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Pioneer Village to be featured on 'American Pickers'

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MINDEN — The Wolfes came west, and now audiences will finally be able to see what they feasted upon at Harold Warp’s Pioneer Village in Minden.

Last spring, Mike Wolfe and Robbie Wolfe, stars of The History Channel’s “American Pickers,” filmed a segment at the museum in Minden. The episode, “Wolfes Go West,” will air at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The television series follows antique and collectible buyers as they search the United States for “rusty gold” and buy — or “pick” — various items for resale, for their clients or for their personal collections. The episode filmed in Minden will be dedicated to the antique collectors’ time at Pioneer Village, with much of it focusing on the history of the museum. 

Al Lux, a Harold Warp Pioneer Village Foundation board member, first made contact with officials for the TV show in February 2022. The board was going to begin staging for an auction of excess inventory, and they invited the American Pickers to “pick” through the inventory in Quonsets that hadn’t been opened in 50 years.

“They like to get dirty and get into things that have not been open for a while,” said Larry Wilcox, president of the Harold Warp Pioneer Village Foundation board. “They love (history) so that’s what they want to do. They love to dig around in the artifacts.”

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A production crew of 12 to 15 people spent three days filming at Pioneer Village, and they spent much of their time in a Quonset that had been locked for 50 years.

“It was fun. They had no script. They just enjoyed coming and going through things,” Wilcox said.

The foundation and volunteers began revitalization efforts at Pioneer Village in the summer of 2021, and volunteers have traveled across the country to restore the landmark back to its former glory.

Alan Farlin, Pioneer Village volunteer coordinator, said they have completed more than 30 projects, and there are more than 30 in the works. They are hoping to demolish the museum’s former restaurant soon, and they are working on plans to either remodel the motel or bring a new motel to the community. They are also working to update the electrical, as well as rebuilding windmills and repairing or building the sod house.

“This episode will kick if off, the educational value for our kids of what the village can do and get the kids involved,” Farlin said.

Wilcox is hopeful that the national attention from “American Pickers” will show the potential of the museum and how much progress volunteers are making on improving it.

“I think it’s bringing everyone to reality that we are still functioning,” Wilcox said.



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