In Search Of…A Place for the Kid at Heart 5/12/05

 

Hidden in the bluffs above Fountain City, Wisconsin, you’ll find one of the most unique places you’ll ever
see. “When you press him he says ‘meow’.”

Elmer and Bernadette Duellman have what probably any child would consider a dream job. Everyday they are
surrounded in toys. “These are all tootsie toys here.”

Elmer has a special love and appreciation for toys, especially ones with wheels, stemming all the way back to his
childhood when he didn’t have any. “We were too poor. There was 8 of us children.”

So when Elmer was about 19, he started collecting… “That’s a 68 camero.” and collecting…. “Lots of race
cars…” and collecting… “I have over 700 pedal cars.” Unntil finally one weekend in 1994 the Duellman’s opened up
their toy world to the real world and watched as grown-ups became kids again. “When they come here that go ‘oh my
god, I used to have one of those when I was young’.” “They are in awe. They can’t imagine that many toys.”

And so that year, Elmer’s Auto and Toy Museum was born. “Look at all the police cars! yeah I think I’ve been
picked up by all of them.”

Aisle after aisle you’ll see things you haven’t seen in years, and just when you think you’ve seen it all, you find
out there’s three more buildings explore. “They come here at 9:00 on a Saturday and they’ll be here ’til 5:00 still
looking and they ask if they can come back on Sunday.” “You get those people that are just astonished at all they can
see here.”

Elmer has no clue just how many toy treasures there are. “Thousands and thousands and thousands…I don’t
know.” But he will know if any of them are out of place! “I can tell you if one’s been moved. If I moved something
around you’d be able to tell??? Oh absolutly I would. Yes he knows.”

For Elmer and Bernadette, their life is toy story they want the whole world to share in. “It brings back memories
for people. It will trigger things that people haven’t thought about for years. So that’s really neat.”

So if you’re looking for a way to re-live your youth, head to Buffalo County and take a stroll down memory
lane.

We went In Search Of…a place for the young at heart… “Are you still just a kid at heart? oh
yeah. Definetly!” We found it.

Elmers Auto and Toy Museum opens for the season this weekend. For information on hours and directions call (608)
687-7221 or log onto their website
www.elmersautoandtoymuseum.com

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