- Associated Press - Saturday, September 26, 2015

PAWNEE CITY, Neb. (AP) - The Pedal Clinic is like the holy ground for restored pedal tractors and pedal cars.

The tall and pitched ceilings, white walls, hardwood floors, stained glass and arch windows emit a clean and peaceful atmosphere for the more than 700 toys.

Paths are cleared between isles of toy tractors and cars posed on rows of shelves and parked on the floor, many with dolls in the driver seats. Lamps, quilts, smaller toys and other items fill display cases and the tops and corners of shelves and floors.

The free toy museum in Pawnee City opened in 2002, the Beatrice Sun (https://bit.ly/1UZwELP ) reported. Its name is inspired by the medical clinic that filled the space after it was a longtime church.

The collection by owners Bill and Elsie Sunneberg started in the 1950s.

“Our kids had a pedal tractor and it disappeared,” Bill said. “10 years after I decided it was gone, I found it in the ditch where I put the trash. It was made of aluminum which doesn’t rust, so I dug it up and re-did it.”

That was in the 1950s. Bill said the cars and tractors are still made today but not to the degree of quality they were back then.

The restoration process includes stripping the surface, sand blasting, fresh paint and other, more detailed tasks.

“I keep them on the shelf,” Bill said. “We have a couple at home that our grandchildren like. And we’ll take them to the Harvest Fest. Give the kids something to do.”

Pedal cars are more difficult to restore than pedal tractors, Bill said.

Though the toys can sell for several thousands of dollars, none are for sale.

“We’ll pass them along to our kids,” Elsie said. “We already have some put in their names. They have no problem with that. At first, they thought it was goofy. But my two girls encouraged me to buy this space.”

Elsie, one of nine children, and Bill, one of 12, didn’t have toys growing up.

The toy tractors fill the main floor and basement of the old church. A high shelf that runs along the walls of the garage acts as overflow space for more pedal tractors and cars.

“We’re done shopping until we see something else,” Bill said.

The floor of the garage holds automobiles that Bill has also spent time restoring.

The Pedal Clinic is an integral part of the community.

“I know they’d like to see it stay here after we’re gone,” Bill said. “It brings visitors. A lot of people stop during the year. We get a lot of visits during the summer.”

The museum does hold regular business hours. Visitors can call 402-852-2655 or 402-852-6195 and the couple will happily open it up.

The Sunnebergs said about 800 visitors from around the world, including Japan, Ireland and Africa, visit the museum each year.


Information from: Beatrice Sun, https://www.beatricedailysun.com

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