Friday, May 2, 2014

Pioneer Village and The Archway

We played tourist today and saw both of these places. With over 250 pictures downloaded from my camera, how do I choose which to share? And, even if I shared them all, it still wouldn’t be like you seeing the places yourself. So, I’ll choose only a few and encourage everyone to come see these interesting sites for yourselves.

The first building of Pioneer Village contains more than 10,000 items, mostly buggies, cars and planes, arranged in chronological order.


Here are some of my favorites. First, a carretta from Sicily.


A fancy buggy.


A replica of the Wright brothers’ first plane.


Surry with fringe on top.


Steam train.


Private stage coach, with clothes worn by the coachmen.


The Cadillac built by the Ford Motor Co. It “will go up any grade of any well-traveled road, without balk – most-time without change of gear.”


Curved dash Oldsmobile, 1904.


1928 Model “A,” the first car to have safety glass, introduced to compete with the Chevrolet.


1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II.


Enough about cars! Just one more set of facts I learned: Louis Chevrolet (1880-1941) was born in Switzerland and arrived in the U.S. in 1900. He was a rather wild race driver, but a good mechanic, who later started designing cars that we now call “Chevys.”


There are lots of horse-drawn wagons, including a hearse.


Milk wagon.


General merchandise, groceries, etc.


An early RV, the Gypsy Wagon, 1850. It was equipped with a stove and sleeping accommodations. It was tradition to burn the wagon along with the owner’s other belongings when he died, so this type of wagon is now scarce.


There’s a San Francisco Cable Car.


And an electric trolley car from Fort Collins, CO.


How about a 1967 amphicar? This is the only one ever built for private use.


The propellers can be seen in the mirrors.


After making our way through all of this, we opted not to visit the three other buildings containing 300 more cars!

There’s a hot air balloon basket from WWI, not very different from those in use today.


This hand-crocheted dress (on left) impressed me, since I crochet. But I never made anything like this!


The United States quilt was made by a local Nebraska woman. Every one of the 50 states is represented with the state bird, state flower, name of the state, date and sequence of admission to the Union. The map in the center shows where the capital of each state is located.



Outside, about 15 more buildings surround a round, grassy, treed area.




Pioneer Village was built by Harold Warp. He dedicated it to his parents, John Nielson (misspelled on the picture) Warp and Helga Johannesen Warp. It was interesting to read that his father’s name was John Nielsen and he came to the U.S. from Warp, Norway In the late 1800’s. Because there were seven other Nielsens in the neighborhood, he came to be known as John Nielsen Warp. The couple married in 1880, and bore twelve children. She was 14 years younger than her husband, and immigrated from Bergen, Norway, with her brother when she was sixteen.


To keep this blog from becoming too long, I’ll save the rest of the pictures from the village for another day.

We also visited The Great Platte River Road Archway in nearby Kearney.


That full story will also appear in another blog post. I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek at the fascinating day we had!


  1. Did you imagine there'd be so much! Did you do the maze at the arch? You can walk down to that campground from the arch. It's a good thing you use a digital camera.

  2. I love going through museums like this. Thank you for sharing your pictures.Being a retired funeral director I especially liked the picture of the horse drawn hearse.

  3. I will be driving past that archway next week on my way home from Milwaukee. Took I-90 here and I-80 back. Safe travels to you and Don.

  4. Did you notice most of the exhibits were presented in chronological order? Luke was also impressed by the "legal" transfer of all the vehicles in the collection. Warp was big on details. The steam locomotive was the same one that passed his house (or school) every day. Like much of the local buildings and equipment, Warp did not want them destroyed so he bought them and then moved them into the Village he created.

  5. If you ever get back to that area you can also visit the Stuhr Museum in Grand Island, . Nebraska is not boring.

  6. Love it! Will have to put that one on our list.

  7. Harold Warp invented someting that is used yet today but for the life of me I can't remember what it is. It's history was in a corner of one of those buildings being a modest man that he was. Great place....It's worth going out of your way to see even a second time. See Ya Dennis Hill.....

  8. What a terrific museum. Thanks for a great tour and the wonderful photos. Too bad most of those Gypsy wagons were all burned.


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