UPDATE: The St. Augustine Record has confirmed with the Soules’ family that the J&S Carousel will be removed on Monday, September 16.
The antique carousel located inside St. Augustine’s Davenport Park, near the Main Branch Library, is set to be dismantled soon.
City of St. Augustine officials have confirmed that the owner of J&S Carousel, James Soules, passed away last week. His family notified City Hall that the carousel will not be operating in the near future.
For more than 20 years, James Soules leased the property from the City of St. Augustine.
“Under the lease, they were to operate the carousel for 5 days a week,” explained Paul Williamson, Director of Public Affairs, in a phone call just before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 10. “The family told the city that the carousel will be removed.”
According to Williamson, no alternatives have been discussed between the Soules’ family and the City of St. Augustine so far.
It’s reported that on Monday, September 9, during the City Commission meeting, City Commissioners asked city staff to see what options might be available to preserve the carousel. No new information is available.
The carousel was owned by Jim (James) Soules and has been in the Soules family since 1987.
The carousel was purchased by his brother, Gerard, and was set up in Fort Wayne, Iniana., until it came to St. Augustine in 1993.
Built in 1927, the carousel first opened in St. Augustine Beach in 1993, then moved to 180 San Marco Ave. in 1994.