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Old Machine Shed Houses Amazing Antique Collection
There is an old 1960’s steel building on Jim Berbaum’s Illinois homestead that isn’t anything special on the outside, but inside you’ll find 2,400 sq. ft. of history dating back to the late 1800’s.
“I love to go on trips and study history,” says Berbaum, “and I love to bring it back with me.” Inside the shed is where Berbaum spends much of his time keeping antique farm equipment, tools and treasures alive. He began collecting nearly 50 years ago when he acquired a primitive horse-drawn planter and many hand tools that his father had used in the early 1900’s.
“It’s been a lot of fun through the years, I tell ya,” he says with enthusiasm, “and it’s great that my wife of 60 years enjoys it, too.”
Berbaum’s collection has many kinds of stoves, blacksmith tools, a working forge, military memorabilia, along with small and large old farm equipment from auctions and places he’s visited. “I never wanted to see all these important pieces just laying in a pile,” he says, “You’ve got to be neat to be neat.”
The interior walls of Berbaum’s shed are covered with reclaimed wood planks from old farm buildings. “There are lots of 12-in. floorboards that make a nice backing, especially for all my pictures,” Berbaum says. He scrubbed the boards and smoothed out the rough spots before installing them. Antiques that he’s cleaned and restored cover just about every square foot of those walls.
“We have a lot of picnics here and take a lot of pictures together with friends and family,” Berbaum says. “The grandkids love looking at these things and getting rides on the old wooden wagons. I pull them with my original Farmall 706 tractor.”
In the winter he heats the place by firing up a potbelly coal stove, “similar to one you’d see in an old train depot,” Berbaum says. “Friends stop over, we brew our cowboy coffee, see who can tell the biggest lies, laugh a lot and solve the world’s problems surrounded by history. It’s a great place to hang out.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jim Berbaum, 1069 County Road 700 E., Champaign, Ill. 61822 (ph 217 355-0681).

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #6