Stories about Pulaski Area Families

This the Family Page

Going in Circles

by Pam Janssen, PAHS Board Member

Six years ago, my husband and I took a ride to North Tonawanga, New York, to visit a niece who had relocated there with a teaching position at Niagara University. In addition to visiting Cassie, we knew we would have a chance to see Niagara Falls for the first time. We did all the touristy things, and especially enjoyed the magnificence of the area. On one of our lazy days, my niece suggested a visit to the Allan Herschell Carrousel Museum in North Tonawanda.Going in Circles Article by Pam Janssen

According to the history of the company found on Wikipedia: “The Allan Herschell Company was a company that specialized in the creation of amusement rides, particularly carousels and roller coasters. The company manufactured portable machines that could be used by traveling carnival operators. It was started in 1915 in the town of North Tonawanda, just outside Buffalo, New York.

Previously Herschell, with James Armitage, created the Armitage Herschell Company in 1873. In 1883, his son William traveled to London to meet former Limonaire Frères employee Eugene de Kleist. Backed by Armitage Herschell, in 1888, de Kleist set up band-organ production in North Tonawanda, founding the North Tonawanda Barrel Organ Factory.[1] The company produced a range of barrel-organ based products, suited for all ranges of fairground attraction.

Armitage Herschell remained in operation until the early 1900s. The company carved many portable carousels, made simple in style. Surviving steam riding galleries are located in Mississippi and Maine. In 1901, Herschell left the company due to financial complications, thus allowing de Kliest to buy the pair out, and seek new investment from his association witRudolph Wurlitzer.

Herschell created the Herschell Spillman Company with his in-laws, the Spillmans. Herschell Spillman started out creating and carving carousels in a traditional style, but later branching out to create larger park machines, such as elaborate carousels with many types of animals. Surviving carousels can be found in California, Michigan, Maryland, and Portland, Oregon’s Herschell–Spillman Noah’s Ark Carousel. The Herschell–Spillman Motor Company Complex at North Tonawanda was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. 

The last company Herschell created was his own. Herschell specialized in horses with rigid poses and portable machines, which enabled them to be packed and shipped easily between towns. Herschell produced over 3,000 carved wooden carousels, which were shipped all over the United States and Canada, as well  MexicoSouth Africa, and India.

The factory, bought in 1915, is located on Thompson Street in North Tonawanda. It is one of the last factory complexes in the United States to contain the production of wooden carousels. The complex was expanded to meet the growing company’s needs. The building has a large carving shop, a woodworking shop, a paint shop, a storage area, an upholstery shop, a machine shop, and a roundhouse where the carousels were assembled and tested.

Herschell did not create just carousel rides, but expanded to include rides made for children and adults. He thought up the concept for rides specialized for small children, called “Kiddieland”. Twister, Hurricane, Flying Bobs, and the Sky Wheel were thrill rides that catered towards adults.”

The first room you enter in the museum contains a display of horses carved over the century.

From there you enter the old factory itself. The first thing I noticed were the red and green seats… I immediately was drawn back to memories of childhood visits to the Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Did they make the seats for the old Pavilion (are they still in place there?)

Just past those colorful rows of chairs were various Wurlitzer carrousel organs on display, complete with samples of those old familiar tunes playing in the background. 

On the other side of the workspace were life-sized photo cutouts created from old photos of men working on the carving floor, complete with samples of the carved horse figures in various stages of development.
The room also included a display that listed the names of every carrousel they had created and sold throughout the world. In addition to a carrousel that went to the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, there was listed the carrousel that sits at Bay Beach in Green Bay.
A brief history of the Bay Beach Amusement Park, again cited from Wikepedia: “Bay Beach is a municipal amusement park in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Situated near the mouth of the Fox River, on the east bank as it flows into Green Bay, the park contains rides, concessions, a roller coaster, and a food pavilion. Dances, movies, and other events are held in a pavilion. The park is adjacent to the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.

The park’s history dates to the 1890s when entrepreneur Mitchell Nejedlo purchased the land. Originally intended to be divided and sold for summer cottages, he turned it into Bay View Beach. Bay View Beach had a dance hall, a bar, and a bathhouse, however, because it was swampy and infested with mosquitoes, the park didn’t attract many visitors. In 1908 Captain John Cusick bought the resort from Nejedlo. Cusick built an 8-foot dock that extended 570 feet into the bay, then bought a steamboat to transport customers from Walnut Street Bridge to Bay View Beach. When swimming became popular, Cusick began renting swimsuits for $0.10. On a good day, he could bring in as much as $450. In 1901 a roller coaster was built. Then in 1908, Cusick built a ride called “Shoot the Chutes”, a flat-bottomed boat that could hold 12 people. The boat was slid down a 50-foot ramp and onto the water. The ride cost $0.10.

