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Southern Jog



Jerry’s Dream Museum

While you are stopped, visit the Pedal Clinic!

Pawnee City, NE; Pawnee County

The story of this Phillips 66 service station really begins in 1937. It was then, that the Matthews family purchased the station from Bockenstette Hatchery and began to operate it as Pawnee Oil until the early 1990s. Jerry Stephens was a grandson of Lloyd “Turk” Matthews, the founder of Pawnee Oil. After the station closed, Jerry purchased the building with the intention of restoring it. Jerry started restorations by working on the office and back room of the station. In 2004, Jerry also bought a Valentine Diner on an auction in Falls City. It had previously been in operation as a 50s-style diner in Chillicothe, Missouri. Jerry planned on restoring the diner to set next to the station.







Unfortunately, before his plans got too far underway, Jerry was diagnosed with lung cancer in September of 2007. Jerry didn’t want restorations to the station to halt, so he continued to plan the restorations and founded “Jerry’s Dream Museum & Foundation,” a non-profit organization that would enable his goal to be reached. Jerry passed away in December of 2008, but his family and friends have worked hard to continue the restorations Jerry dreamed of.

Jerry’s son, Jeremy, suggested the diner be incorporated into the interior of the station, making it more accessible, irregardless of the weather (this is Nebraska after all). On May 14, 2011, the diner was relocated to its permanent foundation, the back of the service station, on the north side of the original building.

The restorations are now complete, making the service station and diner look as they would have many years ago. Inside you will find displays of local memorabilia and filling station equipment.

Numerous fundraisers have supported the restorations with donations of not only money, but time. Friends of Jerry and Jerry’s Dream Museum have provided a lot of help! Local community grants were also awarded to help complete the restoration project.


Jerry’s Dream Museum hosts a CARS & COFFEE event the second Saturday morning of each month from April through October. The museum is open to visitors and we encourage everyone to drive their old vehicles, or just come visit Pawnee City and Jerry’s Dream Museum.  Stop in to enjoy a cup of coffee and refreshments, engage in interesting conversations, and to peruse the numerous displays. The museum is also available at other times by appointment with the easiest way to contact staff being through our Facebook page:  Jerry’s Dream Museum.   


While you are stopped, visit the Pedal Clinic

Tour this unique display featuring more than 450 pedal cars, tractors, airplanes, and other toys. The items were collected by Bill and Elsie Sunneberg. The collection is housed in a former church that was later used as a clinic. It retains the church aesthetic with high ceilings, hardwood floors, and stained glass windows. The oldest restored toy dates back to 1938.

The venture began in the 1950s when Bill found an old pedal car that used to belong to his kids lying in a ditch. He pulled it out and restored it, and so began a decades-long hobby. In addition to the hundreds of pedal toys, there are tons of other antique toys, salt and pepper shakers, quilts, and more vintage items to peruse.

Since the Pedal Clinic opened in 1992, it has greeted visitors from all over the U.S. and even from other countries. Whether you love old toys, architecture, or just chatting with interesting Nebraskans, this is a fabulous place to spend an hour or two.


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