There was a day when folks gathered around the potbelly stove in the general store to share news, tell stories and gossip. Today, that setting has changed to the local barbershop in small-town America. In the case of Sonner's Barber Shop in Hillsboro, Ohio, the potbelly stove has been replaced with farm equipment models.
Little did Marty Sonner and his fellow barber, Matt Butler, realize their collections would create such a draw. Along with a haircut, the farm toys became a gathering point for customers to jaw about their favorite farm equipment brand.
"We always thought our quality barbering was what customers came for. Evidently, the toy tractors were the customers' excuse to stop by," Marty chuckled.
Marty explained, "It all started a number of years ago, when Matt decided to put some of his John Deere tractors on display shelves in the barbershop. That's when I brought some of my collection in for display as well. This evolved into more than we ever anticipated. We became aware of more farm toy collectors than we could have imagined. It also became an exchange point for some to sell or barter their extra models."
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