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1,500 piece farm toy collection in Mercer County

Published: Sep. 4, 2021 at 4:18 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Loraine Zuern and her husband Herb shared a very special hobby. They’ve been collecting toy tractors since 1983. Herb turned into an avid collector, seeking out pieces he liked from all across the country.

“He kind of liked the old steamers, and some of the Fordsons, the ones he got to work with when he was a 9-year-old boy,” said Zuern.

Their collection grew and grew. By the end they totaled over 2,100 pieces. After her husband passed in 2012, Lorine asked the Mercer County Historical Museum if they would be interested in accepting their toys. Director Leilani Meyhoff was more than delighted to share the Zuern’s story.

“So we went out to the farm, and hand wrapped each toy, put them in totes brought them back. At that time there wasn’t anything else in this room, so we laid everything out on blankets on the floor,” said Meyhoff.

From there the Historical Society started planning out how to properly display the toys. Towns from all over the county donated, and members of the community pitched in to design and light the displays in the way they felt it deserved.

“It was a community effort. It’s just a wonderful collection,” said Meyhoff.

Zuern said the honor she feels in indescribable.

“I don’t think I can put it into words. Its special, very special,” said Zuern.

In Beulah, the Mercer County Historical Museum holds treasures that tell the history of its community. It is open on Wednesdays throughout the year.

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