Perry welcomes home legendary carousel

The Perry Carousel returns home after more than 50 years

A group of people from Perry, Missouri are piecing together a piece of history.

It's an 1898 Armitage-Herschell carousel that once was a staple in this Ralls County community.

The Perry Carousel once was known as one of the most exciting ride in Perry.

"It's a piece of local history, not only Perry. People, kids from all around came to ride that merry-go-round, came to ride the merry-go-round," Friends of the Perry Carousel President Ron Leake said.

"It was here for about 20 years, from 1942 to 1963. The best we can guess," Leake said.

After many years of use, the carousel left Perry and was owned by several different organizations.

Now, it has returned to this small city.

It's being loaned to Perry by the Faust Park Foundation for an upcoming celebration.

In order to bring this gem back to life, volunteers formed the Friends of the Perry Carousel.

"It's bringing the young and the older, the people who have some connection here and bring them together with kind of a joint interest," Leake said.

Shelby Hodges' grandfather, Marvin, once owned the carousel.

She can't believe it's finally come back.

"I've heard about it my whole life. Just everybody talking about it and I never thought I'd see it,â?? Hodge said. â??So we're all really excited to get, to help put it together, bring it back to Perry."

Many people have worked tirelessly on the restoration.

"About every night this week, we've had about, anywhere from 15 to 20 people working around it, putting it back together," Leake said.

After only a few weeks, it's almost returned to its original condition.

"It's in pretty good shape. There's a few parts that we're going to have to manufacture,â?? Leake said. â??We've had some of the people manufacture some of the parts for us; couple of pieces need to be restored."

Almost all of the volunteers can't wait to ride this relic.

"Once I heard they restored it, they got the horses all painted up and everything,â?? Hodge said. â??We'll have those for the 4th of July, so they look really nice."

"It's very rewarding to see people coming and want to help out and volunteer, you know,â?? Leake said. â??It makes you kind of, gives you a little pride in the community and what we're doing and how we're doing it."

If you want to donate or join the Friends of the Perry Carousel, you can call Ron Leake at 573-248-6147.

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