Before 1915 when the firm of Bashor & Wray erected a garage building for their Ford agency at the southeast corner of 4th Street and Mountain Avenue, the lots were empty. Beginning in the early 1900s, W.H. Forsythe, manager of the Forsythe Amusement Company, would rent the busy corner from owner W.H. McCormick and set up his merry-go-round (carousel) and Ferris wheel there for a few days each spring. Forsythe generally arrived in Berthoud in early May when his company was touring through northern Colorado.

In her book Early Berthoud, Belva Turner Bashor recalled, “A merry-go-round came to town every year and was usually set on the corner of Fourth and Massachusetts…When the music started, it could be heard all over town and how the children would run to watch and ride. My grandfather (Peter Turner) loved to ride the merry-go-round. He was always there and would take children for rides. It was his delight to hand out nickels, especially to ones who he saw were watching, but not riding. He spent many happy dollars and made many children happy each year.”

Peter Turner, Berthoud’s town founder, died in July 1912. Unfortunately he missed the chance to ride the new carousel that Forsythe added to his operation in 1913. That spring the local newspaper praised Forsythe’s carousel as, “Just from the factory. Nearly $5,000 invested in one mass of golden glitter; all the latest devices—boat, lover’s tub and special ponies for children.”
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Forsythe also brought a Ferris wheel to Berthoud beginning in 1915 and kept the “Garden Spot” on his touring schedule through the late 1920s.

Mark French

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