As self-described “pack rats and history buffs,” local brothers Guy and Grant Hanson have amassed a mind-bogglingly diverse and entertaining collection of items at their Montana Museum of Work History.
“So we realized that there are museums for people that are famous, and there are museums for people that are infamous, but there’s no museums for people that are normal,” explained Guy Hanson. “Nobody cares about them, right? Well, we thought, why not celebrate the things that are perfectly normal — becoming a carpenter, becoming a logger.”
Grant, left, and Guy Hanson stand in their Axmen store west of Missoula near the Wye. The store celebrated 50 years in business in October. It also houses the Montana Museum of Work History.
BEN ALLAN SMITH, Missoulian
Inside the museum, they’ve got a hundred or more years of history in every-day items used for work, from antique chainsaws to engines to tools to guns to old hardhat deep-sea diving helmets. It’s a bizarre amalgamation of eccentric treasures that also reflects their business, Axmen, a store that sells everything from hot tubs to chickens to