Our 48 carousel horses and menagerie animals are being safely stored in Lancaster. But we want the the community to see them again! We’ll begin exhibiting some of the animals and the carousel’s amazing Gavioli Band Organ in 2022! Please join our email list to stay updated, or contact us to suggest an exhibit location. Photo by Glen Usdin, 2021.
The Rocky Springs Carousel Association (RSCA) is an independent nonprofit organization, formed in 1999 to enter into a lease-purchase agreement to bring Lancaster’s historic wooden carousel back home. The c.1924 carousel, by famed Philadelphia manufacturer Gustav Dentzel, had once been a grand attraction at the Rocky Springs Park, south of Lancaster city, until the park closed in 1983, and the carousel ended up moving to Dollywood In TN. The RSCA, led by dedicated volunteers and championed by former Lancaster Mayor Charlie Smithgall, raised $1.3 million to save the historic carousel from being broken up and sold to antique collectors, and returned it to a safe storage location in Lancaster, where it has remained for two decades.
Restoration of the 48 animals and it’s Gavioli band organ were started, however, plans to locate the carousel in North Queen Street's Lancaster Square near Binn’s Park fell through in 2005-06, when a developer couldn't be found and civic plans changed. With the help of Mayor Danene Sorace, a group of advocates, and the RSCA's Acting President, Rob Ecklin, the RSCA was reactivated formally in late 2020.
We are seeking leaders and volunteers with the skills, energy and enthusiasm to help us find a partnering organization and the right location for the Stoner Carousel.
Efforts renewed to start up historic Rocky Springs Carousel by Barbara Barr, WGAL-TV April 29, 2022
Rocky Springs Carousel Association reforms, rebrands, seeks volunteers, LNP staff report, April 26, 2022.
A look at the animals from the historic Rocky Springs Carousel LNP new photos, by Blaine Shahan, April 27, 2022
This 234-page book by Eileen Gregg was published in late 2021. It details the carousel’s rich history, the unique architecture of the building that housed it at Rocky Springs Park, the Golden Age of Carousels, and the Dentzel company, and includes essays by 6 guest contributors, and more than 100 color photos.
The RSCA benefits from the advice and support of the The National Carousel Association. The NCA has promoted an appreciation of the art of America’s wooden historic carousels, and worked to preserve operating carousels in our communities since 1973. They publish a magazine, hold an annual convention, maintain a national carousel census, and offer many resources and support to their members.