Donley Auction

WHEN: Preview party 6 p.m. Nov. 15; viewing at 10 a.m. Nov. 16; auction at 6 p.m. Nov. 16

WHERE: Donley’s Wild West Town, 8512 S. Union Road, Union

INFO: Featuring 300 items, including a Kiddieland carousel and rare intact 1880s soda fountain and pharmacy interior. Visit or call 815-790-9435.

An original Kiddieland carousel will be up for auction Nov. 16 at Donely's Wild West Town in Union. (Photo provided)

With a complete Kiddieland carousel and an intact 1880s soda fountain and pharmacy interior, an upcoming auction can only be described as big.

“Even if people aren’t buying, they should see this,” said Randy Donley, founder of Donley Auctions, which is hosting the auction at 6 p.m. Nov. 16 at Donley’s Wild West Town, 8512 S. Union Road, Union.

The auction includes 300 items, many rare and “spectacular,” Donley said. 

Along with the carousel created in 1925 and the soda fountain and pharmacy, the auction will feature a 1907 two-cylinder horseless carriage automobile – one of three left in the world – and a 1953 Packard Caribbean Convertible – one of only 30 known of its kind. 

Two other carousels also will be included, along with a 1932 Buick coupe, a Steinway piano, leaded glass windows, antique restored pedal cars, arcade equipment, nickelodeons, antique phonographs, music boxes, juke boxes and paper and tin advertising. 

“The list goes on,” Donley said. “We’ve just assembled an unbelievable collection of great stuff.”

The Kiddieland carousel was made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, the largest makers of carousels and roller coasters in the world. 

It ended up being the last carousel the company made, and remained at Kiddieland in Melrose Park from 1946 until the park closed several years ago.

Every carousel typically had one signature horse with elaborate carvings, Donley said. Because this was the company’s last carousel to be made, it put 16 signature horses into the 48-horse ride, he said.

Over the years, many carousels have been pieced apart with the horses being auctioned off separately, he said. 

The Kiddieland carousel was kept intact and will remain that way at the request of the family who owned it, he said. 

“It’s a million-dollar piece of equipment,” he said.

The item is just one of numerous attractions drawing phone calls and interest and expected to draw travelers from all over the world, Donley said.

“Even though it’s here in McHenry County and sometimes we don’t think about the important stuff in our own county, this is a major auction in the United States,” he said.