Harper Motors Carousel Has a New Home


The Harper Motors carousel where it once stood on the Harper Motors lot. - TREVOR HARPER
  • Trevor Harper
  • The Harper Motors carousel where it once stood on the Harper Motors lot.

Have you noticed anything different when driving on the U.S. Highway 101 safety corridor? Especially when you pass Harper Motors? Maybe you've noticed that a bright red and yellow tent and the contents underneath it are missing? Well, the Harper Motors carousel has found a new home with the Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria in Loleta.

According to Trevor Harper, whose grandfather Harvey Harper co-founded Harper Motors and bought the carousel in 1991, Harper Motors donated the carousel to the Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria Tribal Council. 

“I’m happy that it’s staying local,” Harper says, adding he’s excited that all of the kids who experienced the carousel growing up and are now parents get to experience it with their kids at its new home.

This is exactly what Darrell Sherman, tribal council member-at-large, had in mind when he reached out to Trevor and Dan Harper about the possibility of donating the historic carousel. 

"For me, instead of seeing it go elsewhere ... moving completely out of the area, it just moved 25 minutes south from where it was before. I thought it was such a great opportunity, not only for the tribe but also for the community and for future generations," Sherman says. "I remember driving past it going to Trinidad and now I can talk to my daughter about seeing it now it's moved to our location."

Sherman said the carousel fits right into the tribe's effort of expanding more all-ages activities, especially with the Bear River Family Entertainment Center, the Bear River Recreation Center, playgrounds, baseball and new soccer fields.

There's no timeframe of when the carousel will be operational but Sherman's hope is that once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the carousel will be placed in a permanent spot by its recreation center on Keiser Road.

"You could grab some nachos or a corn dog, or after you're done enjoying a ballgame you go and enjoy a carousel ride," he says.

But, until then, the carousel is currently being restored and plans are in the works.

Sherman said they are buying lights to put onto the carousel so it can also be used at nighttime.

"At seven o'clock at night, you're there and looking over the river, looking down on Ferndale and that's something that no one has ever done before and now you're enjoying a carousel ride with your loved ones at nighttime ... it could potentially be a magical experience and that's where this idea and thought came from, wanting to give back to the community and provide things you could enjoy with your loved ones," Sherman said.


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