Grundy County Swiss farm museum burglarized

Staff photo by Ben Benton Grundy County Swiss Historical Society president Jackie Lawley on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, stands in the front yard of the Stoker-Stampfli Farm Museum in Gruetli-Laager. More than $6,600 worth of antiques and one-of-a-kind artifacts were taken in a burglary on Nov. 12 or 13.

Officials are investigating the recent theft of artifacts from the Stocker-Stampfli Farm Museum in Gruetli-Laager.

The theft was discovered Friday by a photographer using the 135-year-old farmhouse as a backdrop, according to a news release from the Grundy County Swiss Historical Society.

Finding the back door of the farmhouse bashed in, she reported the theft to the farm's caretaker, who notified local authorities and the museum's curator, the release stated.

The break-in is believed to have occurred sometime between Thursday night and Friday afternoon.

Jackie Lawley, president of the Grundy County Swiss Historical Society and curator of the museum, said the farmhouse was ransacked. Items stolen include china, crockery, farm implements, furniture and tools, boxes of T-shirts and flags, and a Husqvarna lawn mower.

This is the second theft at the farm.

In 2000, shortly after the death of Rose Marie Stampfli, who donated the farm to the society, thieves broke into the house and barn and took valuable antiques and farm equipment.

The recovery of the items, Lawley said, is the society's primary goal. She requested area antique dealers to be on the alert for anyone peddling furniture, china and tools that lack any kind of documentation of previous ownership.

Anyone with information on the burglary is asked contact the Grundy County Sheriff's office at 931-692-3466.