Opinion & Editorial

Over 3,000 volunteer labor hours later…

Dear Editor,

Friends of the Cottage Grove Carousel were thrilled to host an open house at the WOE fairgrounds Saturday, August 4, 10-2. This unveiling of the assembled carousel, which is 85% complete, accumulated over 3,000 volunteer labor hours. The remaining work consists of electrical lighting – carousels are famous for lots of lights — graphic paintings and design work on the rounding boards, representing past and present history of Cottage Grove, and of course, the two chariots.
The electrical drive mechanism transmission, braking and start/stop, is being assembled by Olson Electric in Eugene.
As many witnessed, the carousel was revolved by hand, with two to three people pushing it, showing a great deal of balance, engineering achievement and making up many moving parts, which must not bind to cause friction.
As mentioned in many articles before, the old 1929 grease bearings were redesigned by project engineer Russ McGuire, to be grease free self-lubricating, very low-maintenance bearings. This new design was manufactured by Kimwood, and amounted to around a $22,000 contribution to the carousel dream.
The work will continue on the finishing touches throughout the remaining summer and fall, to enhance its beauty and to make it a showpiece for the South Lane county. We hope to have a temporary home at Brad’s Chevrolet on the south end of his parking lot for the carousel in spring of 2019.
The Friends of the Carousel were so happy to have the support in greeting the public, by the Princesses of the WOE Royal court.
I have been in contact with other carousel projects throughout the Northwest in the last few days – they are astounded that this carousel has been rebuilt through donations of material and labor in an 18 month period.
This is a credit to the community, and those who have labored day in and day out to bring Judy Cash’s dream of an operating carousel for all to enjoy in South Lane County.
Donations and contributions are still needed, as we do not have a permanent location in land nor a building fund.
We are offered, time to time, very collectable items, such as: a 1912 player piano, band organ and, most recently, a collection of 3,000 plus cookie jars from around the world. Many of these items are very collectable. One of the things we have talked about in the Carousel committee is combining a museum with an information center, a meeting room for wedding receptions, birthday parties, etc., and a carving shop for those who are interested in the hobby of carving wood, such as horses and elephants.
The carousel will be available for viewing throughout the Western Oregon Exposition Heritage Fair Aug. 17 through 19.

Don Williams
Cottage Grove



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