The J&S Carousel at Davenport Park was built in 1927 and moved to St. Augustine in the 1990s. Jim Soules, the owner of the carousel, died last week.
First Coast News spoke with Soule’s wife, Peggy. She says she appreciates everything St. Augustine has done and that her family had some wonderful years there.
But, she says it was her husband’s wish to move the carousel “back home” to Port Charlotte when he died and she plans to follow through with those plans.
Peggy says she understands it's hard for people to say goodbye to something they like and love so much. The carousel has been in Saint Augustine for 25 years. She says it was in Saint Augustine Beach for the summer of 1993. It was then moved to Davenport Park in 1994 where it still remains.
Peggy Soules told First Coast News the carousel will be moved on Monday and its last day in operation will be Sunday.
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Meanwhile, the city manager, John Regan, says he is working on a proposal to keep the carousel in Saint Augustine. The carousel is currently on Saint Augustine owned land.
Regan says it is up to the family what they want to do, but he would like to see the carousel stay in Saint Augustine. He said the city has received offers from people to help keep it operating, in honor of Jim Soules.
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Soules acquired the carousel from his brother who was in the circus business. After his brother was murdered, Soules operated the carousel in Saint Augustine as a tribute to his brother.