Submitted By Lois Terhurne
The Kremer House will be celebrating a “Beary Merry Christmas” this year thanks to Marla Nelson Hueper, of Minneapolis, who is sharing her collection of Dayton’s Santa Bears. She brought 46 different bears to display throughout the rooms of the Kremer House during the holiday season.
Marla worked for Dayton’s in Minneapolis and then later in St. Paul. She bought her first bear for $10 with a $25 purchase the day after Thanksgiving. She started a collection that would span two decades. She noted that once a person becomes a collector, they could call and put in an order to reserve a bear.
In 1994, Dayton’s came out with a 10-year anniversary bear—gold with a crown, limited edition. When Marla called to put in her order to get this special edition bear, she spent a lot of time on the phone just trying to get through to place her order.
After a few years, Dayton’s was sold to Marshall Fields and Macy’s later bought out Marshall Fields. They continued to sell the bears until 2007 when they discontinued making them.
An aviator bear and airplane that came out around 1988 is also on display at the Kremer House. That is also the year the Miss Bear was introduced. In 2000, the wedding bears—Mr. and Mrs. Bear—were introduced, and they complement wedding dresses and suits that are also on display. In 2002, twin bears, Berry and Bella, were introduced.
Marla also bought and collected the tree ornaments which she has shared with the Kremer House as well.
Marla’s husband and children were disappointed to hear that she had loaned out her bear collection this year as the bears have always been part of their Christmas decor.
It’s worth a trip to Minnesota Lake to take a step back in time and enjoy the Santa Bear collection and festive holiday decorations that adorn the rooms at the historic Kremer House.
Minnesota Lake’s Hometown Christmas will be celebrated Saturday, Dec. 15, with the Kremer House’s annual cookie sale fundraiser beginning at 12 p.m. The cookie sale will be held as carolers fill the halls at the Kremer House with a variety of holiday music. Door prizes for adults and children will be given away also.
At 1 p.m., Santa will arrive on a fire truck at the Kremer House and listen to the Christmas wishes of the children. The Minnesota Lake Lions have prepared Santa’s treat bags for all the children.
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