The Tilden Merry Go Round, 100 years old this year. Photo: Nancy Rubin

This year marks the 100th birthday of the menagerie carousel in Tilden Park and the public is invited to celebrate the anniversary on Saturday August 13th.

The merry go round was built in 1911 by the Herschell-Spillman Company of North Tonawanda, New York for one Ross Davis. It did duty in San Bernardino County, San Diego, and Griffith Park in Los Angeles before finding its permanent home in Berkeley in 1948.

Ross’s son and daughter-in-law, John and Janet Davis, owned and operated the business until 1953, after which they became partners with their cousins, Jeanette and Harry Perry, who stayed in Tilden Park for 39 years.

In 1976, the carousel was threatened with closure, but a “Save The Carousel” campaign resulted in the park district buying the ride from the Perry family. Two years later the merry go round was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Celebrations on August 13th, which run from 11am-6pm, include commemorative displays, face painting, kids’ crafts, birthday cake, and, of coure, rides on the merry go round. Visit the Tilden Park Merry Go Round website or call 510-524 6773 for details.

Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...

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4 Comments

  1. The merry go  round has been one of my favorite places for the last 60 years. What a beautiful picture ! I am so happy it is still in Tilden park.

  2. Please folks remember to keep it Hyper-local.
    The carousel, and indeed almost all of Tilden Park are in Contra Costa County

  3. We love the Merry go round at Tilden Park we take our granddaughter every other Saturday or so..

  4. This is one of Berkeley’s nicest features, in my opinion, and I go there often. It’s especially fun when the calliope plays, but I don’t think they use it much anymore.