To Letha and Marlin Perks, Prairie Paradise is their home - truly in the midst of Nebraska's frontier prairie located on the very land Marlin's grandfather homesteaded in 1889. Curious travelers may wonder when they come to the tee crossing of Stockville's rural farm community and there on the hill stands the well maintained Rising Sun School District 31 schoolhouse on the same spot where Marlin first attended in 1940. Next to the school house is a log cabin and a sod house and in the foreground stands a neatly kept, white-steepled country church. Mr. Perks will probably walk up the hill from his home across the street and welcome you with keys in hand to open the doors and show you the furnishings in the buildings.
Eleven buildings now comprise Prairie Paradise - not officially a museum, but certainly a "collection of history."
The Perks do not consider their farm as a business, it is their hobby. They enjoy having people stop by and look. They welcome anyone. Tours are welcomed as they have had school classes spend an entire day "at the farm," as well as senior groups that enjoy discovering some of the old mementos they had almost forgotten about.
Address: South out of Stockville.
Please call ahead for special tours and directions.
Rising Sun School District 31 - The original schoolhouse sheltered its first students in 1885 and this white frame building replaced the first school in 1939 and the last classes were conducted in 1948 when Mr. Perks was the only eighth grade student. Inside the one-room school house are a collective variety of old-fashioned schooldesks, stove, mannequin teacher, school books, maps, pictures, and any collectibles pertaining to early school life.
Log Cabin and Soddy - The Perks have built a log cabin and sod house replicating the styles of pioneer construction and furnished them with collections of the simple necessities of homesteading in the late 1800s.
|Country Church - The church was built to house various collections of the early church community including a podium from a Farnam Church, a communion set from Berwyn, hymnals and flags from Holbrook, pews and three organs, one made in 1860.|
|Yellow House - The two story "yellow house" was built in 1908 by Mr. Perks grandfather who homesteaded the land and contains collections of postage stamps, post cards, cameras, lunch boxes, belt buckles, cookie cutters, and comic books, and many, many collectible items.|
|Boardwalk - Along the boardwalk the Perks have fronted buildings to look like a pioneer front street. A surveyors office contains sexton maps and surveyor's pipes, a millinery shop displays sewing articles, a dentists office has a pedal drill, a carpenters shop features numerous collections of hand tools, and a Christmas rooms displays so many animated, lighted, and musical decorations and toys.|
|Barn - The barn comes alive with a wooden cow, chickens, horse stalls, and a hay mow and all kinds of farm tools and equipment including veterinary tools.|
|Annex - This building contains "millions" of collectibles that will marvel your imagination from Avon to pencil and pens, from waffle irons to yard sticks, from labeled paper cups to whiskey bottles.|
Come visit us in Stockville, Nebraska