Bee Barn

Ed Eckley built the Bee Barn at the corner of 9th and M streets (on Lake Street), using the plans of Melvin Moore. It was constructed by local carpenter L.G. Woods and crew.

What is all the buzz about lately at the Burt County Museum? Many interesting subjects come and go quickly throughout the day, and one can learn so much it makes her head spin, meaning mine! There is so much information here it is hard to keep track of it. Not too long ago, Curator Bonnie asked if I knew where the old “Bee Barn” was located. Of course, having no clue where it was, she proceeded to tell me and now I will share the history with you.

The barn is located right here in Tekamah within the city limits. You may have passed by it a time or two without even noticing it or without ever knowing what it was used for long ago. This barn had never been used for the usual and expected purpose of a barn. Its only active use back then was for the processing of honey. It is located on Lake Street at the corner of 9th and M. To many of the “old-timers” it is still referred to as the Bee Barn.

The plans for the barn came from Melvin Moore, father of Frank and Rex Moore. Ed Eckley, father of “Pook” Eckley, had seen Melvin’s barn at his farm a mile west of Tekamah and liked it so much that he borrowed the plans to build one just like it. According Pook, it was built sometime around 1925. The barn was constructed by a local carpenter by the name of L.G. Woods and his crew. They also built the two barns at the Moore farm. The lower part of the barn is masonry and the upper half is wooden. At the time it was built, it was on the east edge of Tekamah. However, as time marches on the town has grown around it. I have often driven by it thinking it would make a cute little home with a darling little loft in it, but that’s just where my mind goes these days.

During the time Ed owned the barn he was a beekeeper. The upper floor was used for storage. The lower floor was divided in half. On the east side is where he would extract and process the honey. The west side housed hoop nets and other fishing equipment. Pook also remembered him storing tools, oil, supplies and equipment for his corn sheller, which was kept just north of the barn. To the south of the barn was a huge garden. Back in those days everybody had one.

If you get the time, I would advise you to watch a video of honey harvesting. It is very interesting and you will learn how important those little honeybees are to our environment.

There are many more tidbits about these old little businesses throughout our communities. The towns of Burt County are full of them and I will try to write about some more in the future. I always say, “If only these trees could talk. What a story they would tell!”

References: Burt County Museum Files

Burt County Museum plans to open to the public on Tuesday, Aug. 4. Regular hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m. – BY APPOINTMENT ONLY by emailing to or call 402-374-1505.

Memorials – Steve and Jaccie Mencke of Herman gave in memory of Dale Brodersen of Herman, Elvera Walker, Mary Lou Beard, George Wood, Henry Doncheski, John Potter and Gerald D. Wortman. Gerald and Elaine Holmberg of Norfolk gave in memory of Anthony and Helen Morian.

Giving in memory of Ralph Anderson Jr. – Renee and Diana Creswell of Shakopee, Minn., John and Patty Wilson of Craig, Gary and Ila Davis of Papillion, Jon and Ann Sedlacek of Blair, Vicki Ahmann of Fort Calhoun, Alan and Connie Faltys of Omaha, Roy and Sarah Miller of Oakland, Brian and Sarah Zahm of Omaha, Bob and Leanne Maxwell of Ainsworth, Mary Kahlandt, Dan and Mackenzie Kahlandt, Brad and Barb Ray, Denny and Jan Kjeldgaard, Richard and Jane Elske, Denzel and Lois Weatherly, Harry and Linda Bisanz, Bob and Gloria Breckenridge, Kathy B. Ray, Van and Bonnie Newell, Margaret Rasmussen, Larry and Rosie Gregerson, Paul and Kim Jackson, Larry Nelson, Donna Mock, Bruce Robertson, Gail and Leanne Dorathy, Dennis and Janis Connealy, Denis and Marlene Kaeding, Floyd and Anne Sheets, First Northeast Bank of Nebraska, Jack and Linda Hovendick, Historic Bryant House Board of Directors and anonymous.

A donation was received from Jon and Terri Tennis of West Linn, Ore.