Our Town York: Wessel's Living History Farm

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YORK, Neb. — If you've ever wanted to know just what Christmas on a farm in Nebraska was like a century ago, Wessel’s Living History Farm is the place for you. It's located just one mile south of south of York, and it's all dressed up in its Christmas time best.

Hillary Mundt is the director of Wessel’s Living History Farm and she is excited about her new Grow Nebraska store.

"Anyone looking for some holiday shopping ideas, there are a lot of great things in here made by Nebraska businesses," Mundt said.

This farm was assembled building by building -- starting in 2002.

"The Wessel family came from Germany, so there are a lot of things that we have on the farm and in the house that are from german influence,” Mundt said.

Any time of the year is a good time to visit Wessel’s Living History Farm, but Mundt says Christmas time is extra special.

"Well, one of my favorite things to see is when the kids come out and parents or grandparents get to show them the things that they used to play with or that they remember their parents having or talking about and they share stories and the kids can make that connection between what they're seeing in front of them here and the stories they've been hearing all their lives and their eyes just light up," said Mundt.

Under the tree you'll find many great examples of gifts that you might've received for Christmas in the early 1900s.

"We have a vintage tea set for a little girl, it's nearly 100 years old...this little army set, and it's heavy it's not made of plastic like our G.I. Joes are now, this is all made of pewter...we have a gift for mom, a brand new muff to keep her hands warm in the winter," Mundt says, listing just a few of the many items they have.

"My roots are right here in York County,” said Rosalie Hillmer.

Hillmer, a tour guide, uses her York County farm experiences to enlighten guests.

"And when you come out here to this farm...I lived this life, with my grandparents you know in a home like that with the settings and so it's just like reliving my childhood when I come out here,” Hillmer said. “Sleep in heavenly peace."

"I read the Laura Ingles Wilder books when I was in second grade and I really liked how she talked about it, and I've like history ever since," said Josie Turnbull.

Turnbull is an 11-year-old tour guide with a thirst for knowledge of the past.

"A lot of people don't know a lot about history, and I want them to know more about what the past was like."

If you'd like to know more about what the past was like, Wessel’s is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays and the two days following Christmas from 1-5 p.m. You can also book private group tours.