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When was the last time you had to run to the store? We rely heavily on the convenience and efficiency of chain stores like Walmart and Target across the country.

With the evolution of grocery pick-up and amazon prime, shopping has become quicker, highly systematic, and impersonal. While life these days seems bustling and hectic, a quicker shopping process might seem like a no-brainer. But, there is actually value in a slower, personal, and more intimate shopping experience.

Back in the 1800s, the picture of shopping looked a lot different than today. Instead of Walmart, pioneers had what was called a “general store.” This was one of the only options to purchase goods such as clothing material, spices, tins, guns, and anything else needed. The general stores were also a meeting area for people in their towns, and oftentimes even doubled as a home for the people who owned and ran a general store. People also used these locations to share news and spend time with one another, playing games and enjoying each other’s company. The owner’s relationship with the customers was much closer than in the present day. People often had the option to trade as opposed to buying goods because of sparse funds during this time frame.

Pioneers traded things like crops or handmade goods. The general store was a true gem that not only provided goods but maintained meaningful relationships with its customers and served as much more than just a store.

While the array of shopping processes and the conveniences that Walmart, Amazon, and Target no doubt hold a special place in our 2021 hearts, you might wonder what it’s like to experience shopping pioneer style. Thankfully, Pioneer Village, located in Minden Nebraska, just off interstate 1-80, is home to a historical general store. Pioneer Village decided to re-create exactly what a general store would have looked and felt like in the 1800s. And not only do they offer an exact replica of an old-fashioned general store but it’s also filled with real artifacts from the pioneer days. When you walk up to the general store, you’ll be greeted with a replica of the storefront, and as you walk in you can experience what it would be like to shop as a pioneer. You’ll see a huge variety of goods like lamps, furniture, dishes, seed, gun material, washing machines, and even more. Pioneer village is home to artifacts you’ll find nowhere else, and an experience you and your family will never forget. While the general store is appealing to most and an experience of its own, Pioneer Village has so much more to offer than just the general store. It has a church, a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, and even more for a full experience. You can find over 28 buildings and 50,000 items. Pioneer village’s current hours going into winter are 9 am-4 pm, making it a perfect excursion for any road trip heading east or west or an excellent weekend getaway.

Minden and surrounding areas are home to multiple hotels and a campground for those traveling. The history that pioneer village holds is a priceless experience for everyone. So step away from the hectic world of consumerism for a day and enjoy the simplicity and endless stories that pioneer village has to tell through its general store and several other buildings and artifacts. 

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