NORTH LIMA, Ohio (WKBN) — A beloved and valuable collection of model trains is up for grabs.
Austintown native Bernard Check collected trains starting in the 1970s, amassing thousands of them.
A year after his death, his family is now parting with the collection, which is valued at more than $130,000.
When Check’s daughter Brenda Rose thinks of Christmas, she thinks of her father’s trains.
“I can remember when I was younger, we had the old Santa Fe train around our tree,” Rose said. “Every Christmas, my dad would stop at the upholstery business in November and set up at least a dozen train tracks.”
Bernard Check would transform his shop into a Christmas train village and invite people to see.
“Even customers, he would tell them, ‘Come to my shop at Christmas, I have my trains running, and you should see them,'” Rose said.
Jeanette Check, Bernard’s wide, said his interest in trains all began when he served as a GI in Japan during World War II.
“He went from our area, to St. Louis and [had to leave] for California — and that was all by train,” Jeanette Check said.
Check worked in the steel mills of the Youngstown area, an influence that can be seen in the collection.
“There are some pieces that are Youngstown Sheet and Tube — steel mill stuff … for the steel mills that have closed and stuff. We have cars for many of them,” said auctioneer Jay Paul Basinger.
Basinger Auction will have a special open house from 3-6 p.m. Monday at its Market Street location.