Looking through the Barrel of Fun, the wear of a half-century of tumbling patrons is evident on the maple inlaid interior.

Its rotation stilled for several years, the barrel seems to symbolize the park's current status in limbo, and the efforts to save and re-open it, headed by the Bowens' daughter, Allyson.

At left: Through a fog of artificial cobwebs, John Bowen contemplates the barrel.

"Things being what they are today, we can't recreate what we had in here in the 1940s",
Above: Entrance to the Barrel Of Fun.
Mr. Bowen says, "But I'd like to bring back the fun."

What makes a funhouse barrel roll? These photos afford an exterior view of Whalom's Barrel of Fun never seen by patrons. The barrel sits on a cradle of six grooved wheels affixed to two long shafts mounted on bearing blocks on either side of the barrel. Narrow support rims on the outer circumference of the barrel engage the slotted drive wheels. On one side, an electric motor turns a large roller-chain sprocket. This sprocket is connected to a counter-shaft which reduces its speed and which, in turn, drives another chain sprocket mounted to the main drive shaft. This shaft then turns the drive wheels which transfer the motion to the barrel resting upon them.