Story City Antique Carousel – Story City, Iowa

Story City Antique Carousel – Story City, Iowa

Visitors to Story City can ride on a restored 1913 Hershel-Spillman antique carousel. Iowa’s only operating antique carousel will be whirling to the merry calliope tunes throughout the summer months. The restored merry-go-round is located in Story City’s picturesque North Park along the Skunk River, and will transport you back in time as you take a leisurely ride.

One of a vanishing species, this fun machine was built in 1913 by the Herschell-Spillman Co. of Tonawanda, New York. It was originally owned by P.T. Gifford of Grundy Center, Iowa. Gifford traveled the Iowa countryside taking the carousel to county fairs and town celebrations, including Story City’s Independence Day galas.

The splendid wooden figures are hand-carved from poplar and include 20 horses, two chickens, two pigs, two dogs, two chariots, and a whirling tub. Calliope tunes are generated by a 1936 Wurlitzer Military Band organ housed in the center of the carousel.

Admission – Fee is charged

Directions – in North Park

Hours – noon – 6:00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday; noon – 9:00 p.m., Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday; Memorial Day – Labor Day; noon – 8:00 p.m., Saturday – Sunday, May and September

Credit Cards – None

Phone – (515)733-4214 or 733-2464


  1. Who is the Iowan is that is responsible for inventing the Merry-Go-Round? I live in North Tonawanda, NY, but, I have relatives from Iowa and I heard that the Merry-Go-Round was invented there in Iowa and sold to a vendor in New York.

  2. The carousel was from the 1600′s in the Ottonan Empire. It was popluarized in America by Gustav Dentzel, who was sent to the USA by his father with a carousel. Founder of the Dentzel Carousel Company in Germantown (Philadelphia), Pennsylvania.

    Sorry, not an Iowan.

  3. Sandy Perry says:

    How much is the cost to ride the carousel? This would be for a large group of mostly adults in June of 2015 on a car tour.

  4. To get the actual cost you will need to call 515-733-4214 or 733-2464. The web says it is around $10 but call to confirm.

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