3. Harold Warp Pioneer Village, Minden, Nebraska

1406 50 miles from the Center of the USA
Harold Warp assembled what is called the largest private collection of Americana here in his hometown of Minden. The collection contains 50,000 everyday artifacts from 1830-1960 (mostly), housed in 26 buildings, and includes 12 historic buildings moved to the site and arranged around a village green, 350 antique cars (including the “second oldest Buick in the world”), and the largest collection of restored tractors. Warp’s fortune, spent largely on this museum, came from his company, Warp’s Plastics, a Chicago-based extruded polyethylene products manufacturer, making plastic sheeting used largely by the agricultural industry. His collection, though smaller, more quotidian, and rural, has similarities in form to Henry Ford’s museum and Greenfield Village, in Dearborn, Michigan. A sign above the door reads: “For thousands of years Man lived quite simply. Then, like a sleeping giant our world was awakened. In a mere hundred and twenty years of eternal time Man progressed from open hearths, grease lamps and ox carts to television, supersonic speed and atomic power.”