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 world’s oldest Buick (a 1905 beauty), the first Bell P-59 jet from 1942 and dozens of exhibits showcasing America’s scientific achievements and inventions.
Harold Warp’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.
Harold Warp’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.
For more information, call 800-445-4447 or visit www.pioneervillage.org