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After Heroic Quest, Portland Councilman Discovers Lost Endangered Place

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Portland Commissioner Nick Fish

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish is today being celebrated as the “Indiana Jones of Historic Preservation” after rediscovering the long-lost Jantzen Beach Carousel, a historic 1921 merry-go-round that has been shrouded in mystery since disappearing three years ago. Following the quest, Fish’s office announced Tuesday that the Carousel is being held at Jantzen Beach Center and is “intact.”

Restore Oregon listed the historic North Portland carousel as a Most Endangered Place after its owner announced it would be dismantled to make way for a remodel of the Jantzen Beach Center mall. As soon as the machine and its 72 horses were removed in July 2012, the South Carolina-based mall owner stopped returning calls from those hoping to see the venerable ride preserved for the enjoyment of Portlanders. Its whereabouts have been a complete mystery ever since.

Fish’s office could not be reached for comment, though it can be reasonably assumed that their celebrations around the epic discovery will continue throughout the weekend.

Earlier today, an unnamed source provided a map that is believed to have been used by the Commissioner in his quest for the carousel. Because of the prevalence of national retailers at Jantzen Beach, it is unknown how many sales tax-free bargains had to be dodged in the quest for the carousel. Although the exact location of the carousel has not been disclosed, it is rumored to be located somewhere between BedMart and Famous Footwear.

T Map Final

This map is rumored to have been used in the rediscovery of Jantzen
Beach Carousel (Source: anonymous)

The carousel is the last remnant of the once-renowned Jantzen Beach Amusement Park. Although the site was known as the “Million Dollar Playground” during the 1920s, it is today known by many Portlanders as the “Temple of Doom.” The carousel was delicately restored in 1995 and was, for a number of years, listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Artist’s depiction of Jantzen Beach Carousel storage facility

Restore Oregon staff are hopeful that the discovery will pave the way for the eventually reinstallment of the carousel here in Portland. Thank you, Commissioner Fish!

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4 Responses to After Heroic Quest, Portland Councilman Discovers Lost Endangered Place

  1. Phyllis Shepherd November 9, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    Has any progress been made on this?

  2. Geraldine H. Jacobs November 5, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

    A place for the Carousel has to be found. It was the most amazing carousel that kept thousands of
    Journal Juniors and Young Oregonians happy. There was a Journal Juniors day every year when we
    were young. The Carousel was part of the Journal Juniors day and the Young Oregonians. Find a place for it soon. I would love to see it come to life again before I leave this earth. I am 90 years old and have
    so many fond memories of the Carousel. Took our children and grandchildren for rides every year. It must be saved!

  3. Mary McMurray October 10, 2015 at 11:14 am #

    Can we urge Mr. Fish to merit the kudos you have posted, and actually re-open the Carousel?
    Finding it is the first step, only.

  4. Charles C. King July 26, 2015 at 10:14 pm #

    I want to make an appointment to take pictures of the Carousel.

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