 11 a.m. Dec. 3 at the Sandpoint Granary on Oak Street after 64 years of being packed away in two cargo trailers.

  • 3

    —Courtesy photo A photo showing a painting on the carousel.

  • 4

    —Courtesy photo A photo of a rounding board shield on a nearly 100-year-old carousel found by Clay and Reno Hutchison of Sandpoint. The couple hopes to find a location in Sandpoint to put the carousel.

  • 5

    —Courtesy photo A view of some of a 100-year-old carousel found by Clay and Reno Hutchison of Sandpoint. The carousel will be completely revealed in Sandpoint at 11 a.m. Dec. 3 at the Sandpoint Granary.

  • 6

    —Courtesy photo Clay and Reno Hutchison of Sandpoint with one of the carved carousel horses. The couple plans to completely unpack the carousel to see what is in the trailers they purchased it 16 years ago and saved it from being broken up and sold in pieces at auction.

  • 7

    —Courtesy photo An interior view showing some of the almost 100-year-old carousel.

  • 8

    —Courtesy photo A tractor-trailer carrying a nearly 100-year-old carousel crossing the Long Bridge recently. The carousel will be completely unveiled Saturday at the Sandpoint Granary building for the first time in decades.

SANDPOINT — After 64 years in hibernation, 36 horses will finally be free of their stable when a time capsule reveals what is believed to be a 1920 Allan Herschell Carousel next Saturday.

Project coordinator Jan Griffitts said although the carousel needs restoration work, all the pieces are there, including the 36 hand-carved wooden horses, rounding boards and original artwork.

"When they put it in the truck they took the paint off of all but two of (the horses), because the paint was not real good, so we have a couple that at least have some color but the rest have to be repainted," Griffitts said.

The carousel was packed into two cargo trailers and stored in a field outside of Kansas City, Mo., after a Midwest traveling fair shut down for the 1952 season and never reopened. Clay and Reno Hutchison of Sandpoint saved the carousel from being broken up and sold at auction when they purchased it 16 years ago. The Hutchisons moved it to a storage barn in upstate New York until it was recently delivered to Sandpoint.

"It has been difficult to resist unloading these trailers," the Hutchisons said in a statement released Nov. 16. "It will be so exciting to finally see what is really in there. We can see at least one chariot through a front trailer window, but we cannot tell how simple or elaborate the carving may be. The time is right to get the restoration project going and get this amazing 96- (or so) year-old machine back to its purpose, bringing smiles to the faces of kids and kids at heart — making new memories."

The couple have dubbed the machine "The Carousel of Smiles."

Griffitts said she and the Hutchisons would like to see the carousel find a permanent home in Sandpoint after it is unveiled and restored.

"It's big, about the size of the one in Spokane, and we'd love to have it in a year-round building," Griffitts said.

In the statement, Bette Largent, curator of Spokane's Riverfront Park Looff Carrousel and president of the National Carousel Association, said between 4,000 and 5,000 carousels existed in the United States from the late 1800s into the 1960s. Today, only 152 operating classic wooden carousels remain.

"It is so rare that we discover a carousel that is so preserved with its original components and artwork," Largent said in the statement. "It just doesn't happen every day. The NCA celebrates these discoveries as we know there are so few of them out there that remain hidden. Sadly, many of them ended up in the scrap heap, were used for firewood or are sitting in someone's living room. That isn't their purpose — they are meant to be ridden and enjoyed by all generations."

The unveiling will take place at 11 a.m. at the Sandpoint Granary, 513 Oak St. in Sandpoint.

Information: thecarouselofsmiles.org

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