At the northern edge of Minden, Neb., this display of authentic Americana stretches for 20 acres and covers more than 180 years of history. It boasts the worldâ€™s oldest Buick (a 1905 beauty), the first Bell P-59 jet from 1942 and dozens of exhibits showcasing Americaâ€™s scientific achievements and inventions.Â
Harold Warpâ€™s Pioneer Village opened in 1953 and now contains more than 50,000 historical items. Among its 28 buildings are 12 preserved structures including a Pony Express relay station, the original Elm Creek stockade and an authentic pioneer sod house. Visitors can experience the one-room schoolhouse, old-time drugstore, cobbler shop and general store, and even ride the 1879 steam-operated carousel for a nickel.
Warp, who was born in 1903 and raised in a Nebraska sod house, became an inventor and founded Flex-O-Glass, a Chicago-based plastics firm that developed Jiffy Wrap and Jiffy Bags. A millionaire, Warp bought his hometown schoolhouse, church, railroad station and the original U.S. Government Land Office, and later created his pioneer village.Â
Harold Warpâ€™s Pioneer Village operates a campground with more than 50 full- or partial-hookup sites. The village is open year-round, seven days a week. Admission is $13 for adults, $7 for children.Â
For more information, call 800-445-4447 or visit www.pioneervillage.org