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No, it's not skinning bucks............ Developed and maintained by JP Finn
The following was posted by Arlon Sibert on the Muzzle Loading Mailing List. He was contacted, and passed the information on in the finest traditions of the Men of the Mountains.
The Museum of the Fur Trade is one of the best known, least visited, sources of reliable information on the Americian western Fur Trade.
To Friends and Members of the Museum of the Fur Trade:
It is with much sorrow I must report that on April 1, 1997 James Hanson,
collusion with William Hanson, locked me and my wife Marie out of the
Museum and have denied us any access to the project I started 43 years
Over the years beginning with nothing, the Museum under my guidance has
grown to be world famous in the history of the fur trade. It has taken a
lot of my time and money, as well as a lot of hard work. To have this
taken from me at this time is a cruel blow. This is made even worse as
two conspirators are two of my sons.
The tourist traffic on Highway 20 declines each year, and because of the
continued lack of local support, I began looking at possible relocation
After reading traffic studies, Interstate 80 seemed ideal. Some land on
access road was fround across from Cabela's, but James Hanson violently
this. In the end I made the purchase out of my own savings. This did
James, and he got the Board of Directors to be very much aginst it.
surprising as the Board up to this time had done nothing at all for 20
Somehow James was able to gain their support, finally taking control.
Among the many reasons for moving, the building is in need of major
It's not insulated, has no heat, inadequate air conditioning and a well
system 40 years old and nearing failure. Two independent consultants
$300,000 was needed to fix the problems. A new building at the Sidney
could be built for this amount.
The traffic volume would allow the Museum to remain open year round
of only during the summer. This would probably attract 100,000
as compared to the 6,000 in 1996 at the present location.
At the meeting of February 22, 1997, the Board agreed to give me one
raise fund to build the new building. Evidently this displeased James,
leading to the April 1st takeover.
Now I am appealing to you for help. The only way to stop- them is to
in court, and I have only limited resources at my command. With your
I can save the Museum from these pirates and give it a future.
If you can help, please send contributions to the following:
Charles E. Hanson, Jr. Legal Fund
c/o Friends of the Fur Trade
P.O. Box 695
Chadron, Nebraska 69337
With your support we can save the Museum for future generations.
Charles E. Hanson, Jr.
In 1954 Charles and Marie Hanson purchased one and a half acres East of
Chadron, Nebraska. Here they began a 42 year journey with culminated
in the building of a world renowned museum.
Though the original building was small, the collection grew under
guidance. The Museum opened in 1955. In 1956 the Bordeaux Trading Post
was opened to the public. The Gun Room was funded within ten years and
opened in 1964. In 1965 the first newsletter, The Museum Quarterly was
published and membership grew. In 1969 Charles retired but remained on
Board of Directors. In 1975 a new wing was constructed that nearly
the exhibit area. Later a library was added to house Charles' growing
collection of research books. The Museum continued to expand and an
was built to handle the ever growing membership. In 1989 another
hall was added that housed blankets and clothing.
Throughout all this growth, income often times fell short of the
Many times Charles and Marie funded the project out of their own
pocket. Assistance from the Town of Chadron has been termed "token".
A few years ago in the face of declining tourist traffic on Highway 20,
consideration was given to moving the museum to a new location. Several
sites were considered. Sidney, Nebraska was chosen. The land was
purchased by Charles with his own funds near Cabela's which is the
two tourist attraction in Nebraska.
For unknown reasons, Jim and Bill Hanson, Charles second and third sons,
became adamant that Charles should no longer serve on the Board of
Directors for the very Museum he created. Through every method
they succeeded in February, 1997 in having Charles removed. Charles
who is the foremost authority and author of many books on the fur
trade in now barred from even entering his own creation, The Museum of
To the Friends and Members of the Museum of the Fur Trade:
You may not know this, but the Museum is under a hostile take
over by the Board of Directors. Charles Hanson did NOT retire. He
was forced out. (See attached letter from Charles)
Dean Forney, an attorney in Alliance, Nebraska, has been hired
to represent Mr. Hanson and has agreed to represent the Museum
Association Members. Please read this information packet. After
reading all the material, please answer the Questionnaire and mail it
back by stapling it together and adding postage. We need to be
able to tell how the Membership feels about the this situation. We
have rights as members of the Museum Association and we inted to
do whatever the majority wants. We are planning on having the
first ever Museum Assocaition Membership meeting in August.
Please watch for the details in a furture mailing.
Our first goal is to get the Charles & Marie back into the
Museum and resume control of the day to day operations. Second,
we will attempt to get an injunction against James A. Hanson as he
has no legal right to interfere in the museum operations. Once this
has been accomplished, additional steps will be taken to insure that
a small special interest group will never again be able to force their
will and try a take over of the Museum and it valuable contents.
As you know, legal fees for any kind of court action are high.
A contribution toward the Hanson Legal Fund will be greatly
appreciated. Should this effort go to Court and should Charles
prevail, he may get his legal fees awarded by the Court and he will
donate the entire amount of your contibutions to the New Building
Fund. Your donations will not be wasted.
For further information please call:
Bud Hanson, at (308) 432-2937
Richard Emond, at (307) 856-8585
Dean Forney, attorney, (308) 762-6644
(Please circle your response)
1. Are you opposed to the action taken by the Board to remove Charles E.
Hanson, Jr. as the Director of the Museum? YES / NO
2. Should Charles E. Hanson, Jr. take legal action to regain his
Director of the Museum? YES / NO
3. Do you oppose the action of James Hanson to influence the Board of
Directors in the removal of Charles E. Hanson, Jr.? YES / NO
4. Do you approve the change of policy to hire a paid Director for
$35,000.00 per year?
5. Do you miss your quarterly publication? YES / NO
6. Will you support the necessary action to reinstate Charles E. Hanson,
YES / NO
7. Will you contribute to the Charles E. Hanson, Jr. Legal Fund?
YES / NO
8. Amount: $________________
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