Related topics

Barn treasures

February 7, 2018

For those interested in the history of Midwestern farming, there’s one barn in Liberty, Neb. that’s an absolute must-see.

Scheune Schatz, which translates to “barn treasures” in German, is a museum that boasts a collection of more than 5,500 pieces of farm equipment and tools dating all the way back to 1840. Many of the items in the museum are one-of-a-kind, rare finds that owner Roger Theye came across over the years.

“There’s things in this barn that I shouldn’t have,” Theye said. “I’m luckier than heck.”

After retiring from Dempsters in 2004, Theye constructed the barn between 2005 and 2006 to house his collection.The tools and farm equipment featured in the museum represent a lifelong hobby and fascination with farming practices used throughout Nebraska and the Midwestern United States.

“I’ve collected tools ever since back in the early 60s,” he said.

Theye has collected just about everything he can find, from cultivators, wrenches and tools, to pitchforks, potato diggers and hay presses. Theye also displays some of his own artwork that includes collages made out of hundreds of his wrenches.

Perhaps even more fascinating than the items themselves is how Theye brought some of the pieces into his collection. For instance, he stumbled across one cultivator years ago when he was cleaning up a property with his sons.

“One of those handles, just one of those handles was up even with the ground. The rest was all underneath it,” he said. “I dug that up and pulled it out of the ground, and that damn wheel turned when I got it out of the ground. It just happened.”

About two years ago, Theye hosted an open house at the museum and brought in visitors from as far away as Canada.

Today, visitors are still welcome to tour the museum, located at 201 Webster St. in Liberty. To set up an appointment, call Theye at 402-696-4351.