Author Topic: Museum of the Fur Trade trip  (Read 1021 times)

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Offline wsdstan

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Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« on: September 23, 2021, 08:11:05 PM »
Wolfy and I hit the road last week.  He came from eastern Nebraska (where it ain't too bad) and I dropped down from western South Dakota (where it was, as usual, windy).  We rode our motorcycles for this trip.  Wolfy lit up the road with his Harley Heritage Soft Tail and I was on my Yamaha Super Tenere.  Both bikes ran great, no issues coming or going for either of us.  We met at mid-day in Valentine Nebraska was where we stayed the first night and then we had a pleasant but slightly windy run over to Chadron the next morning.  About two hours on that section.

We stopped at the Museum of the Fur Trade which is just east of Chadron a bit and spent most of the morning there.  They have the largest collection of Trade Rifles in the world and quite a few of them are on display.  It had been about ten years since I was last there and they have upgraded the building front facade, have a lot of new displays that include some items that were not out last time.  This is probably the most interesting museum for a person interested in Bushcraft.  There is everything in the way of traditional tools and gear used by the fur traders and trappers in the west and in Alaska and Canada as well.  Lots of information now on the Russian's in Alaska and the Hudson's Bay Company and their entire organization. 

The new displays cover about everything one could think of.  They have original clothing and fabrics, a lot of blankets (including the oldest known HBC point blanket issued in 1775), traps, canoe cups, knives, powder cans, flints, strikers, bags, and every piece of equipment one would use from the very first trapping ventures to well into the early twentieth century days.  A great display of the equipment including rifles used by the buffalo hunters.  Early flint locks, a Sharp's, and a Remington rolling block.  There is a 36 foot replica of a freighter canoe hanging from the ceiling in one room.  It is above a reproduction of a Red River Cart used by the Metis in both Canada and the northern plains of the US.

Outside behind the museum building is a heirloom garden with plants from seeds obtained over 125 years ago and acquired from a pioneer horticulturist in the 1950's by the museum founder Charles Hanson.  They sell, if available, seeds from these plants in the museum store.  They only had tobacco and pumpkins when we were there last week and I got a packet of pumpkins.
The other attraction out back is the James Bordeaux trading post which was active in the 1830's and well into the period of the Indian Wars of the 1870's.  It is built on the site of the original post, used the original hearthstones from the fireplace and replicated the style of the logs used in the original post.  The roof is sod with a good growth of grass.  The small post is full of trade goods, furs, and artifacts used in the time it was operated.  There is an interesting history of the post on the internet at the museums website.

The director is James Hanson.   One of the books he wrote, and I have, is "Metal Weapons, Tools & Ornaments of the Teton Dakota Indians".    His father, Charles, wrote three that I have, The Hawken Rifle: Its Place In History, The Northwest Gun, and The Plains Rifle.  These are must haves for those interested in the rifles and their manufacture and use in the fur trade.
While we were at the museum we sat for a time and watched some of the 1922 movie "Nanook of the North" which was playing continuously in a corner of the large display room. 

We left the museum and went to check in at our motel in Chadron.  We ate supper at a great restaurant on a high hill in the southwest part of Chadron (The Country Kitchen).  How good was it?  I would drive down there just to eat there again.  Of course your experience may vary.

The next morning we headed home.  Wolfy went east and knocked off the whole 360 miles.  I went north into South Dakota and was home by noon.  I enjoyed this trip a lot.  Wolfy is great to travel with and we talked about a lot of stuff.  He brought along a Becker Kephart which I had never handled before and, of course, he knows a lot of stuff about a lot of things so conversation with him is educational and entertaining.  My ride home was shorter and I ran with some Nebraska pickups for a time that had me hitting 85 mph most of the way into the southern end of the Black Hills.

All in all a great trip and when you go with a friend it is even better.

Here are a few pics of the museum and a one of our bikes.

Our bikes
 

Trade axe heads


The blanket on the left was issued in 1775 to a Minuteman in the American Revolution.  It was used by a trader later from 1867 to 1908.


Voyager cups.  Similar to a European kuksa I think, these were carried by voyagers.  Many had exterior carvings of animals and so forth.


They had a lot of early beaver traps including one that was said to be the first made in America in the late 1700's.


« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 08:10:33 AM by wsdstan »
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Offline crashdive123

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2021, 04:25:55 AM »
Nice trip report.  Looks like a fascinating place to visit.  Glad you guys had a good time, good company and good food.

Offline madmaxine

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2021, 05:14:16 AM »
Pretty cool.  I pulled up Chadron.  Looks like a neat town to visit.  And only 153 miles from the kitschy tourist trap "WALLDRUG!".  We didn't care how kitschy.  We're from Florida.  Lol. 

Hope to get up that way soon.

(pssst.  Don't tell Kelly but I've been having dreams of a '66 Triumph bobtail.)

Offline Moe M.

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2021, 05:36:37 AM »

 Stan and Wolfy,  I envy you guys, it looks like a great ride and a memorable trip,  and I thank you for sharing it with us.   :thumbsup: :cheers:
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline crashdive123

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2021, 12:42:25 PM »
Pretty cool.  I pulled up Chadron.  Looks like a neat town to visit.  And only 153 miles from the kitschy tourist trap "WALLDRUG!".  We didn't care how kitschy.  We're from Florida.  Lol. 

