Historic carousel may stay in Carousel Capital

By Jillian Marshall

May 6, 2014 Updated May 6, 2014 at 6:35 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A carousel from the 1920's has spent the last two decades, not spinning, but sitting in pieces in a garage in Nichols. On Tuesday, it got a new home.

A 32 horse Herschell and Spillman Carousel was the main attraction at the antique auction at Mapes Auction Gallery in Vestal Tuesday afternoon.

Mike McKilligan, from Johnson City, had the winning bid at $37,500. The bids started at $20,000.

The set is short four horses from the original 36 horse set.

The wooden horses are hand carved, have glass eyes and have only been repainted two or three times, the last time being in the 1980's.

Included in the carousel set are: metal poles, mechanical pieces, sides and floor to the carousel.

McKilligan said it looks like the carousel was rotary powered and was likely driven by a tractor years ago.

According to Mapes Auction President Dave Mapes, the carousel is a piece of history and would be an asset to the Southern Tier.

"It was made in the 1920's from a company in North Tonawanda, NY called Herschell and Spillman and they made many carousels, in fact they made most of the ones that are in the Broome County area now," Mapes said.

The carousel is from Skyline Park in Tioga Center, when the park closed in 1980's, the staple was transported to a park in Massachusetts.

Wendell Garrison, from Nichols, is a brother of the owners of Skyline Park. Garrison drove to Massachusetts and picked up the carousel after that park closed.

For the past two decades, the carousel sat in Garrison's garage.

McKilligan said he isn't sure exactly what he is going to do with the carousel, but he is thinking about keeping it in the Southern Tier.

Most of the bidders were from New York and Pennsylvania, the farthest was a bidder from Oregon, who called in on the phone.