Carousel of Happiness
Where else but Nederland CO could you find a place called the Carousel of Happiness? Nederland is a small community about 15 miles outside of the college town of Boulder, home to the University of Colorado.
Even more than most college towns, the Republic of Boulder is known for its laid-back, pot-smoking, peace-nik mentality. It is often referred to as 40 square miles surrounded by reality. A building moratorium in Boulder has kept the town small and the prices high, so people have filtered into neighboring areas.
From Boulder you take a gorgeous winding mountain road with breathtaking scenery. As you drop into the town of Nederland, you are greeted by a gorgeous reservoir at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and a town so charming it can make your heart ache. In the core of this bewitching town is an enchanted place called the Carousel of Happiness.
While he was a Marine in Viet Nam, Scott Harrison‘s dream of having a carousel in the mountains sustained him. After his return, he spent 26 years lovingly creating new wooden animals and decorations to refurbish a 1910 William F. Mangels and Charles Looff carousel.
The original carousel survived three fires and was placed in storage. The animals were sold separately and the frame was ready for salvage in 1986 when Scott Harrison rescued it yet again. With help from many volunteers, he carved 58 of his own playful animals to bring this masterpiece back to glory. The animals were carved from basswood which comes from the Linden tree, over 26 years.
The land on which the Carousel of Happiness now rests was donated, as were the engineering and excavations costs, by the generosity of the Guercio Family and Caribou Companies. A fascinating and magical find in a fascinating and magical town.
The environmentally friendly Carousel of Happiness pavilion is also home to a fully restored 1913 Wurlitzer Band Organ, a puppet theater, and a wonderful gift shop. It is worth a detour to stop in Nederland if you are traveling anywhere near Boulder to experience this one-of-a-kind adventure.