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Carousel Facts

Click on any of the carousel pictures to view a larger photo.


The Heritage Carousel of Des Moines is one of the few wood carousels built since the 1930's. It has been crafted in the traditional way with a traditional "feel" and sound. We hope you will love it as we do.

Heritage Carousel of Des Moines

This one-of-a-kind carousel is a wooden, thirty seven foot, three row, menagerie carousel with s Stinson band organ. It accommodates up to thirty five riders. There are thirty animals and two chariots on the carousel.

Heritage Carousel Chariot

It is handicap accessible, with each chariot able to accommodate an adult wheelchair or youth wheelchairs.

Carousel Pirate Cat
Carousel Rabbit
Carousel Tiger
Carousel Panda

The hand-carved animals include: horses, a tiger, a stork, rabbits, an ostrich, azebra, a baby elephant, a honey bear, a pirate cat, a giraffe, a sea urchin, and a panda.

Each wooden figure is hand carved and beautifully hand primed with alkyd primer and painted with Japan Oils. The figures are then covered with up to 8 coats of clear enamel to protect the paint from wear.Heritage Carousel  - Covered Bridge Scene

The entire carousel weighs approximately 32,000 pounds and is constructed of over 15 tons of wood, iron gears and wires to move the figures around and up and down. It was constructed by Carousel Works, Inc. of Mansfield, Ohio, world renown craftsmen of wooden carousels.  Heritage Carousel - Des Moines Skyline Scene

Scenes of Des Moines and the surrounding area are depicted on the carousel. Among the scenes are Old Main at Drake University, Terrace Hill, The Botanical Center, Dallas County Courthouse, a covered bridge, The Victoria Hotel, the Civic Center, the State Historical Building, a 1940 circa farm scene, and Salisbury House.Heritage Carousel - Des Moines Botanical Center Scene

The cost to construct the carousel originally was nearly $300,000. This money was raised privately by the The Des Moines Carousel Foundation. Each of the animals costs approximately $5,000 to build. The cost for the band organ itself was $25,000. The building that houses the carousel was constructed for a cost of $250,000.

Special Thanks To:
Eric J. Hermann Design & Photography - many, many photos and website design
JTM MultiMedia, Inc. - website hosting, maintenance & happy-to-help attitude

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Copyright 2001-2022. The Heritage Carousel of Des Moines. All rights reserved.