In 1911 Bay View Beach was sold to Frank Emery Murphy, born 1862 (Green Bay Alderman, corporate executive of Murphy Lumber, Murphy Supply, Morley – Murphy Company, and owner of the prestigious Horse Shoe Bay Farms in Door County, Wisconsin) and Fred A. Rahr born 1863, (Green Bay Alderman, operator of Rahr’s Brewing Company, Treasurer of the Green Bay Volunteer Fire Department when it was organized in 1887). In 1920 they donated the 11 acres, along with all its buildings and attractions, to the city of Green Bay to be used as a City Park, called Bay Beach Park. 

From the site’s earliest days as a private park, a public beach was available, but pollution of the bay eventually caused the swimming beach to close. From the 1930s to the early 1970s, Bay Beach’s pavilion hosted concerts, political rallies, dances, Fourth of July fireworks, and other events. On August 9, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Bay Beach in celebration of Green Bay’s tercentennial of the landing of French explorer Jean Nicolet in 1634.

Today the park is a family place, with scenic views and rides for children, including bumper cars, two small-scale passenger train rides, a large slide, and a Ferris wheel.”

And, of course, the Carrousel. And, while I don’t have a photo of my younger self enjoying a ride on the Carrousel at Bay Beach, I did get one of yours truly going in circles at the museum in North Tonawanda.

Pam Janssen Merry Go Round

Polish Heritage and PACE Collaborate to Bring Polish Genealogy & Polish Heritage Workshops to Community This Fall

Polish Heritage Society and the Pulaski Area Community Education (PACE) office will be presenting two informative sessions this fall. Both of the presentations will be at no cost to members of PHS and both will be at Pulaski High School at 1040 S St Augustine St in the Large Group Instruction (LGI) room. This is located just inside the front doors of the school. There will be $15 fee for non-members. 

On October 12th will be Polish Genealogy. This will first cover basic genealogy and how to get started, and what your finished product may be. What tools are on-line and off-line that are available to use. Which one’s cost money and which are free. What tools are at the library? There are specific Polish web sites to help track ancestors in Poland. Many records did survive the wars, and more records are being digitized and available to us every year.

If you have been thinking of getting started on the genealogy trail, this may be a good start for you.

Everyone will receive a printed copy of the presentation which contains numerous WEB links to help in your search. 

Next on November 1st will be Polish Workshop. In the workshop, Poland native Malgosia Daugherty will help to create a deeper understanding of Poland today. She will talk about the country’s history, traditions and things you should know about Poland before traveling there. Also, get a recipe for a traditional polish dish. Daugherty came to the United States at the age of 23. She graduated from the Academy of Economics in Krakow, Poland and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She is the President of Polish Heritage Society in Green Bay. In November of 2017 she was awarded the Zablocki Achievement Award by the Polish American Congress for promoting Polish Heritage through educational, cultural and social activities. 

Complete the below registration form and mail to PACE to secure a seat. 

Mike Brzezinski & Malgosia Daugherty

A Polish Experience


















Presentation to Attend:

___  Polish Genealogy, Tuesday Oct 12th, 7 to 8 PM

___ Polish Workshop, Monday Nov 1st from 6 to 8PM


Participant’s Name__________________________________



ZIP ______________

Member of Polish Heritage Society of NE Wisconsin  Yes   No 

Home Phone________________________  Cell Phone __________________________

No Fee to members of the Polish Heritage Society. 

$15 Fee to non-members. 


Send completed form and the $10 check payable to Polish Heritage Society to: PACE Office, P.O. Box 36, Pulaski, WI 54162


Waiver Statement: The participant / Parent /Guardian assumes all responsibility in the case of injury or harm to participant. The Pulaski Community School District, their employees or agents or any volunteers or organizations associated with this activity will not be held responsible for any personal injury or loss that may occur in conjunction with this activity.






Pulaski Area Historical Society Newsletter_Winter_2021


Check out the PAHS Newsletter – winter edition 2021. Look back at photos from Pulaski, Wisconsins Main Street through the years, Learn about geneology in an upcoming webinar January 30th, learn about the recently established PAHS Endowment Fund, Casimir Pulaski Days, List of cheese factories from Shawano Count in May of 1928, A family story told by Rose Marie Joswick and photos of the Krakow School in 1927 and the new school in 1929. Lots of history, a newsletter full of information about Pulaski, Wisconsin and surrounding communities.

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