Located three miles east of Chadron, Nebraska, the Museum of the Fur Trade is dedicated to preserving the rich history of the North American fur trade. The current museum stands on the site of James Bordeaux’s trading post, which was established in 1837 as the American Fur Company.
The museum represents every type of object that was exchanged by Europeans and Americans with the native people of North America. This ranges from obvious artifacts such as guns, blankets, beads, axes, knives and kettles, to more unusual goods such as gimlets, quill smoothers, playing cards, trunks, tobacco boxes and jewelry. In these collections are complete sets of trade goods that were sold by each nation that operated in the various trading areas of North America.
Heirloom Indian Garden
The museum maintains a botanical exhibit of authentically grown Indian crops, as Native American agriculture was a big help with the trading posts and transport crews. The varieties that they grow are the same ones grown for centuries by Indians of the Missouri Valley and are now all but extinct. Included among these crops are the midget Mandan tobacco, the Assiniboin flint corn, and the blue-kernelled “little corn.” The museum saves just enough of the precious seeds to replant, and any extras are offered for sale to museum patrons.
For more information or to customize a visit for your group, contact the Museum of the Fur Trade at 308-432-3843 or visit them online at www.furtrade.org.