Treasure hunting south of North Platte

Pure Nebraska
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 3:58 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Grain Bin Antique Town offers visitors a chance to shop for antiques inside old-time grain bins, and the business is on the Nebraska Tourism passport program this year.

We visited with Pat Clinch who owns and operates this antique town. “My wife Lori was always excited about antiques,” Clinch said. “We always went to antique shops, mainly in Nebraska. That’s what we did when we traveled, even with the kids. We started out with one grain bin we’d seen on a farm near Paxton. We moved it in here, thinking we’d use it as a sitting room. That got our theme going. A year later, we saw 14 grain bins on one farm near Palisade. We asked the owner if he wanted to sell. He said sure, so we moved them here. Lori asked me what we would be doing with all of these grain bins, and I said we’ll start an antique town.”

Apparently these particular grain bins have some history surrounding them. Some experts say President Roosevelt issued grain bins like these to farmers before World War II, to help store grain away from the cities. The bins were delivered to farmers in kits, so the floors are in sections and the walls are in sections. Apparently, farmers would bolt them together on site. “We had to move quite a bit of dirt up from the canyon to level off a place for all of these grain bins,” Clinch said. “Our big shop at the time was framed up, but wasn’t finished on the inside when we got started. Now it’s finished, and we have a lot of square footage for antiques. Plus, there are a total of 20 grain bins on site.”

“We have consignors who keep the grain bins stocked with antiques,” Clinch said. “My wife Lori passed away a year ago last February. Just to keep her spirit alive, we decided to keep the Grain Bin Antique Town going.” Some people may remember Lori as a columnist in the North Platte newspaper. “She did that for 20 years, which is pretty remarkable,” Clinch said.

“People can find authentic antiques here,” Clinch said. “We don’t really deal with craft items or things like that. We want authentic, restored items and furniture. Crocks are a big item, old steel wheels, anything repurposed is pretty popular.” If you’d like to visit Grain Bin Antique Town, the business is usually open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can always check the business Facebook page for any updates on that.