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MMD > Archives > March 2000 > 2000.03.26 > 06Prev  Next

Fairground Organ at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg
By Matthew Caulfield

Mr. Griswald,

The organ shown in the Busch Gardens picture you refer to is a Ruth
converted to play style 165 Wurlitzer rolls.  It is owned by Gavin
McDonough, who was associated with Nunley's Amusement Park, Baldwin,
Long Island, until it closed a couple of years ago.  Gavin acquired
both the Ruth and a Wurlitzer 165 which was "too loud" for Nunley's.
He had to decide which of the two to keep and which to sell because he
didn't have room for both.  He kept the Ruth, partly because of the
eight magnificent movable figures, representing a German orchestra, on
its facade.  He sold the Wurlitzer to Bob Gilson.  Subsequently
carousel restoration artist Rosa Ragan, of Saxapahaw, N.C., restored
the Ruth facade, while Durward Center did mechanical restoration of the
Gilson organ and Rosa (I believe) did the facade to it also.

Gavin now lives in Richmond, Va., commuting weekly to New York where
he works for the Long Island Railroad.  When his contract with Busch
Gardens expired a year ago, Gavin decided to bring the organ home to
his home and shop (he owns the old B.A.B. name and does organ work on
the side), so it is no longer at Busch Gardens but still in Virginia,
in Richmand.

Matthew Caulfield

(Message sent Mon 27 Mar 2000, 00:46:59 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Busch, Fairground, Gardens, Organ, Williamsburg

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