From settling out west because of the Homestead Act to exciting encounters with Buffalo Bill, Jim Marston can trace his lineage in America back to 1637. His family even has a township named after them in North Dakota: Marstonmoor.


With a family as American as apple pie, it's only fitting that Marston would find himself fascinated with collecting farm tractors.


"They were always a love of mine," Marston explained at his Oak Hills estate, where he keeps many of his vintage tractors.


Marston, 76, has lived in Oak Hills for the past 21 years but has been an avid tractor collector for many more. Ranging from a 1486 International tractor to a 1935 Silver King, Marston owns 33 tractors and enters them into area competitions.


Before moving to California, Marston grew up in the small town of Woodworth, N.D., where tractors were necessary in maintaining his family's farm. His fascination with tractors all started at the age of nine, when his father bought a new 1947 Minneapolis Moline "R." Ever since, Marston has remained interested in these iconic farming instruments.


After his father's death, Marston moved to Glendora but didn't forget to take his "farm boy" attitude with him. While tractors had no place in the business of his California hardware stores, he could not seem to separate himself from them.


By the time he moved to the High Desert, he'd collected eight tractors and began entering them into tractor shows. As Marston's collection grew, so did his opportunities to travel to new places and meet new people.


"I've met so many people from these tractors," Marston said, with a list of people that includes Sally Struthers.


Now Marston keeps himself occupied with the High Desert Antique Power Association, where tractor enthusiasts like him can meet on a weekly basis.


As for the 33 tractors, Marston still enters them in various different fairs and auto shows. In May, the tractors were displayed in the 6th Annual Tractor & Car Show and Strawberry Festival at the Cal Poly Pomona Farm Store, where more than 10,000 spectators showed up.


It is easy to see that after 76 years Marston has stayed true to his farm roots. And in a unique way, his love for tractors has added its own chapter to a distinguished family history.