Truly a wonderful museum.
“For thousands of years man lived quite simply. Then like a sleeping giant our world was awakened. In a mere hundred and twenty years of eternal time man progressed from open hearth, grease lamps and ox carts to television, super sonic speed, and atomic power. We have endeavored to show you the actual development of this astounding progress as it was unfolded by our forefathers and by ourselves.”
—Harold Warp, Founder
Plan a trip today!Pioneer Village has something to fascinate every member of the family... Your visit will be HIGHLY EDUCATIONAL, INTERESTING, and ENTERTAINING. It's the only Museum of Progress in the United States where you can "See How America Grew." This wonderful museum includes thousands of items placed in their chronological order of development.
If you are a history buff, or have any interest in Americana or industry, you'll surely benefit from a trip to Pioneer Village, south to Minden, Nebraska. Here within 20 acres, are over 50,000 pieces of Americana in 26 buildings. Many of the buildings were plucked from their country settings and restored here. Modern display halls hold selected treasures. Most of the antiques are arranged according to when they were used.
More about Pioneer Village
The one-room country school house, used until 1935, still contains all of the original furnishings—desks, stove, school books and the water pail. The attendance records and grades of every child are preserved in an old bank vault in Pioneer Village.
You'll see a prairie church where services are still held every Sunday, June to September at 11:30 a.m. Nearby stands the Land Office building, where early settlers, most of them Scandinavian and German immigrants, filed their claims for this new land following the 1862 Homestead Act.
The Elm Creek Fort, built in 1869, was brought from Webster County where it stood inside a stockade which protected five families during the Indian Wars.
Also preserved around the village green are:
- The B&M Railroad Depot, complete with two early locomotives. (Parents, great for pictures of the kids!)
- A Pony Express station where Buffalo Bill's saddle rests in a glass case.
- The General Store, stocked with everything from button shoes and flintlock guns to calico and a glass cat on the cracker barrel to keep the mice away.
- An authentic pioneer sod house. Eleven acres of prairie sod make up the three foot thick walls. Clay "plastered" the walls.
The Village Green is arranged so that all of the original buildings can be seen with a minimum of walking.
But the Village Green and its buildings are only half of the story.
Over 50,000 items, large and small, are grouped chronologically in several large buildings. Harold Warp chose the year 1830 for the beginning of each exhibit, corresponding to when man learned to roll steel, draw wire and hold steam under pressure.
In these exhibits are most of the important scientific inventions used every day in homes, transportation, communications and agriculture. Signs which give facts about each exhibit and its place in history aid viewers.
The extensive transportation exhibit begins with an 1822 ox cart. Following, in order of their use, are an authentic "prairie schooner" wagon, a stagecoach, steam train, omnibus, horse-drawn street car, San Francisco cable car and an electric trolley car. The old livery stable reveals all the variations of buggies, carriages, coaches and carts. Today's child wonders at the ice wagon, sleigh, street sprinkler, peddlers wagon and gypsy wagon.
Pioneer Village boasts one of the best and most historic car collection in the country. 350 automobiles mark their evolution, starting with an 1897 steam car. Follow each make in its year-by-year development.
See how man learned to fly. Look over a full-size replica of the flying machine that started it all at Kitty Hawk. Pioneer Village also has the first Bell P-59 jet from 1942.
Farmers—see one of the largest farm-tractor exhibit in the world. Start with an 1830 treadmill and follow the development, including some of the largest steam tractors and earth-moving machines. See the evolution of plows, planters, cultivators, harvesters, threshers, shellers, and haying equipment, too.
Few homemakers can avoid feeling smug as they contrast their modern homes with old-time washing machines, refrigerators, and bathtubs. Here are five complete period kitchens showing how our ancestors cooked in a fireplace (1830), a wood-burning Franklin stove (1860), an iron cook stove with an oven door on each side (1890) and a stove that used natural gas (1930).
If you're a collector, be sure to visit the Hobby House. You'll see fine collections of a wide range of items. The art section is a true standout, with:
- a fine collection of western landscapes painted by William H. Jackson, "picture maker of the Old West
- one of the most complete collections of Rogers statues (72 out of 80) of people of the Civil War era. Modeled in clay, they are fragile and quite rare.
- 235 pieces of limited edition collectibles adapted from Norman Rockwell's paintings and illustrations.
- George Caitlin lithographs.
Children of all ages will love the old-time merry-go-round, built in 1879. Rides were only a nickel. Watch yarn being spun, rugs woven and brooms made. Take a walk in the past, to the old-time:
- doctor's office
- print shop
- barber shop
- cobbler shop
- and toy shop
Pioneer Village is a privately financed non-profit, self supporting educational foundation, open year round (except Christmas Day) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with extended summer hours from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pioneer Village is also one man's dream come to life. The seed was planted when 20 year old Harold Warp left home in 1924, taking with him only a patent for a new kind of plastic and his determination. Since Mr. Warp founded Pioneer Village in 1953, over 6 million people have visited.
Many folks linger longer than planned, so allow at least half a day for your visit. Stay as many days as you please, multiple day admission tickets are available. There is a 44-unit motel and campground right next door. Mr. Warp set it up so our children and our children's children will also be able to see here "How America Grew".