Monday, October 17, 2022

Donley's Wild West Town (Amusement Park), Union, Illinois (1974-2021)

Donley's Wild West Town (Amusement Park), Union, Illinois (1974-2021)

Sixty miles northwest of Chicago.
Kids and adults could pan for gold pyrite at Sweet Phyllis Mine, shoot slingshots at Huck Finn's, or watch a wild west show.

The owner Larry Donley displays a handful of gold pyrite in the park's gold panning section. © David Kasnic, The New York Times.

Owner Mike Donley's parents, Larry and Helene, initially built a large storage facility to hold their growing collection of Museum-quality artifacts, antiques, collectibles, and memorabilia. 

The indoor Museum displays antique phonographs, Old West and Civil War artifacts, Carousel Horses, Outdoor Porcelain Signs and sports memorabilia. Around the back of the Museum was an outdoor replica town called "Wild West Town," complete with cowboy shows, a steam locomotive and a carousel.
Copyright © 2021 by Donley's Wild West Town

Copyright © 2021 by Donley's Wild West Town

Rides and Attractions included an Archery Range, Carousel, Hand Cars, Roping, Run Away, Shooting Gallery, Streets of Yesteryear, A silent movie house, Locomotive Ride, the Wild West Stunt Show, and others.
Run Away Mine Cars Roller Coaster

Run Away Mine Cars Roller Coaster, Copyright © 2021 by Donley's Wild West Town

"Please, keep your hands inside the car at all times ..."

Even young wranglers were pleased with the food and refreshment choices of an Ice Cream Parlor & Snack Shop, a Fudge Shop, and Clayton's Sarsaparilla Saloon.
The Lazy Canoe Float.

This is the cast and crew after what turned out to be the last-ever Wild West Show at Donley's Wild West Town on October 27, 2019. Copyright © 2019 Bob Brown ran the jail as“Marshal Bob.”

Onesti's Wild West Town (formerly Donley's Wild West Town) sold the amusement park to Ron Onesti in 2019.

Unfortunately, because of Illinois and McHenry County and local COVID-19 restrictions, they did not open the park for the entire 2021 season. It was announced in May 2022 that Ron Onesti's Wild West Town is permanently closed after the Wild West Town had a 47 46-year run.

Today, Donley Auctions sits in front of the Wild West [Ghost] Town. Monthly auctions attract buyers from around the world who enjoy the excitement of a live auction as much as trying to win a bargain.

Wild West Town Highlights - 2016

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D. 

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