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Friday, May 6, 2016

Cherokee Farm Toy Show is Sunday

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The dedicated Cherokee Farm Toy Show organizers meet each year to assemble their limited edition souvenir tractor-trailers, in preparation for the annual show at the Cherokee Community Center. Left to right, Al Henn, Bob Mahler, Evan Knapp, and Jim Nelson. Photo by Paul Struck
17th annual show features master craftsman

The 17th annual Cherokee Farm Toy Show is scheduled for Sunday, March 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the newly renovated Cherokee Community Center on West Bluff Street in Cherokee.

The popular Cherokee show attracts hundreds of visitors and dozens of toy vendors to Cherokee each spring for collectors to buy, sell, and trade toys and related collectibles.

Dealer (vendor) tables are available at $12.50 each and are 8-feet long. Set up is from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, March 28, and 7-9 a.m. Sunday, March 29, the day of the show.

This year's show will have a very special flavor, with noted master craftsman Jim DeBoer of Orange City displaying his incomparable wood carvings of favored farm and other toy replicas.

"Amazing, so real, and I've never seen anything like it," are just some of the comments DeBoer always hears when people first see and touch his wooden replicas.

DeBoer's projects begin with a plain piece of pine, before he gets busy with his coping saw, wood files, and sand paper transforming the wood into farm machinery complete with moving parts.

While farming many years ago, DeBoer began handcrafting Jeeps for his sons' GI Joes, and a doll house for his daughter. Discovering his talents, he began to expand his craft and his first true-to-scale project was a manure spreader that actually worked with moving parts, including beaters that threw sawdust. Of course, the manure spreader then needed a tractor and one thing led to another until he was churning out incredible replicas of farm machinery and other vehicles - all done in wood!

DeBoer's machinery lines tell a story of agriculture, with oats binders, threshing machines, hay racks with miniature oat bundles, triple box wagons, carved figures holding pitchforks and shovels, etc.

He's even crafted a Peterbilt truck tractor that an opened cab door reveals a key in the ignition, and a dashboard with all the dials. There's even an extra pair of boots in the sleeper cab under the mattress!

He's also crafted a JD 4720 self-propelled sprayer that has booms extending to six feet, with foam markers on the boom ends. A look inside the cab is so detailed, there's a cup holder on the dash. The steering wheel tilts, and the ladder comes out. DeBoer estimates that he put more than 250 hours in the sprayer.

None of DeBoer's toys are for sale and through the years he has competed in many Midwest shows and visits area nursing homes where the "WOW" factor continually passes the test.

For more information on the Cherokee Farm Toy Show, contact organizers Jim Nelson at Bomgaars at 225-5156, Al Henn at 225-3696, Bob Mahler at 225-2443, of Evan Knapp at 225-4115.

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