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Nicole Possert, Executive Director of Restore Oregon
"The Jantzen Beach Carousel is an integral part of Oregon's cultural heritage, and we are delighted to place its guardianship in the capable hands of the National Neon Sign Museum.”

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Connecting Generations

A dream and goal that began in 1994 was made possible with a generous gift of the historic Elks building presented to The National Neon Sign Museum by the City of The Dalles and Urban Renewal Agency on April 4, 2015. The breathtaking location at 200 East Third Street, in the heart of historic downtown, holds enormous significance and sentimentality for the community. The gift reflects the City’s faith in the initial vision to save a valuable historic landmark, and moving forward to continue expanding gallery renovations in order to provide the public with meaningful learning and engaging opportunities and workshops.

The National Neon Sign Museum has the capability to strengthen the downtown vitality through the determined focus on building relationships between individuals, schools, local and national businesses, and organizations. The museum continues to invest their time, energy, and permanent display of a world-class sign and advertising collection for the sole purpose of working with The Dalles, OR, to bring impact and value during every economy-prosperous or struggling.  

Children, Families, and communities are the backbone of a healthy, sustaining community and are the core of the Museum’s outreach programs. Community growth is achieved through tourism, cross-marketing, collaboration with educational institutes, community events and programs. Organizations that invest in their community are daily enhancing the livability for people young and old.

In 2016, David Benko and his wife, Kirsten, began the restoration of the historic Elks building, which today proudly houses the National Neon Sign Museum. David has continued to enhance and refine the collection at the museum while restoring additional signage for the soon to open Argon Education Center.

David has consistently remained involved and an advocate for The City of The Dalles. In 2020 he hosted and was the Executive Director for the Northwest Muralfest, which brought 16 exceptional and fascinating stories to the walls of the downtown corridor in August 2022. He actively works to share his love of signage and its industrial past with hundreds of guests from around the world weekly, promoting businesses and sharing his knowledge of the town’s rich history.

David’s enthusiasm for the industry can be realized in the contribution that he has made to his local community and touring guests. He continues to seek restoration projects and assets that enhance the landscape and community of The Dalles, as evidenced by his most recent acquisition, the Jantzen Beach Carousel, soon to be restored and enjoyed by enthusiasts from around the country and beyond.

C.W. Parker and David Benko have many attributes in common that will facilitate the success of the Jantzen Beach Carousel restoration. From a young age, both were ingenious and inspired. Countless guests of the museum cite Mr. Benko as one of the most passionate individuals they have met. He inspires others like Parker and has a vision to make the life of those around him more fantastical. Both spent thousands of hours creating designs that will be remembered for their unique and pronounced flare. David has restored and recreated hundreds of vintage signs across America such as “The Grand Theater” in Salem, OR-a rare and lost treasure. His creations and restorations are for the joy of others. Theirs, Parker and Benko, is a labor of love, to share what could be lost to time, which is most importantly what is needed for the final restoration of the Jantzen Beach Carousel.


We are always enthusiastic to hear what the community has to say. Send us a message!


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