Harold Warp Pioneer Village is a historic complex located at east US Highway 6 in Minden, Nebraska and is just 12 miles south of I-80 from exit 279. The museum entrance is at the North East corner of the intersection of US 6 & 34 and Nebraska highway 10. This visitor attraction is open all year round except Christmas Day, opening between 9am and 4.30pm in winter, whilst the summer hours are 8am to 6pm.
The village features 28 buildings on 20 acres containing over 50,000 historic items restored to operating order and displayed for visitors to enjoy. Included amongst this are 12 historic buildings around the circular green, a Pony Express Station, an Iron Horse, and a home made of sod. Essentially the village is a huge museum named after its founder, the plastics tycoon Harold Warp, with many artifacts for visitors to look at including an original art collection featuring 25 Currier and Ives prints, 23 Jackson paintings and the largest single collection of Rogers statues.
The main building houses over 10,000 items and helps guide visitors through the development of transportation, lighting, guns, money and many other facets of American life. Elsewhere transport is featured quite heavily with 17 historic flying machines, 100 antique tractors and 350 or so antique cars including the world's oldest Buick, a 1902 Cadillac and a 1903 Ford. Visitors will also see Elm Creek Fort, which was built in 1869 as a dwelling and community fort to protect against Indian attack.
Built in 1884 the church was the first in Minden and still houses the original pews, pulpit and organ, whilst the school is furnished with its original desks, books, stove and certificates to record Harold Warp's perfect school attendance. A general store and a toy store are stocked with original items from all those years ago too. Visitors can take a ride on the oldest merry-go-round in the United States, which is steam powered and still only costs a nickel a turn.
The Fire House shows the changes to fire-fighting equipment over the years, with the handcart through to the modern fire trucks displayed here. Farming is represented through the Antique Farm Machinery Building, which is 265 feet long and shows the changes in plowing, cultivating, seeding, harvesting and threshing equipment including a big 1890 s combine pulled by 30 horses. The Pony Express Station is an authentic log building moved to this site from Bridgeport, where it originally served as Pumpkinseed relay station to the Black Hills.
Visitors will find snacks and refreshments such as coffee, ice cream, soft drinks, candy and sandwiches at the snack bar, which opens during the summer months only. There is also a full-service restaurant and lounge with a carry out catering service available. For those wishing to stay overnight or longer the village runs its own 90 room Pioneer Village Motel, whilst outdoor lovers may like to try out one of 135 campground spaces.