Chadron Journals

Forests and Fur Trade in Northwest Nebraska

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An August 2004 trip to Chadron by btwood2

·Landscape, south of Chadron Photo, Chadron, Nebraska More Photos
Quote: We came to Chadron to see the Museum of the Fur Trade but found much more. The ponderosa pine forests of Pine Ridge in the Nebraska National Forest provided a serene camp setting. Another unexpected treasure-trove museum and some good places to eat rounded out our visit.

Forests and Fur Trade in Northwest Nebraska

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Overview

·Landscape, south of Chadron Photo, Chadron, Nebraska
Quote:
A tip from an 1838 Rendezvous mountain man (re-enactor) brought us to Chadron. "If you want to see some real pretty country and a great museum, go to Chadron." He proceeded to tell us about The Museum of the Fur Trade. "It’s the best museum about trappers and their times." The museum turned out to be only one of numerous highlights of Chadron and its surroundings. Our full-time motor-home life allows us to be flexible, and the only rules we go by are go slow, be thorough, and be cheap. So we took his advice and rerouted vi...Read More

Red Cloud Campground

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Hotel

Red Cloud Campground Photo, Chadron, Nebraska
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Access to 80 miles of marked hiking (and mountain biking) trails in the Pine Ridge Trail system, two very good museums (Museum of the Fur Trade and Dawes County Museum), geologic and paleontologic wonders such as Agate National Monument, Toadstool Geologic Park, and Hudson-Meng Bison Bonebed (in Sioux County, adjacent to Dawes County), Oglala National Grasslands, and numerous historic sites, such as Fort Robinson State Park, War Bonnet, and Yellow Hair Monuments; sites of former battles and Indian agencies and Red Cloud camp; and Sand Hill Country (writings of Mari Sandoz) in Sheridan CountyBest Things About the Resort:It’s small, quiet, and peaceful and in a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 29, 2005

Red Cloud Campground
125 North Main Street
Chadron, Nebraska 69337
(308) 432-0300

Olde Main Street Inn Photo, Chadron, Nebraska
Quote:
Hotel Chadron was the original incarnation of this historic building on Main Street. While under the ownership of the O’Hanlon family, it also unfortunately became the headquarters for General Nelson Miles during the disgraceful Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. In the early 1900’s it was sold to the railroad and became a Y.M.C.A. boarding house. In 1969, the Goetzinger family purchased the building and has been running it ever since, as Olde Main Street Inn bed and breakfast, restaurant, and Long Branch Saloon. Chadron isn’t exactly overflowing with restaurants. We’d let time get away from us, and as the midsummer sky was darkening, we worried it would be closed already. But entering dow...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 29, 2005

Olde Main Street Inn
115 Main Street
Chadron, Nebraska 69337
(308) 432-3380

Donald’s Drive Inn

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Restaurant

Donald’s Drive Inn Photo, Chadron, Nebraska
Quote:
We thought maybe the sign hadn’t been updated at Donald’s, which advertised hamburgers for $0.79. Conferring with each other as we drove past, Bob and I decided we could each manage eating a middle-of-the-Nebraska-afternoon, $0.79 hamburger. We pulled a U-turn into the Donald’s, without a Mc or golden arches, but there was a red-and-white tower advertising the aforementioned hamburger as well as shrimp, chicken, and sub sandwiches. Chadron is a college town, and it became evident by the wall and shelf decorations as we entered the little diner that the folks at Donald’s are boosters for their Chadron State College (CSC) Eagles. Just under 3,000 students attend this small but highly acclaimed co...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 29, 2005

Donald’s Drive Inn
448 E. 3rd Street
Chadron, Nebraska 69337
(308) 432-5473

Museum of the Fur Trade

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Attraction

Museum of the Fur Trade Photo, Chadron, Nebraska
Quote:
The Museum of the Fur Trade was started in 1949 by a group of Chadron citizens. It’s located on the grounds of what used to be James Bordeaux’s American Fur Company trading post, built in 1837. This portion of the Louisiana Purchase was known simply as Indian Country, as Nebraska (Oto Indian for "flat water") wasn’t a state or territory yet. Bordeaux ran the trading post with his Brule Lakota wife, Huntktalutawin, also called Marie. In 1872, the business was taken over by Francis Boucher, son-in-law of Brule leader Spotted Tail. Boucher traded arms, saddles, and blankets to the Indians until the army closed him down in 1875. Inside, the museum is divided into three...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 30, 2005

Museum of the Fur Trade
6321 Highway 20
Chadron, Nebraska 69337
(308) 432-3843

Dawes County Historical Museum

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Attraction

Dawes County Historical Museum Photo, Chadron, Nebraska
Quote:
We were pleasantly surprised to find so many items of interest in this museum’s extensive historical collections. Outbuildings include an original log house and log barn, wooden schoolhouse and church, hexagonal concession stand, and green caboose. A long row of retired farm machinery has a sign by each piece of equipment telling what it is and what it used to do. The museum itself is a 9,000-square-foot, red-and-white-striped metal building. As we entered, two friendly volunteers greeted us. We trod upon floors laid in tri-color memorial and donation tiles naming those who have contributed to this museum. One wall of this room contains an extensive collection of research materials, includin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 30, 2005

Dawes County Historical Museum
341 Country Club Road
Chadron, Nebraska 69337
(308) 432-4999

About the Writer

btwood2

btwood2
Rodeo, New Mexico