Lincoln Park Merry Go Round
The carousel was gutted by fire several months after it was designated
Historic Cultural Monument No. 153 by the City of Los Angeles in 1976.

Click ME for a ride!
"All photos courtesy of the Davis Siblings Collection"
( Jan Davis Brazil, Jeanne C. Davis, John Oliver Davis, jr. & Ross Edward Davis )


Oliver Funk Davis started taking the merry-go-rounds to the carnivals and fairs to California in the early 1900s.
He was a master carpenter and built the buildings to house his many carousels over the years.
The building in San Diego's Balboa Park is one of his structures (though it has been moved) and still houses a carousel he owned at one time.

Ross R. Davis, was also a carousel broker.
For much of his life he owned three carousels in California:
Lincoln Park and Griffith Park in Los Angeles, and Tilden Park in Berkeley.
John Oliver Davis (not pictured),  continued the business and purchased the contents of the Long Beach
Looff factory in the sixties when the carousel ran on the Redondo Beach Pier.
The Merry Go Round was located on the Tennis Courts parking lot on Selig Place.

Original carousel that is at Golden Gate. This building is 92 feet in diameter, very expensive type of building.

The building in 1949 when the soda fountain was added.

Another view with the soda fountain.

More new photos courtesy of the Davis Siblings Collection
( Jan Davis Brazil, Jeanne C. Davis, John Oliver Davis, jr. & Ross Edward Davis )

Raising the dome - Land beneath was found to be swampy.
New foundation poured and dome raised at same time. Some time between 1917
& 1924 (When soda fountain was added).

MGR building around 1924-5

LP Band organ photo dated August 26, 1924
"Stagg photographer - 1053 S. Hill St., Los Angeles"

LP Band organ around 1924

Postcard sometime after 1924

July 4, 1935

Playground '35?

Spillman 4 abreast installed about 1930 - Burned in 1976.

This is the view from my grandparents home. (Ross Ruben - Anna E. Davis)
1915 Alta Street on 7/4/49

The park and boat house 7/4/49

Ostrich Farm
Since it says "opposite Lincoln Park" it would be post 1919

The boat house 7/4/49

The Lake 7/4/49

Soda fountain mid-fifties. From L-R: Jack Salveson (1914-1979), Kay Salveson,
John O. Davis (our dad), Anna E. Davis (our grandmother), Janet H.
Davis (our mom), and Bertha (?) who worked there for years.

Soda fountain kitchen and cook, Frances Paddick. (about mid-fifties)
Frances work here from the 40s to the 60s.
I remember her for her "hotdog-burger".
She'd split a hotdog lengthwise into thirds, then grill it and place it
on a hamburger bun which was dressed with lettuce, tomato,
onions, mayonnaise.  Delicious!

"Back of photo says East Lake/Lincoln Park"
July 4th Celebration at the lake. 7/4/1919
Company B Engineers build a military bridge across the lake and
looking towards the Merry-go-round building..

July 4th Celebration at the lake. 7/4/1919
Company B Engineers build a military bridge across the lake.
See poster below about this event.

Part of poster used as a backing for a photo of a carousel R.R. Davis
sold touting the July 4th, 1919 celebration.

July 4th Celebration at the lake. 7/4/1919
Cake/Flag with Mrs. Sloan Orcutt.
Must have been quite the prominent citizen back in 1919.
(Cake reads 1776-1919)

July 4th celebration cake. 7/4/1919

Far left, band leader - Mr. Gregory
and (first seated lady) - Mrs. Sloan Orcutt.
Concerts every Sunday.

Merry-go-round 1918
This machine is the one that is now in Golden Gate Park.

Building before dome was raised - 1914

Miniature Railway - Eastlake Park - Los Angeles, Cal 1904.
"This is the Eastlake Park Scenic Railroad that ran all over the park and over the lake. Built and operated by master machinist John Coit and probably was a similar attraction like the small trains in Travel Town and in Griffith Park today. The miniature train did not last long at the park. When Abbot Kinney was in need of a light railway system for his Venice Pier resort area in Southern California, he contracted Coit to do the work.  The popularity of the railway at Venice and the state of the not-so-popular Eastlake Park Scenic Railway prompted Coit to move the train to Venice around 1905."      javier

My thanks to Jeanne C. Davis for contacting me and sharing her family photos above and a bit of family history.
As time allows for Jeanne she will submit more photos of the merry go round.     javier 10/28/02


I am still looking for more photos of the merry go round from anyone. Just let me know.
All photos above courtesy of the Davis Siblings Collection"
( Jan Davis Brazil, Jeanne C. Davis, John Oliver Davis, jr. & Ross Edward Davis )

Robert Marks and family, early 70's.
Photo submitted by Ray Rios.
Thanks to Robert and Ray for a rare photo.

8/9/03 !
These were taken in 1975 not long before the fire. That incident really made my heart sink.
Lot's of childhood memories; the brass ring, the band/organ playing Sousa style marches and music. It was loud!"
Courtesy of Ernie Mendoza - (Paco Jenkins)

Thanks! They are beautiful!  j.a.

My Miscellaneous Images

Matchbook Cover

Here are some old tickets.

The Griffith Park MERRY-GO-ROUND

In the summer of 2002, I went to Griffith Park to checkout the Merry-Go-Round.
I met and spoke with Mr. Warren Deasy who is part owner of the merry-go-round along with Rosemary West.
 Mr. Deasy took me to the rear end of the MGR and showed me a charred horse that came from the Lincoln Park MGR.
The horse was charred and it looked like a shadow.

Now some details from the Griffith Park MGR Brochure.
The Griffith Park Merry-go-Round is the only full size machine built by Spillman Engineering still in operation.
It is also only four abreast, all jumping horse Spillman in existence.

The first and second row figures are virtually interchangeable and are equally elaborate. All four rows of horses are jeweled and hand detailed. There are a total of 68 hand carved animals with real horse hair tails.

Some say the two hand carved chariots depict Adam chasing Eve - quite risqué for the time in which it was built. Chariots were popular with young lovers and were built with them in mind offering a somewhat secluded place for a young swain to romance his lady.

Another exclusive and expensive feature of this carousel is the painted ceiling. The broken and missing panels are the result of missteps of early day mechanics as they groped their way along the sweeps in the gloom of the upper carousel to lube the crank poles.

The MGR was built in 1926 for the Spreckles family for use in San Diego's Mission Beach. The pier was a victim of the depression and the carousel was moved to Balboa Park for the Exposition. At its close, the carousel was purchased by Ross Davis and moved to its home in Griffith Park in 1937 where it has operated since then.

In 1984 this magnificent machine was purchased by Rosemary West and Warren Deasy. They have begun the enormous task of restoration, starting not only with the visible parts of the machine, but with the mechanism itself. As the carousel must generate the cost of its own restoration, which is estimated in excess of $400,000, progress will be painfully slow, but the partners feel this unique treasure must be preserved for future generations.

Joyous music is as much a part of a carousel as the horses themselves! The largest band organ playing with a carousel on the West Coast.

is needed, too. Come ride. Tell all your friends about this wonderful carousel. Remember the gift stand at the carousel when you are looking for Birthday and Holiday gifts. Wear a Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round T-shirt.

If you would like to know more about the carousel or help out contact:
Warren R. Deasy
Office # 323-874-0303
Park # 323-665-3051

Thanks Warren for your hospitality at the Merry-go-Round!   javier

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