Camping Harold Warp Pioneer Village in Nebraska
Camp Nebraska: I’m talking with Marshall today. He’s going to tell us about Harold Warp Pioneer Village in Nebraska. Marshall, why don’t you get us started with a little bit of background on Harold Warp Pioneer Village? I’m looking online here and it looks like there’s quite a bit to cover.
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Marshall: Yeah, the Pioneer Village – actually we’re starting our 61st year. We opened in June of 1953 with a few thousand items on display and we’re currently up to over 50 thousand items displayed in 26 buildings on 20 acres of ground.
CN: So, the main goal there: clearly it seems to kind of take people back in time to see what it was like to live roughly 100+ years ago.
Marshall: Yeah, we show history and progress, beginning around 1830. We do have some things earlier than that. And then we come up to today and today’s modern activities. So, our displays are setup in chronological order, and so you can begin looking at a grease lamp from hundreds of years ago and end up with an LED light at the end of the exhibit. You start with a hand cart at the beginning of the exhibit and end up, by the time you get through the museum, in the Corvettes.
Marshall: So it really does lay things out and you can see the dramatic progress that our country has made, our people have made from the open heart to the microwave.
CN: Yeah, and nothing takes the place of seeing all those items in person either. I mean you can read a lot of different articles about progress, but to actually walk through the museum and see everything must be a completely different experience.
Marshall: It really is. These are the actual artifacts. They’re not reproductions. So, as you walk by, for example, that handcart out in front, you can see where the handles have been worn down from use, from years and years of use and miles and miles of pulling that thing across the prairies. And when you look at the ’57 Chevy Lay or the ’63 Impala Biscayne, they all had unique characteristics and our goal is to preserve them as they were, more than it was to restore them to showroom. Most of our exhibits are as the common person – the everyday person – would have had them in their home or in their garage, or as they used them in work.
CN: Very cool. Now, how long is it going to take me to come and take all of this in?
Marshall: If you just want to walk through the museum, you can walk through in an hour or two. You won’t see the detail. You won’t be able to read all of the material about each one of the exhibit items that is posted there for you to read, because we do have over 350 automobiles, 100 tractors, and 20 airplanes. So, there’s a lot to see. If you would like to stay over, we do have a motel right next door. We have a campground right next door. We offer a two-day pass package that’s available. And so, you can spend as many days really as you would like here. We have older, retired individuals who often will stay three or four days or longer so they can really enjoy everything that’s here.
CN: Sure. Now, tell me a little bit about the campground. That was kind of the reason for chatting with you today; to kind of figure out what the amenities are there. So, is it tent camping all the way up to RV camping?
Marshall: That’s correct. That’s correct. We have a nice tent camping area. We have a nice, shaded, grassy RV parking and camper parking with pads. They’re rock pads. They’re not concrete. They’re rock pads, but a lot of grass. A lot of trees. And of course a shower house is available as well. We do have Wi-Fi available to the campground as well.
CN: Okay. Marshall, what’s the best time of year to visit the Harold Warp Pioneer Village?
Marshall: Well, we’re open every day except for Christmas Day itself. So, we won’t close again until December 25th of next year for one day. But the spring, summer and fall are all good times to visit the museum. We are open all winter long, but Nebraska is similar to you, in Minnesota.
Marshall: And it gets a little cold out here in December and January and February, but we are open. Our 26 buildings are open.
CN: Okay, so the bulk of everything is inside.
Marshall: Almost everything is inside, so you don’t have to walk through any exhibits that are outside. We do have some larger pieces of equipment outside that you can look at, but virtually everything is inside a building. And the campground, though we shut the water off in the late fall, of course for obvious reasons, we do provide electrical services in the campground year round.
CN: Okay, two more questions for you, Marshall. Since you spend a fair amount of time there and you are very well acquainted with Harold Warp Pioneer Village, if you were going to spend just one hour in the Pioneer Village, which section would you go to? What’s your favorite one?
Marshall: Well, my favorite one – I would do the automobiles and the aircraft. Those kinds of things. Now, my wife on the other hand would probably be in the crafts and in the China, and in those areas. The historical buildings and the old general store with hundreds of items hung out for sale.
CN: Okay, and last question. If you were going to spend just one night at Harold Warp Pioneer Village in Nebraska, which specific site would you stat at in the campground and why?
Marshall: I probably would spend that night in the low teens. Our sites are numbered and I would probably stay in the low teens, and that’s simply because there’s lot of shade, close to the shower houses, and easy access. They’re pull-throughs. So, that’s probably where I’d stay.
CN: Okay, perfect. Well, Marshall, thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to tell us more about Harold Warp Pioneer Village in Nebraska.
Marshall: Thank you so much.