GREENVILLE, Miss—It was announced this week that the 1901 Armitage Herschell Carousel, that is house at the E.E. Bass Cultural Arts Center, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Washington D.C. The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.
“This has been a long time coming. With the help of people like Lee Engel, Walley Morse and the Joint Greenville-Washington Country Historic Preservation Commission, we are so thrilled to be able to celebrate the significance of this structure in our community. Young or old, the carousel brings joy to everyone. With this new distinction the carousel will continue to bring amusement to many generations of Greenvillians as well as tourists,” stated MacKenzie Stroh, Executive Director of the E.E. Bass Foundation.
In order for a property to be considered eligible, it must meet the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. This involves examining the property’s age, integrity, and significance. Information must be submitted showing the age, association with events, history, and explanation of significant engineering achievement.
The Armitage Herschell Carousel arrived in Greenville in 1901 when Eli Franklin Wineman, a Greenville business man, bought the carousel when advertised in the St. Louis newspaper. Wineman carved the fourth sleighs and modeled them after well-known nursery rhymes. He held a grand opening for the carousel in 1907. He closed the Carousel in 1934 due to his failing health.
Wineman sold the Carousel to Harry Crockett. Crockett was a noted African American entrepreneur in Greenville. Mary Crockett took charge of refurbishing the ride. The carousel stayed open at the Walthall Street lot until 1954.
The carousel was then sold to Junior Woman’s Club of Greenville in 1954 and the ride was moved to Fairyland Park where it remained in operation until 1988. Delta Children’s Museum purchased the carousel in 2003. In 2007, though a huge community effort, the Carousel was restored again and was relocated and opened again for operation in the E.E. Bass Cultural Arts Center.
The Armitage Herschell Carousel is only one of two carousels permanently operating in Mississippi. The carousel is open to the public from 3-5 PM on Saturdays as well as during special events. The carousel can also be rented for birthday parties, family reunions, and other celebrations.