Hope to get up that way soon.

(pssst.  Don't tell Kelly but I've been having dreams of a '66 Triumph bobtail.)

First rule of keeping secrets from she who must be obeyed............. ......don't use her screen name when you post.

Offline madmaxine

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2021, 12:49:32 PM »
There's a method to my madness.  Disagreeable subjects must be introduced slowly and carefully.  Besides, she only reads the FL section when our camps get posted.

Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2021, 04:22:41 PM »
That's sounds like a great trip.  Glad you two got together and made it happen.  I'll have to keep that museum in mind next I'm up in those parts.  Thanks for the share!

So Stan what part of western South Dakota are you in?  If you don't me asking.   a few weeks back I was in Rapid City and traveled there from Denver going into Wyoming and then hanging the right due east into South Dakota.  Pretty country for sure.  Saw lots of pronghorns in each state.  My first time making the Rapid City drive from that direction.  My cousin lives about an hour south of Rapid City living on and working a 50,000 acre ranch.  Just curious how close you may for next time up in the area.  It may be a bit but wanted to check.
Proverbs 27:17    "As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend"
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2021, 06:35:36 PM »
OE I live east of Belle Fourche in rural Butte county.  That is about 60 miles north of Rapid City.  We live a couple of miles south of highway 212 and way north of I-90.  If you ever come through we could meet up somewhere.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2021, 06:33:04 PM »
OE I live east of Belle Fourche in rural Butte county.  That is about 60 miles north of Rapid City.  We live a couple of miles south of highway 212 and way north of I-90.  If you ever come through we could meet up somewhere.

Thanks Stan.  I'll keep in mind for future.  Pretty country up there
Proverbs 27:17    "As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend"
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2021, 08:41:05 PM »
Heather & I were back in Chadron last night.....car trip this time to the Black Hills.  We only have about 4 days before I need to be back home.   I have been asked by his daughter to help spread some of my old friend's (The Yuma Kid) ashes in a special place on our farm this coming Saturday.  I know exactly where he would want that to happen....right where he shot that big whitetail buck that I showed you guys a picture of a couple of years ago.  His daughter, Kim, is bringing his ashes from Yuma....I hope I can hold it together long enough to say a few words. :'(
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2021, 09:02:06 PM »
That is a fitting tribute to a good friend. 
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline hayshaker

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2021, 05:05:01 PM »
wow what a story  so glad you two had such a nice time.

Offline wolfy

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2021, 09:00:49 PM »
As I said in my last post, Heather & I are on quick 5-day trip through Chadron & up into the Black Hills.  We had originally figured on riding the TriGlide, but what sounded like perfect weather for the first two days, would quickly go south....according to the weather dudes.  It turns out they were right on the money with their predictions and our decision to leave the trike at home and take the Lincoln was a good move.  As we pulled into Sturgis around noon the temperature hovered at the 39* mark, the wind was up and there was a steady drizzle to top it all off....NOT a fun time for bikers!  The few that we did see looked miserable, wet and cold.  :fire2:

I called Stan when we stopped for gas and made arrangements to meet him & his sweet wife in Spearfish tomorrow for a quick lunch at a Perkins Restaurant.  Heather & I will try to make it home after our meet-up.  Doable, IF we don't gab too much, but Stan & I both suffer from hearing loss and every sentence has to be repeated at least once, making every conversation last at least twice as long as it should. :doh: :shrug: :lol:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2021, 07:14:30 AM »
As I said in my last post, Heather & I are on quick 5-day trip through Chadron & up into the Black Hills.  We had originally figured on riding the TriGlide, but what sounded like perfect weather for the first two days, would quickly go south....according to the weather dudes.  It turns out they were right on the money with their predictions and our decision to leave the trike at home and take the Lincoln was a good move.  As we pulled into Sturgis around noon the temperature hovered at the 39* mark, the wind was up and there was a steady drizzle to top it all off....NOT a fun time for bikers!  The few that we did see looked miserable, wet and cold.  :fire2:

I called Stan when we stopped for gas and made arrangements to meet him & his sweet wife in Spearfish tomorrow for a quick lunch at a Perkins Restaurant.  Heather & I will try to make it home after our meet-up.  Doable, IF we don't gab too much, but Stan & I both suffer from hearing loss and every sentence has to be repeated at least once, making every conversation last at least twice as long as it should. :doh: :shrug: :lol:

 I hear you  :shrug:   :cheers:
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline madmaxine

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2021, 08:58:37 AM »
What?
Too much gun fire and rock and roll.
Anybody with a semi-decent hearing aid recommendation will be listened to and thanked.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2021, 01:52:21 PM »
It is the truth.  Craig's wife says something, I look my wife and she says what Heather said.  Wolfy adds something and then I say "What".  Then the waiter comes up with his canned spiel and we all say "what?".  It is a wonder we just don't write it down on a sheet of paper to save time.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline madmaxine

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2021, 02:17:52 PM »
A 'nother social embarrasment.  Crowded restaurant  Lostas background noise.  No frickin' idea what anyone's saying.

And nobody gets why I don't wanna go out to eat.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Museum of the Fur Trade trip
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2021, 07:28:55 PM »
 :lol: :lol: :lol:  I'm with you on that.  My line is now "no sabe su palabras" or something like that.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
(Mark Twain)