Harold Warp Pioneer Village, a non-profit foundation museum at Nebraska, not only just for the pioneer time of American history, it covers from 1830 to present, on 28 buildings on 20 acres, more than 50,000 items from every field of human endeavor (the largest collection of historically arranged antique cars in USA et al).
Harold Warp (December 21, 1903 – April 8, 1994) was a businessman who also invented Flex-O-Glass. His life showed the story of American dream. He was born in a sod house in 1903 on a farm near Minden, Nebraska. As the youngest of twelve children born to an immigrant family from Norway, he lost his father, John Nelson Warp (1847-1907) at age of three, and lost his mother, Helga Johannesen Warp (1861-1916) at age of eleven. In 1924, he and two of his brothers moved to Chicago and started their business.
By the time he was 50, Harold Warp bought a dozen buildings from his hometown: schoolhouse, church, train depot…… and moved them into Minden, Nebraska for a museum to show how America grew.
This was the first time I had seen a sod house. President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Homestead Act on 1862 granted all U.S. citizens, or intended citizen 160 acre public land. The ownership of the land passed to the homesteader by paying a small filing fee, farming the land, and living on it for five years. People came from all over the world to take this opportunity. By 1900 over 600,000 claims had been filed.
The homesteaders faced many challenges. The land was flat and treeless. Building materials were scarce. Grass with densely packed roots that would hold the soil together were used to build the sod house. There were thousands of sod houses dotted the plains of North America. The sod house became symbolic of the pioneering spirit of Americans.
If you are interested in more about the Harold Warp Pioneer Village, here is the link: