Carousel of Happiness

Real Estate Agent with Falcon Property Solutions

Carousel of Happiness
Where else but Nederland CO could you find a place called the Carousel of HappinessNederland is a small community (approximately 1,500 residents) about 15 miles outside of the college town of Boulder, home to the University of Colorado, and 50 miles northwest of Denver. 

Carousel of HappinessEven 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 down into the town of Nederland, you are greeted by a glorious 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.  

Carousel of HappinessThe 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.  He carved his own animals to bring this masterpiece back to glory.  The animals were carved from basswood which comes from the Linden tree, over a period of 26 years.  

The land on which the Carousel of Happiness now rests was donated, as were the the engineering and excavations costs, by the generousity of the Guercio Family and Caribou Companies.  A fascinating and magical find in a fascinating and magical town.

The environmentally friendly Carousel of Happiness pavillion 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.

Carousel of Happiness was written by Mimi Foster


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Selling homes throughout Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs, and surrounding areas



Mimi Foster

(719) 460-7570


Mimi has received the honor of being voted one of the best Realtors in Colorado Springs five years in a row. With over two decades of experience, she is committed to making the home buying/selling process as painless and enjoyable as possible. Read Full Bio…

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Comments (17)

Craig Cooper
Chase International Real Estate - Tahoe City, CA
Creating-Preserving-Growing Wealth in Real Estate

Interesting MIMI, from my mispent youth at CU (late teens and 20's) I lived in Boulder, too many places to list, Boulder Canyon, Sugarloaf, I worked most of those years at the Red Lion as most of my room mates also did. Boulder is a great life and Nederland was always just a short canyon drive for those of us who liked to go visit. Next time I'm in Boulder I must go see this great little attraction. Thanks. 

Nov 19, 2011 06:25 PM
Craig Cooper
Chase International Real Estate - Tahoe City, CA
Creating-Preserving-Growing Wealth in Real Estate

Forgot to mention I also lived in Manitou Springs where we opened a satellite of the Red Lion Inn at the Rockledge Manor on El Paso Blvd. (328?) Great spot and I see it's now a successful B&B.

Nov 19, 2011 06:27 PM
Anne M. Costello
Weidel Realtors - Yardley, PA

Mimi: Talk about a sentimental journey! Carousels like this evoke a simpler time and are an absolute labor of love.

Nov 19, 2011 06:55 PM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Rather than asking your age, Craig, :))) what years were you there?  Red Lion was such a special place for special occasions, and I drive by Rockledge often.  Both places are still exceptional.  Had totally forgotten about Red Lion until I went to Nederland the other day.  Great memories.  Thanks for sharing!

good morning, Anne.  I have never seen such a labor of love, from not only Scott but also everyone who donated land, money, and time to make this project happen.  It is truly unique.


Nov 19, 2011 09:10 PM
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Mimi, that was a sweet "Sentimental Journey" well worth taking.  Kudos to Scott for his labor of love, and all who were involved in the project.  Priceless...............

Nov 19, 2011 09:51 PM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

That is actually the song that plays when the Carousel goes, Roger.  I was so excited to find a calliope version of it.  Labor of love in its truest form.

Nov 19, 2011 09:57 PM
Cal Yoder
Keller Williams Elite - Lititz, PA
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744

Mimi, thanks so much for this post. I love these kinds of yesteryear experiences. I must admit, I feel like I am on the Carousel of Happiness when I read your posts. Have a wonderful Sunday, my friend.


Nov 19, 2011 11:42 PM
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Oooooh Mimi, I can't wait for your book!  I think its maybe even more exciting that this man carved his own carousel figures than even rescuing the originals.  His will be the treasure 100 years from now. As far as Nederland is concerned...tell me more, tell me more!

Nov 20, 2011 12:06 AM
Kristine Ginsberg
Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Short Hills, NJ
NJ Home Stager

What a great story of Scott Harrison's dream of building his Carosel of Happiness finally coming to fruition after sustaining him through the Viet Nam War. And now after working on it for 26 years, he brings such joy to others as do you by passing this story along to us!  What an inspiration that something so wonderful can come from something so terrible! We need more people like Scott in this world!

Nov 20, 2011 12:23 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Nice story and your video was the perfect accompaniment for it. Well done. I like watching carousels, but prefer roller coasters. ( Doesn't that figure?)  Our lovely friend Kristine nailed it with her comment - so, "what she said." :)

Nov 20, 2011 03:22 AM
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Well done in fact great job Mimi!  I really liked the video - perfect. 

Make it a great day in all you do and best regards from the Q

Nov 20, 2011 04:45 AM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Oh, Cal, what a wonderfully nice thing to say.  Blessings to you, my friend.

I agree, Mona, I can't even imagine the labor of love that this carousel was.  And it is really beautiful.  My husband is a wood-worker, and we definitely appreciated the time that this took, but probably still don't have any idea of the overall effort.  I always remembered Nederland fondly from my college days, but it really did take on a magical quality when we were there.

I love your words, Kristine.  We definitely do need more people like Scott.  Think of you often, hope you are well.  Let's talk tomorrow?

Good morning, Debb.  Thank you.  That is actually the music that plays when the carousel goes, so I was tickled to find it.  Didn't she?  Here words were perfect.  Love opening up my computer and seeing all of these wonderful faces.

Nov 20, 2011 05:15 AM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

thanks so much, John.  It was definitely the most unique carousel I have ever seen.

Nov 20, 2011 05:15 AM
Brian L. Sirota, Esq.
Bristar Realty (Realtor/Attorney) - Orange, CA
For Solutions: (714) 501-7660

Mimi, what better slice of Americana than a Marine Vet and his Carousel of Happiness in Nederland, Colorado!


Nov 20, 2011 09:27 AM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Mimi, what a wonderful post about this Carousel of Happiness and Nederland. Gosh, I do envy your steady hand with the video...simply perfect!

Nov 20, 2011 02:27 PM
Pam Hills
Innovative Artistry - Kendall, FL
ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work

Dear Mimi - How wonderful a spirit he was to give so much after what he had already given, as well as all of the other generous souls.  I felt like I went back in time to when I was a young girl.  I used to LOVE, LOVE to ride the carousels, I loved to pick which horse or animal.  Great story & tremendous history!!  What a wonderful Hometown!!  I am sure you book is going to be Amazing.

Nov 20, 2011 04:25 PM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Mimi - If it wasn't so cold there and so far away from my granddaughter, I would move there in a heartbeat! Thank you for sharing another wonderful story with us!!!

Nov 21, 2011 01:02 PM