How It All Began: A Wife's Survival or Revenge

| September/October 1992

  • IHC memorabilia display
    A peek inside the IHC memorabilia display.

  • IHC memorabilia display

Country Relics Little Village and 'Homestead was derived from the collections of the wife of a gas engine and tractor collector. The replicated little village is furnished to the finest detail with small sized collectibles, children's furnishings, salesmen's samples, and toys in the era of the early 1900s.

Varlen Carlson's collections began with gas engines and full sized tractors nearly 40 years ago. His collection includes mostly engines, tractors and memorabilia related to the five companies which merged in 1902 to form the International Harvester Company : 1) McCormick Harvesting Machine; 2) Deering Harvester; 3) Milwaukee Harvester; 4) Warder, Bushnell & Glesner; and 5) Piano Harvester.

The Carlsons are as surprised as most everyone else, and are at a loss for words to explain how they ended up with a complete village in their backyard. What started out as a playhouse for the grandchildren became, as noted by Carlson, 'a hobby that got out of hand.'

On September 26, 1992, the Country Relics Little Village and Homestead will host its first annual, scaled model of yesteryear threshing bee in keeping with the village's diminutive sizing. If you are interested in forming an association for scale models of yesteryear or know of others who might be, plan now to join this one-of-a-kind event, located at Country Relics Little Village and Homestead.

Country Relics Little Village and Homestead is located on Iowa Highway 17, 1? miles north of Stanhope, 10 miles south of Webster City, or 12 miles west of Interstate 35, Exit 133. Contact: Fern & Varlen Carlson, Proprietors (515)826-3491.