Historic City News received word from the City of St. Augustine that the J&S Carousel at Davenport Park, adjacent to the Main Public Library, will be closed for maintenance from Monday, October 31 through Thursday, November 4.
The old-fashioned carousel, located in St. Augustine at 180 San Marco Avenue, operates Sunday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.
The C. W. Parker, 1927 frame, new wood carousel sports two fixed chariots and two rows of a mixture of fiberglass horses and a camel, who parade up and down to the music. All animals are fantastically painted, very colorful, and easy to ride.
Ringling Brothers circus performer Gerard Soules rescued the carousel from a barn in Mystique, Michigan for $25,000; then relocated it to a zoo in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
After Gerard ’s death in 1992, the carousel was inherited by his brother, James. With the assistance of Carl Theel and Theel Manufacturing, Soules was able to restore the ride; reminiscent of old time circuses and county fairs.
Soules reached an agreement with the City in 1994 to locate the carousel at the corner of San Carlos Avenue in Davenport Park where it has remained ever since.
It has been some time since the popular ride was closed for maintenance. When the lights and music come back on, the cost to ride will remain $1.00.
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News archive photograph