Elitch Gardens Carousel

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Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel #6
Elitch Gardens Carousel.jpg
The carousel in 2009
Elitch Gardens Carousel is located in Colorado
Elitch Gardens Carousel
Elitch Gardens Carousel is located in the United States
Elitch Gardens Carousel
LocationKit Carson County Fairgrounds
815 15th St
Burlington, Colorado 80807
Coordinates39°18′36″N 102°16′10″W / 39.31000°N 102.26944°W / 39.31000; -102.26944Coordinates: 39°18′36″N 102°16′10″W / 39.31000°N 102.26944°W / 39.31000; -102.26944
ArchitectPhiladelphia Toboggan Company
NRHP reference #78000861
Significant dates
Added to NRHPDecember 19, 1978[1]
Designated NHLFebruary 27, 1987[2]

Elitch Gardens Carousel, also known as Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel #6 or as the Kit Carson County Carousel, is a 1905 Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel located in Burlington, Colorado.


ElitchGardenCarousel1909 CHSL1317.jpg

Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel #6 was manufactured in 1905 for Elitch Gardens. It was used at the park every summer until 1928, when the park acquired a new carousel also made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC #51) and sold the existing carousel and band organ to Kit Carson County for $1,200, including the cost of delivery by train to Burlington. During the Depression, the carousel spent six years in storage, re-entering use in 1937.[3]

Restoration of the carousel's band organ began in 1976. The Kit Carson County Carousel was designated a National Historic Site in 1978 and a National Historic Landmark in 1987.[2][4] Restoration efforts continued in 1987 with work to restore the original paint to the animals, chariots, and the outer rim, new siding applied to the carousel building and Victorian-inspired landscaping. A second restoration to the carousel animals took place in 1992. Grants financed research into and restoration of the carousel's original lighting, machinery room, moldings on the paintings, and the Wurlitzer band organ in 1997.

1981 theft and return[edit]

In May 1981, thieves removed three small horses and a donkey from the carousel during a heavy rainstorm. The animals were later recovered from a Salina, Kansas warehouse and returned to the carousel following a parade through Burlington in October 1981. Commemorative markers on the carousel mark the recovered animals' locations.[5]

Carousel details[edit]

Type: 3 rows, Park, Stationary, all wood composition
Figures: 25 standing horses, 4 chariots; standing horses include 2 burros, 3 camels, 1 dog, 3 deer, 3 giraffes, 3 goats, 1 hippocampus, 1 lion, 1 tiger, and 3 zebras
Music: 1909 Wurlitzer 155 "Monster" military band organ

It is the only antique carousel in America retaining its original paint on both the scenery panels and the animals, and it is the only surviving menagerie (having other animals in addition to horses) carousel made by Philadelphia Toboggan Company.[6]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel #6". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2008-01-04. Retrieved 2007-10-14.
  3. ^ Kit Carson County Carousel. Colorado Historical Society Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.
  4. ^ James H. Charleton (Undated, 1983 or later). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel #6 / Elitch Gardens Carousel (1905-28) / Kit Carson County Carousel (1928-date)" (pdf). National Park Service. Cite journal requires |journal= (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ Kit Carson County Carousel. Our Journey. Prairie Development Corporation. 2004.
  6. ^ Census of Operating North American Carousels. National Carousel Association. January 14, 2007.

External links[edit]