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Historical haven

Lee and Sandy Beer's project to preserve history on their farm makes it a favorite gathering spot for family, friends, and neighbors.
Lee and Sandy's general store is filled with items they've found over the years, such as candy containers and bolts of fabric, to give it an authentic look. Visitors sometimes contribute items for the couple to display.
The Beers collect antique and amusing signs. This sign is on the Amish wash house, one of their historical buildings.

The mayor of Hastings

People used to refer to Lee Beer's grandfather as "the mayor of Hastings," a title Lee himself has inherited. The title was meant as a joke, since Hastings, Indiana is nothing more than about a dozen houses and a church. In the past seven years, however, Lee and his wife Sandy have been making a small town of their own on their 40-acre home site. Piece by piece, the Beers brought historical buildings to their land to recreate an old-fashioned town.

"We enjoy antiques and history," Sandy says. "It's kind of a hobby that got out of hand." Lee and Sandy didn't have far to go when the moved to their farm in 1989 -- the couple had lived only about two miles away. They moved to take over the farm that belonged to Lee's grandfather, where they raise Holstein heifers and grow corn and soybeans.

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