By Denise Moran, The Courier-News
GENOA -- Longtime resident Roger Watson is adding local interest to the Genoa City Hall front lobby with a display of his wooden trucks and tractors.
"Mayor Todd Walker wanted to put something in the lobby," Watson said. "Some of the trucks and tractors are homemade, while others were made during World War II. Some of them are very rare."
Watson is a farm toy collector. He buys, sells, trades, customizes and repairs farm toys, and builds wooden models. He has a collection of around 300 1/16-scale farm tractors. He was one of the founders, with Merle Roberts and Warren Brown, of Genoa's annual Pioneer Day at the Kishwaukee Valley Heritage Society museum along Park Avenue.
"I like John Deere and Minneapolis-Moline tractors the best," Watson said. His display will be at city hall this week. "It's a good hobby."
Some of Roger's model farm equipment was displayed in shop windows during Genoa's Harvest Moon Festival.
Watson, who moved to Genoa in 1964, grew up on a farm as one of the oldest children in a family of five boys and two girls.
"My mom asked me to fix some of our toys," Watson said. "I've always repaired things, even as a kid."
The skills he learned while growing up on a farm have provided him with both hobbies and an interest in pioneer life.
"My grandfather was a wheelwright," Watson said. "He got me interested in wood carving. I've been making wooden spoons since I was 9 years old."