TBT #19 | Herschell-Spillman Carousel

On July 3, 1908, the first ride at Hersheypark began to operate. This was a carousel, often called the Merry-Go-Round, which was placed on a hill overlooking the ballfield.

“M.S. Hershey and [Harry] Lebkicher had different ideas on where the new merry-go-round should be set up. Lebkicher wanted it near the entrance to the park and not in some out-of-the-way place. M.S. Hershey wanted it on the far side of Spring Creek.”

— from Hersheypark, The Sweetness of Success, written by Charles Jacques, p16

The reason why Mr. Hershey wanted the carousel located on the far side of Spring Creek was because he wanted to install a miniature railroad that would connect the front entrance of the park to the ballfield. That ride, however, wouldn’t officially open until the 1911 season.

Hershey Improvement Company, the forerunner to Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company, purchased a used Herschell Spillman carousel and had it running on the evening of July 3, 1908. John R. Snavely, who later was editor of Hershey Press, and the biographer of Mr. Hershey, was the park’s first ride operator (and also general manager). The first day was free of charge, and then the ride officially opened on the Fourth of July.

1908-07-10 Harrisburg Telegraph (p10) [excerpt]

A list of attractions at Hersheypark that were available for picnicers in July 1908. The Herschell-Spillman carousel, called Merry-Go-Round here, is mentioned. 

The carousel operated in the park through June of 1912. At that time, it was replaced by a brand new and larger carousel made by the Dentzel company. That carousel would remain in operation through the 1944 season.

One thought on “TBT #19 | Herschell-Spillman Carousel

  1. Pingback: Happy Independence Day! | In The Park

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s