Deal to preserve carousel may keep ‘soul of the boardwalk’ in Seaside Heights

There’s now hope that the historic carousel on the Seaside Heights, New Jersey boardwalk may be preserved. A deal in the works could save it from being auctioned off and dismantled. 

Under a new plan, title to the 82-year-old carousel would be transferred to the borough from the Casino Pier owners as part of a land swap.

The proposal is music to the ears of Floyd Moreland, who renovated the carousel in the mid-80s and is delighted local officials want it to stay in Seaside Heights.

“It’s all hand carved, so it’s got history of American folk art in it,” he said. “Generations of people have ridden it and come here year after year as Seaside Heights grew. It is the soul of the boardwalk of Seaside Heights.”

Mayor Bill Akers, who said the borough would have to put up a new building for the carousel, said he isn’t sure whether it would be operational when it’s moved or become the centerpiece of a museum.

Barbara Charles, one of the founders of the National Carousel Association, said she’s happy the carousel won’t be sold or carved up into pieces.

“This carousel has been there for 82 years. There aren’t a lot of carousels with that kind of history in one location,” Charles said. “It’s symbolic, the borough seal has carousel on it. It’s a wonderful carousel and really a jewel for the state to retain.”

Casino Pier plans a major expansion including a new roller coaster and Ferris wheel on the beachfront property it would get from the borough in exchange for a parking lot it owns.

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