“One of at least two ‘Lillie Belle’ outside-row jumpers on the Parker Carousel at Jantzen Beach. When I visited about ten years ago, they were still giving out metal tokens for each ride purchased ~ now on my key ring.” Text and image Courtesy Ken Hawkins

There was a false history for years that was even an element of the original historic nomination for this carousel.  The legend was that the carousel was an attraction at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.  The real history of the carousel was uncovered by restorer/history detectives who ascertained  that the Parker Company was not making this style of jumpers until much later.  Providence record searches indicate that this was one of four fixed site (non-portable) carousels ever produced by its maker.  The horses it has been suggested were carved by inmates.  One member of the Friend’s of Portland’s Carousel group had a hard time imagining convicted criminals being given chisels.

Web footer Steven Kenny Shared this great image. Copyright.

The carousel arrived in Venice Beach California in 1921. The carousel company repossessed the carousel because of lack of monthly payments.  Too many piers on the Venice Beach strip has merry-go-rounds and the operators milked the limited profits.   The massive mechanical system and horses was shipped in 1928 to Jantzen Beach Amusement Park for the May 28th opening of the park.   For the first few year the ride operated as a concession prior to being purchased.

The tale goes that rain killed attendance at the park.  The amusement  park was destroyed in 1970 and replaced with a shopping mall that opened in 1972 with a repainted disco style Carousel.  In 1995 the carousel was sent up to Canada for a museum quality restoration that cost half a million dollars.  The reopening was grand and one of the horses was dedicated to Vera Katz.

Only a thumbnail but this is another image from Steven Kenny’s postcard collection. copyright.

more to come…

A former exhibit from inside the mall. They saved the false history yellow sign with black text. It was this sign that fanned the flames of the false history-although surly it was a great carnie shill. Courtesy TLM

Courtesy Norman Gholsten

June 19, 2012 Jantzen Beach Mall  Courtesy Heather Haindel
End of the indoor mall era.


PDX History

Historic Preservation Club

Portland Architecture

Historic Preservation League of Oregon (HPLO)

The Columbia River

A member of FPWC who went to the Wake Event

Blog with images from 2009 of Carousel and Exhibits

Hector the Horses from the stable

Haunted Portland Site 

Vintage Portland Blog (Dan Davis)  Three Ariels

Oregonian July 29, 2010, July 19, 2012, April 3, 2012

Portland Business Journal April 2, 2012

More Ghost Bloggers

PDX Kids Calender

Stumptown Blogger


Amanda Fritz 2007

Era One Amusement Park 1928-1970

Era Two Mall sub A 1970s-1980s  sub B 1990s-2012

Poster 1970s