For years, I saw the signs all along Interstate 80 encouraging travelers to exit the highway to visit Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska. At one time, it was a major tourist attraction.
I always figured it was a tourist trap and therefore never took the 20 mile round trip detour to see it. However, during this road trip I wanted to make an effort to see mostly things that I haven't seen before.
Pioneer Village is NOT a tourist trap. Instead, it is a massive museum consisting of 28 buildings and more than 50,000 collectibles. Many of these items are incredibly valuable. I was stunned at the size of the place. There are more than 350 vintage cars, 17 planes and 150 tractors. There is also a tremendous amount of random stuff...collections of barbed wire, knives, old appliances of every kind...you name it. There are tens of full sized kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, dens, etc.
But, the place has seen better days. I was there for three hours...and was one of three visitors for most of that time. I was told that all of the buildings were dark...but that I could enter any of them and turn on the lights--just be sure to turn the lights off as I exited.
I kept walking and walking (for miles according to my Apple watch)...entering yet another building with rows and rows of cars or tractors or whatever. And these buildings are massive...and have more than one level. I was the only one in the buildings. It was kind of eerie...but fun.
One time I left a building and turned off the lights...and someone from upstairs yelled out because they couldn't see a thing. I didn't realize that there was another visitor in there.
I didn't do the place justice by any means with my photography. But, here are some random images from my visit.
© Glenn Nagel Photography