Community Involvement, Rehabilitation

Avenal prison restores carousel horses

Avenal prison inmates and colorful carousel horses.
Avenal prison helped restore carousel horses for the City of Hanford.

Avenal State Prison (ASP) Auto Body Program students were happy to help when Hanford officials asked them to restore several 1939 carousel horses.

It started when Randy Shaw, Building Superintendent from the City of Hanford, contacted Jim Clark, Supervisor of Vocational Instruction at ASP. 

Shaw needed restoration work done on the carousel horses from the 1939 Allan Herschell Company Carousel located in the Hanford town square.

The Auto Body Program at ASP was happy to step in to get the job done. This project was a win-win for both the City of Hanford and the students of the Auto Body program. The students were able to get hands on experience in repair and restoration. While the wood on the horses was badly damaged, the students were able to repair and paint them. Luckily, they were able to use materials already in the shop. Any additional supplies needed to restore horses were provided by Valley Oxygen in Hanford. 

The carousel was installed in Hanford in 1982 after they purchased if from the City of Visalia. The Hanford Carousel is one of only 49 surviving and currently operating carousels in North America. The Auto Body students enjoyed the project and are very proud of the outcome. 

Learn more about the carousel company at the New York Heritage Digital Collection, part of the Empire State Library Network.

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