The following story appeared in the Topeka Capital-Journal on July 7,
but, the byline shows it as an Associated Press story.
"Kinsley Hopes Historic Carousel Will Bring Tourists to Small Town"
Kinsley, KS -- "Wood carver Bruce White is hoping the romance of a
double-decker carousel of painted horses will sweep people into this
central Kansas town the way carnivals did in the early part of the
"Kinsley is home to one of only seven of the German-made Heyn carousels
remaining, and the only one in the Untied States. A German collector
owns the other six. 'Someday, before long, this will be the only
place in the world where you can come and see a working, antique
double-decker carousel on public display,' said White a master carver
and a lover of carnival lore.
"The carousel's first American owner stripped it of all its animals,
dismantled the ride, and sold the 32 horses for more than $1 million.
The owner planned to throw away the working mechanism of the rare
carousel that had charmed generations of Europeans in Copenhagen,
Denmark's Tivoli Park.
"Instead, he gave it to a Florida machinist, who restored it and sold
it for $15,000 to the National Foundation for Carnival Heritage. The
nonprofit carnival heritage foundation is based in Kinsley, a town with
a rich carnival history. At least three major carnivals operated out
of Kinsley from 1901 through the 1970s.
"White, 43, said it is important to keep the traditions of the midway
alive in Kinsley. He believes his adopted hometown could be one of
Kansas' top tourist attractions in the next 10 years. He hopes to have
the double-decker carousel restored in time for Kinsley's carnival
celebration in November 2001. White has made his living the past 15
years carving sculptures for molds used to make carousel horses. In
Kinsley, he hopes to re-create the historic carousel horses of famous
American and European carousel companies to fill the two decks of the
"To pay for the restoration, the Carnival Heritage Carousel Co. is
selling sponsorships of the carousel animals. Ten are now paid for at
$5,000 per animal. The foundation's plan is to house the completed
carousel in its own building near the Carnival Heritage Museum in
downtown Kinsley. The building, horses, a pair of chariots, four love
seats, and the re-creation of the artwork on the carousel's ceiling and
background panels is expected to cost at least $500,000.
"That is a lot of money for a project in a town of about 1,600 people.
City leaders had hoped to help finance the carousel project with money
from a state grant. But they learned recently they didn't receive the
"'It's not the end of the world -- we'll just have to find another grant
and go on,' White said."
Player Piano and Mechanical Music Exchange