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Volunteer Spotlight: Barb Aschenbrenner

Get to Know Our Volunteers!

Barb Aschenbrenner is a retired teacher who volunteers as a docent and ride operator at the Carrousel Museum.

Barb with the 1916 Number One Special Carrousel.

1. How many years have you volunteered with the museum? What is your role with the museum?

I began volunteering at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in July of 2016. Just in time for the 100th anniversary celebration of the 1916 #1 Special carrousel, one of the first three carrousels that were manufactured on the site of the museum.

I am a museum docent, ride operator, and I help with special events.

2. What was your profession?

I taught Spanish, French and English in Public and Private Schools. As part of those experiences, I served as adviser to The American Field Service (exchange student) events and tour escort to Spain for high school students. I also worked during Summer months as a Licensed Bilingual Tour Guide of destinations in Niagara Falls, New York, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Niagara – On – The – Lake, and Toronto. My volunteer docent experience also includes inspiring, rewarding, and friendships at The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.

3. How did you start to volunteer here?

As a resident of North Tonawanda, the museums publicity, personal invitations, the Centenary of the museum, and the Victorian Tea convinced me that this is a place where I enjoy learning and the camaraderie of others.

Barb helping a student during a field trip.

4. Why do you volunteer here?

The heritage of community members, whatever the activity, motivate me to take an active part in museum opportunities.

5. What are your favorite things about the museum?

As a life-long learner, seeing the results of educational and entertaining museum features for all ages is a joy.

The current issue of Western New York Heritage Magazine (Winter, 2018) says it very well:

It is arguable that Western New York boasts a depth and breadth of history that can rival anywhere else in the country. Just about any topic or time period has some link to the region. Native history? Got it! Colonial history? Got it! Geography, industry, transportation, education, politics, war, famous personalities, inventions, oddities? Well, you get the idea – Western New York has them all, and then some.*

6. Give us favorite moments here at the Carrousel Museum.

Daily, I observe the following facets and words of appreciation about them at the museum:

The smiles, relaxed atmosphere, and entertaining, fond memories, combined with the essential purposes of a museum:

  • Community building, outreach, and gathering place,
  • Fellowship, hospitality, recreation, education,
  • Source of employment, teamwork, restoration, and
  • Inspiration for and confidence in all of the above.

Our 2017 volunteers!

Are you interested in volunteering at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum? Contact us at or (716)693-1885.

*Western new York Heritage Magazine” (ISSN 1097-0568) Winter 2018. Volume 20, Number 4. Copyright 2018 Western New York Heritage, Inc.


The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum is proud to announce an award of $1000 from Give 4 Greatness for general operating.  Give 4 Greatness is a cooperative program of Arts Services Initiative and Give For Greatness to provide support for smaller cultural organizations in the Buffalo-Niagara region.  Funds are raised by the Give For Greatness board, consisting mainly of attorneys in Buffalo, then distributed in the fall of each year. The museum will use these funds to support its special events., especially the performances.