In 1994, the National Amusement Park Historical Association began the NAPHA Heritage Fund. The purpose of the fund is to provide financial assistance to organizations working to preserve industry history.
To raise funds, NAPHA solicits monetary donations and donations of artifacts from the amusement industry and auctions them at NAPHA membership gatherings. The accumulated funds are awarded to deserving organizations on an annual basis.
NAPHA is always looking for worthy recipients of Heritage Fund Grants. Recipients must be non-profit entities working to preserve the history of the amusement park industry. If you know of any potential recipients, please submit a nomination by visiting the discussions page and under Member Forums - post a topic to the Heritage Fund Forum.
Since the award was initiated, forty-two grants have been made:
2015 - Clark Museum of Area History, Milford, IA - To help maintain the artifacts and memorabilia of Arnolds Park in Iowa
2015 - Carousel of Happiness - Nederland, CO - To assist in the continued operation of this carousel with all hand-carved animals. We will sponsor two rounding boards - on on the outside and one on the inside of the carousel.
2014 - DeBence Antique Music World - Frankln, PA - Collection and restoration of antique musical items, such as band organs.
2014 - Coney Island History Project - Maintaining the history of Coney Island, NY
2014 - Storybook Land - Aberdeen, SD - Kiddiepark established in 1977 - to assist in maintaining rides and purchase of new rides
2013 - Enid Kiwanis Club, Enid, OK - Assist with purchase and installation of Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel
2012 - Edens Springs Park - Benton Harbor, MI
2012 - Eldridge Park Carousel Preservation Society - Elmira, NY
2011 - Conneaut Lake Park - to help with the maintenance of the Blue Streak.
2011 - Carthage, MO Kiwanis Kiddieland - to help with the maintenance of the train and restoration of the carousel.
2011 - Morgan's Wonderland - San Antonio, TX - to help with the continued operation of this special park.
2010 - Conneaut Lake Park - to help with the maintenance of the Blue Streak.
2010 - Pueblo City Park, Pueblo, CO - to help with maintenance of rides.
2009: Kiwanis Kiddieland, Merced, CA - to help with the maintenance and repairs of rides and attractions.
2009: Kiwanis Kiddie Park, Enid, OK - to help with the maintenance and repairs of rides and attractions.
2008: Brookhaven Exchange Club Park - Brookhaven, MS (a civic park in Mississippi run by all volunteers
2008: Bay Beach Park - Green Bay, WI (to help with the restoration and installation of the Chairplane Ride - NAPHA was instrumental in getting this ride moved to Bay Beach.
2008: Carousel of Happiness - Nederland, CO (restoration of Charles Looff Carousel originally from Saltair Park in Utah - now being restored with hand-carved animals and will be handicap accessible) www.carouselofhappiness.org
2007: Bartlesville Playground Association - Kiddie Park (for restoration of their Ferris Wheel after flooding this past summer).
2006: Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia, PA (to help restore the 1924 Dentzel Carousel which will be housed in its own glass pavilion at the museum).Click here: Please Touch Museum
2006: Rotary Storyland and Playland, Fresno, CA (helping to repair the PTC Crazy Daisy ride - a new gear must be fabricated).
2005: Friends of City Park, New Orleans, LA (assist with clean-up of Carousel in City Park after Hurricane Katrina).
2005: Chicago Historical Society, Chicago, IL
2004: Two Bricks, Cass City Carousel, Indiana
2004: Olcott Beach Carousel Park, Olcott, NY
2004: Playland-Not-At-The-Beach Museum, El Cerrito, CA
2004: Funland Park, Little Rock, AR
2003: Scenic Railway at Dreamland, Margate, UK
2003: Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, North Tonowanda, NY
2002: Children's Fairyland, Oakland, CA
2002: Bartlesville Playground Association, Bartlesville, OK
2001: New England Carousel Museum, Bristol, CT
2001: Leap the Dips at Lakemont Park, Altoona, PA
2001: Leavenworth Historical Museum, Leavenworth, KS
2001: Conneaut Lake Park, Conneaut Lake, PA
2000: Save Tillie, Asbury Park, NJ
2000: Merry Go Round Museum, Sandusky, OH
1999: Save The Park, Arnolds Park, Lake Okoboji, IA
1999: New England Carousel Museum, Bristol, CT
1999: Rocky Springs Carousel, Lancaster, PA
1998: Carousel Society of the Niagara Frontier, North Tonowanda, NY - The Carousel Society of the Niagara Frontier operates the Allan Herschell Museum in North Tonowanda, NY. The Museum, located in the former Allen Herschell factory traces the history of the Allan Herschell Company which, at one time, was the largest manufacturer of amusement park rides in the world.
The Heritage Fund Grant will be used to assist in the acquisition and restoration of some rare machinery used to manufacturer band organ music rolls.
1998: Euclid Beach Carousel, Cleveland, OH - For the first time, the NAPHA Heritage Fund made two grants in 1998. The second grant was awarded to a non-profit organization affiliated with the National Carousel Association and the Euclid Beach Park Nuts. The $1,000 grant will be used to acquire and restore Philadelphia Toboggan Carousel #19.
Carved in 1909, this classic carousel originally operated at Cleveland's Euclid Beach Park where it became a beloved community heirloom. When Euclid Beach closed in 1969, the ride was relocated to Palace Playland, Old Orchard Beach, ME, where it closed following he 1996 season.
Fearing that the ride would be sold off in individual pieces to collectors, the local group formed to return the ride to its original home. The group succeeded in acquiring the ride, with the assistance of the Trust for Public Lands, at an auction in July 1997. They are currently working to restore it and eventually plan to put it back into operation on Cleveland's lakeshore.
1997: Leap the Dips at Lakemont Park, Altoona, PA - NAPHA's second Heritage Fund grant was awarded to the Leap-the-Dips Preservation Foundation of Altoona, PA. The $1,000 grant was used to assist the Foundation in their continuing efforts to restore the historic Leap-the-Dips roller coaster at Altoona's Lakemont Park and return it to operation. It is the world's oldest operating roller coaster.
The Leap-the-Dips was manufactured in 1902 by E. Joy Morris, the ride is the last remaining Figure Eight roller coaster known to exist in the world.
As its name implies, the Figure Eight roller coaster features a track layout resembling a large eight when viewed from above. Invented in the late 1800's the Figure Eight style ride was once an industry staple with hundreds operating around the world. Following a $1 million restoration, the Leap-the-Dips will reopen in 1999 for the first time since 1985.
1996: Friends of the Carousel, Little Rock, AR - NAPHA's first Heritage Fund grant was presented to Friends of the Carousel, Inc. of Little Rock, AR, in 1996. The $1,000 grant was used to assist Friends of the Carousel in their efforts to restore the historic Over-the-Jumps ride and return it to operation.
The Over-the-Jumps ride is a true piece of history. Manufactured in mid-1920's by Spillman Engineering of North Tononwanda, NY, the ride was one of only four of its type manufactured and is the last remaining example.
The motion of the Over-the Jumps is similar to today's Himalaya rides, in which 40 wooden horses and four chariots travel over an undulating track. Little Rock's Over-the-Jumps originally operated as a traveling carnival attraction before being placed into operation at Little Rock's War Memorial in 1942. Friends of the Carousel was formed in 1991 to purchase the ride, restore it and place it back into operation.