Treasures of the Past

There will never be a place like it again.


story by Lisa Stamos

The historic dairy barn that sits atop the hill on the eastern side of South Barrington Road just north of Dundee Road secured its reputation as the iconic establishment for generations of Barrington area residents. Its prominence also attracted guests from across the region. Everyone knew about the Barn of Barrington.

The Barn of Barrington’s antique collection, once front and center to decades of celebrations and memories, is now available at auction

The Barn of Barrington began in the early 1970s as a fine dining restaurant with shops and banquet space. The main 150-year-old barn structure required the addition of a kitchen, and long entryway and lobby to bridge guests from the parking lot into the building. The existing lower level, where the dairy cows once walked into the building, was known as the Carvery Restaurant. While the barn’s sturdy structure could stand on its own, its owners—an architect whose wife was an interior designer—took the barn from a once-working dairy farm facility to a gathering place of wonderment and intrigue—and great food and music.

Prominent stained and beveled glass relics were added into and around the building. Architectural structures such as wrought iron and decorative artifacts—enough to fill a museum—were creatively and thoughtfully repurposed within the walls of the Barn. This was a labor of love for its collectors.

Guests were greeted throughout the Barn with a variety of European antiques, including a full-sized suit of armor, fascinating metal chandeliers, charming antiques, artwork, and whimsical carousel horses everywhere in the building. The property offered the Crown Room, a large banquet space, which was situated above The Music Room.

The Carousel Bar was a favorite watering hole of many. Guests sought out the cozy cocktail lounge to hear the music of Kenneth (Kenny) Goodman, a Juilliard trained pianist who had a loyal Barn following. Goodman also played piano for Sunday brunch at the Barn. Once he retired from his career, Goodman was hired to play at the Barn, and for all those years, never left.

The Barn had an eclectic assortment of attractions over the years that echoed the times, in addition its fine dining and banquet halls for wedding receptions and parties. In the late 1970s was the Silver Saloon, a country and western themed bar. Disco music played in The Music Room. A wing in the building was dedicated to shops that sold antiques.

The European antique collection that spent decades adorning every nook and cranny of the Barn will go to auction on November 12, 2016. The collection was the passion of the architect who owned it, and in an age before the internet, the time and effort to pull this collection together was the work of a lifetime. The collection represents one-of-a-kind finds from the markets of Paris, Madrid, and architectural salvage sources in Chicago.

In 2009, the Barn closed for good. The space that once held an extraordinary collection of antiques stills holds so many of our our collective memories.

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Barn of Barrington Antiques Available for Purchase

Auction on November 12 at Donley Auctions, Union, IL

onley Auctions will offer for auction hundreds of amazing pieces of antiques and memorabilia from the historic Barn of Barrington restaurant and banquet hall, which was located in Barrington. Patrons of the Barn, and collectors alike, are being presented with a unique opportunity to own a piece of history by participating in the auction that will be held on November 12 at Donley Auctions, in Union, Ill., and online.

Included in the auction are several notable antique items, including rare and captivating carousel animals, beautiful pieces of architecture, rare and unique pieces of furniture and one-of-a-kind collectibles. Some of the architectural items include beautiful doors, wood and marble fireplace surrounds and mantles, stained and leaded glass in all shapes and sizes, from small to very large. There are large chandeliers and tall candelabras that decorated the Barn for decades, as well as centuries-old, hand-carved tables, counters, funhouse mirrors, and many more unique and beautiful items.

Approximately 80 of the carousel animals from the Barn of Barrington are being offered for auction on November 12. Some of the carousel horses being offered for sale were acquired from the carousel at the West View Park, near Pittsburgh, Penn. Other makers of the carousel animals that will be included in this auction are John Heinrich Muller, O.C. Buck, the Parker Company, and the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. The barn displayed figures from carousels of at least three different amusement parks.

Details for the 3-Day Auction

This auction is a part of a three-day auction starting Thursday, November 10, and concluding on Nov. 12 with the Barn of Barrington items. The November 10–11 auctions will consist of petroliana items, vehicles, gas pumps, coin-op, and other fine antiques and collectibles. Bidding for the Barn of Barrington auction will begin live, in-house at 8512 S. Union Road in Union, Ill., on Saturday, November 12 at noon. Live bidders are encouraged to arrive an hour early to register and preview the items available for purchase.

Online bidding is available at,,, and eBay.

Questions regarding the auction can be directed to auction staff at 815-923-7000, or by emailing More information and preview times are available at