Carousel of the Olympic Sea



1. Operating Rules, Maintenance Guidelines: also assembly instructions.


2. Items remaining to be sponsored and list of carousel's sponsors: for all program support.


3. Photo Gallery: animals and parts taken out of storage 2007, also work by students 1997.


4. Carousel Drawings: diagrams on how it works.


5. Chronology of COS construction: stages of progress through the years 1984-2007 + links to carousel sites.


6. List of classes that have worked on the carousel.


7. Parts Inventory: for whole carousel.


1/4 Scale Model Photos and Carousel Lexicon: shows whole carousel.


Port Townsend Carousel Association: homepage and COS relocation news.

The Carousel of the Olympic Sea

The 20 foot diameter, ten rider, human-powered carousel made under the close guidance of carouselmaker Bill Dentzel and teachers Jim Toyne and Jim Guthrie with students in the Port Townsend School District.  The younger students painted and stenciled many different parts, older students made and painted the animals and mechanism. Traditional materials and carousel construction techniques have been used throughout.  It has been on display and operating at four of Port Townsend's Wooden Boat Festivals, in 1994, 1995, 1997 and 1998.

The construction phase of this project began in September of 1991 and is now complete, less the power train remaining to be made. Several power options are available to install, solar/electric, foot-pedal, hand-crank, or regular 110 volt electricity (all would be best).

A viable permanent site for the Carousel of the Olympic Sea was not available in Port Townsend, therefore as of September 2007 it has been donated to Waveland, Mississippi.  The community of Port Townsend sent a Hurricane Katrina relief crew to the Gulf Coast immediately after the disaster and has been helping Bay Saint Louis and  Waveland.  Ruth Thompson, volunteer at the Hancock County Library, made the carousel connection through Judy Alexander, one of the Port Townsend Katrina Relief coordinators.  See Port Townsend Carousel Association homepage for more details on this exchange and how you can help.

Press Release August 2007, Donation of Carousel and Relocation to Waveland, Mississippi.  Press Release October 2007 telling about Port Townsend high school work on carousel and up-coming shipping to Waveland.

The Dentzel Connection

The Dentzel family has been making carousels since the early 1800's in Germany and later on in the United States. The Port Townsend carousel is one of nine carousels created by Bill Dentzel. Each carousel has been a group or community project often involving children.

In 1995, Bill Dentzel's 5th carousel was erected in Central Park of Davis, California under a beautifully built Victorian style pavilion. Carousel Number 7 (with the centerpole mounted onto a trailer) went to McMinneville, Tennessee in 1996. Carousel Number 8 is a hand-crank/solar/electric portable model which operates at the Solar Living Institute of Hopland, California. Number 9 is located at Lenny and Joe's Fish Tale Restaurant in Madison, Connecticut. Number 4, formerly of the Bay Area Discovery Museum of Sausalito, California is now located in Yelm, Washington. Carousel 3 is in Kelsey, California, number 2 was a special Port Townsend Sister City project in Jalapa, Nicaragua and Bill Dentzel's first carousel was built in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico in 1981. Prior to that Dentzel did carousel restoration, wooden boat work and worked on new carousels at his fathers small carousel workshop in California.  For detailed histories on each of these carousels go to Village Carousel Projects and scroll down.

[NEXT Operating Rules etc.]

Basic specs for the Carousel of the Olympic Sea:

The Carousel of the Olympic Sea is a "Flying Horses" type of carousel as is America's oldest operating carousel in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.  This was the basic type of operating system on all carousels until the late 19th century when the overhead galloping cranks were developed.  Children love the feeling of riding a "Flying Horses" style mechanism, especially when the brass ring catching device is set-up.

The COS was in a storage shed but is now up at the Port Townsend high school being prepared for shipment to Waveland, Mississippi.  The 10 rider carousel is operable and complete with:

Linda Okazaki's Poster
Carousel Art Poster by Linda Okazaki

Footnote: History of Special Summer 2000 Fund Raising Event: Success.

The Foot-pedal Powered Sausalito Carousel visited Port Townsend's Pope Marine Park
Giving Rides and Raising Money for The Carousel of the Olympic Sea all summer long.

Sausalito Carousel at Port Townsend

The Sausalito Carousel at Port Townsend operated in Pope Marine Park
on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Noon to 6 p.m. and Special Occasions
July, August and September 2000.

This carousel and pavilion was sold at the end of the season
in 2000 to raise funds for the Carousel of the Olympic Sea.
Complete History of the Sausalito Carousel.

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Return to Port Townsend Carousel Association Homepage

Site last up-dated March 11, 2017