The Dentzel Carousel was manufactured in 1896 by Gustav Dentzel of Philadelphia, PA, for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and sold to the City of Meridian in 1909. A cabinetmaker by trade, Dentzel was a young German immigrant when he established his own factory in the United States in 1860.
The carousel has occupied its current location in Highland Park since the city purchased it. In 1977, Meridian’s Dentzel Carousel and Carousel House, as well as Highland Park, were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In October 1986, the Department of the Interior designated the Highland Park Dentzel Carousel and Carousel House as National Historic Landmarks. This honor was given to only 11 carousels nationwide, with Meridian’s being the only one located in the South.
Take a Ride
Open to the public. Seasonal hours. To book a party, schedule a tour, or get information, call 601.485.1802.
Rides: $1 per ride
Tours: $2 per person
Children 3 or under must be accompanied by an adult while riding the carousel.
Hours of Operation
|January-March||Saturday Only||1-5 p.m.|
|April-May||Saturday and Sunday||1-5 p.m.|
|August-December||Saturday and Sunday||1-5 p.m.|
Restoring the beauty of the past…
During the early 1980s, the carousel building was closed for two years for major restoration. The carousel animals, hand-carved out of poplar or basswood, were removed and relocated to the heart of downtown Meridian while funds were raised for restoration. The restoration funds came via private donations from “Friends of the Carousel,” grants, fundraisers, and city-budgeted money.
From 1984 through 1995, the animals, chariots, and canvas oil paintings were meticulously restored to their original beauty. The animals were found to have their original paint with six to 10 additional coats. The entire restoration was done by Rosa Patton (formally known as Rosa Ragan) of Raleigh, NC, one of the foremost restoration specialists in the United States. In 1995, the building was renamed The Lucile Rosenbaum Dentzel Carousel House in honor of Mrs. Rosenbaum’s continued support and effort to preserve this historic landmark. With an initial investment of a mere $2,000, the carousel is valued today at more than $1 million. Restoration of the carousel animals cost more than $112,000, while restoration of the Carousel House, one of the few remaining original buildings built from a Dentzel blueprint, was nearly twice that amount. The City of Meridian views the Dentzel Carousel as a unique treasure for our community and surrounding areas. Restoration continues as needed on a yearly basis.