Americana to the Max

By: Mollie Manuell

Where can you ride an old steam-powered merry-go-round for a nickel?

Not many places!

I know of one. At Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska.

Pioneer Village is Harold Warp's tribute to America's progress. When he made a fortune on his plastic invention (Flex-O-Glass - used for poultry house windows and winter protection on house windows and doors) he started buying up a bunch of things.

All sorts of things.

A firehouse. Buffalo Bill's Saddle. Automobiles. Hat pins. A Pony Express station. A pump organ. Dolls. Oh, yes, and a steam-powered carousel. Over 50,000 things.

Exhibits, like the transportation exhibit, are arranged in chronological order. He started the process with the 1830s and went up to the 1960s. More or less. That's the general outline, anyway. Some items go back further and some are newer.

Follow the evolution of a kitchen from the 1830s to the 1950s.

Check out an old country store, complete with its merchandise.

During the summer you can attend a short Sunday service in Minden's first church built in 1884.

Ponder over 500 agricultural implements in the order of their development, including John Deere's first plow.

Check out the "see-thru" bee-hive.

See how fire-fighting equipment went from a handcart to the modern fire truck in the firehouse.

In the Home Appliance Building you can see how washing machines and refrigerators evolved through the decades.

There are collections galore: Dolls, toys, hat pins, buttons, canes.

See a locomotive, a caboose and the train depot.

There is all sorts of stuff. On the 20 acres of Pioneer Village there are 25 buildings full of stuff.

There is so much stuff to see, that your second day there is free!

There is also a motel and campground at Pioneer Village making it a great road trip destination.



Pioneer Village is at 138 E. Hwy 6, Minden, Nebraska. They are open every day except Christmas.

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