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The Borough Council designated the Seaside Heights Historical Society as the official fundraising organization for the Dr. Floyd L. Moreland Dentzel-Looff Carousel. Seaside Heights Historical Society is a registered New Jersey non-profit corporation and is an exempt organization under IRS 501(c)(3).   

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Seaside Heights Historical Society is a member of the National Carousel Association and the American Association for State and Local History.

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T: 732-793-9100

F: 732-793-0319

E: info@seasideheightshistory.org

© 2019 Seaside Heights Historical Society

The Dr. Floyd L. Moreland Carousel and Wurlitzer 146 Band Organ have operated at Seaside Heights for over 80 years. The carousel figures are excellent representatives of American carousel art, and this carousel is a classic example of a machine assembled during the Depression, primarily from parts of earlier carousels, to meet demand as amusement areas once again gained popularity in the 1930s. The Moreland Carousel is significant as the sole survivor of all of the carousels that dotted the New Jersey coastline before World War II.

It is believed that the Moreland Carousel was in place on the Seaside Heights Boardwalk by 1937. There is physical evidence that it was assembled from parts. There is also an association with Burlington Park on Burlington Island, NJ. Perhaps some of the figures were once part of a carousel that operated there. By 1940, the Moreland Carousel was surrounded by multiple pools and bathhouses. The Boardwalk flourished in the mid-20th century, especially between 1958 and 1988.

The Carousel has four rows of figures, as well as two chariots. Eighteen of the figures, all of the outer row, are G. A. Dentzel horses, a lion, and a tiger, created between the 1890s and 1909 in Germantown, Philadelphia, PA.  Dentzel was a pioneer maker of American carousels. Many other figures were crafted by Charles I.D. Looff, another pioneer carousel manufacturer. Other horses are in the style of three major Brooklyn-based carvers: M.C. Illions, Charles Carmel, and Stein & Goldstein, who all carved figures for W. F. Mangels Carousell Works, maker of the frame and major mechanical elements of the Moreland Carousel. In addition to the figures, eighteen upper inner facades retain their original scenic oil paintings. The style and subjects are typical of carousel makers in the early twentieth century, including mountain trails with Indians and cowboys, elegant boats on the high seas, and beaches and icy streams.

In 1984 the then owner of Casino Pier considered selling the Carousel. At that time, Dr. Floyd L. Moreland, a City University of New York (CUNY) professor who had ridden the Carousel at Casino Pier every summer as a child and operated it summers throughout college and graduate school, wrote to the owners asking if he could run the Carousel on the weekends during its final season. Ultimately, by the end of that season, the owners decided not to sell the Carousel after all. From 1984 to about 1990, over winter weekends, Moreland, with family and friends, repainted the entire Carousel, orchestrated needed repairs, and upgraded the lighting system. The owner of the pier honored Moreland for his effort by officially naming it the Dr. Floyd L. Moreland Carousel.