The carousel was manufactured in 1896 by Gustav Dentzel of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for the 1904 St. Louis Exposition and later sold to the City of Meridian. A cabinet maker by trade, Dentzel was a young German immigrant to the United States. In 1860, he established the Dentzel Factory. His family had manufactured carousels in Germany and offered great support to Gustav's American venture. The Dentzel Factory manufactured two or three carousels per year and supplied parks throughout the East and South. All of the animals were hand-carved out of poplar or basswood. The carousels often had original oil paintings as well. The arrival of the Great Depression spelled the end to the factory in 1929. The Dentzel Carousel arrived in Meridian in 1909 and has occupied its same location in Highland Park. Its house is the only remaining original carousel building built from a Dentzel blueprint.
In 1977, Meridian's Dentzel Carousel and Carousel House along with Highland Park were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In October 1986, the Department of the Interior designated the Highland Park Dentzel Carousel and Carousel House as National Landmarks. This honor was given to 11 carousels nationwide, with Meridian's being the only one located in the South.