Bud Hanson and his two sons opened Axmen in 1973 after Bud sold his hardware store and moved to Missoula. They focused on providing high-quality products and professional services to properly suit their customers needs. During the 1973 oil embargo Axmen started selling wood stoves and that side of the business now includes sales, installation and service for wood, gas and pellet stoves as well as outdoor wood boilers. Their pump department expanded and a new division, Axmen Fire Equipment, was created with a focus on firefighting. With over 65 years combined of experience, they provide knowledge, sales and service for home, municipal and wildland needs.
In 1998 the firearms department needed more space so they purchased a welding shop and converted it to a retail space called Ax South. They are one of the largest firearms dealers in Montana and also sell fine jewelry and beer-making supplies. In 2000 they formed Axmen Propane and now provide propane sales as well as propane stove and appliance sales, installation and service. In 2010, Axmen Recycling was opened to provide the people of Missoula a better way of disposing of waste.
In 2007, the Montana Museum of Work History was incorporated throughout the store to celebrate the hard-working and creative people who had lived and worked in Montana. It includes firearms, steam and gas engines, automobiles, tools, logging and mining equipment and more. Tours are available anytime to learn the history of the tools and people who used them.
Self-described as "the ultimate everything store" Axmen probably has what you are looking for.
Axmen's stove and fireplace department includes wood and gas free standing stoves, fireplace inserts and zero-clearance fireplaces. Among the manufacturers they carry are Jotul, Mendota, Quadra-Fire, Hearthstone and BlazeKing, They also sell Quadra-Fire pellet stoves and Central Boiler outdoor wood boilers. They carry Sundance Spas in their spa and patio department, as well as firepit tables and Big Green Egg barbeques for when hard-working folks need to unwind and relax.
In their alternative energy department they sell The Energy Detective, an electrity usage monitor that can report to smartphones, tablets and computers. They also carry propane and dc refrigerators and ranges as well as a wide selection of generators. They also sell solar grid-tie kits and solar thermal kits. For farm and ranch needs, Axmen sells Priefert and Behlen gates, panels and feeders, King Kutter implements, feed, steel roofing, batteries and chargers.
And the place is like a huge museum of chainsaws, planes, old cars, old homesteading gear ... a lot of people that come to wheaton labs stop by the axmen and are then gone for the rest of the day as they are gawking at everything.
Gotta say that my feeble attempts to get the cards carried in missoula has been a miserable thing.
Before the first printing arrived, I stopped off at the good food store. i was sure they would want it. So I guess I had my expectations way too high. "we don't do that." (which I know is bullshit because they do oodles of that)
I gave a brick to the jeannette rankin peace resource center on the condition that they just get back to me on how the sales went. I went in about two days later and saw them on display. A month later and they were gone. No feedback.
Over the years, I put a couple of mentions in to other places. Universally shot down. Yuck.
Paul and Jocelyn took me there on the way back to the airport after my visit this summer. Here are a load more pics.
This is another one of Jocelyn playing with the steam punk hot tub.
Another hot tub, complete with wok for rustling up some hot snacks while you soak.
And then we went inside, and my mind got blown by the stuff on display there. I don't even know what half the stuff was...
Owls and donkeys - what a perfect combination!
A horse-drawn logging cart.
A butter churn.
A wooden-framed model T Ford.
And just look what's in the back!
Yeah, you keep looking over your shoulder, mate. I bet you won't make that mistake again!
The original John Deere?
I can't quite figure this one out. It looks horse-drawn at first, but on closer inspection the pole isn't right for that. Maybe it's just a giant hose-reel which is pulled by two people?
Who knew that the original 'douche-bag' was really just a hot-water-bottle?
I have absolutely no idea what this was doing in a logging shop/museum. But hey, it's interesting!
An Egyptian Camel Saddle and some ladles, on the end of the logging wagon.
A giant wind chime, with the horse-drawn logging wagon in the background.
The brake on the logging wagon.
The whole place was just a wondrous jumble of old and new stuff.
I can heartily recommend a visit. It was one of many highlights of my trip to the US, and I think I could have happily spent a whole day in there exploring and driving everyone insane with my endless questions.
Thanks Paul! We are excited to be partnering with you! We love the cards, I can tell you they are stocking stuffers at every Ax Employees house this year!!
Here are a few more pictures of the Axmen over the years. We have been listed as a Zoo in the yellow pages for years, with the tagline "Dobermans on Display After Dark"
We actually had a few calls requesting to borrow our Orangutan....Guy considered sending them Grant but then decided he would probably lose some solar customers. We also had a bus load of elderly folks on a field trip from a local nursing home show up once looking to check out the zoo....while they didn't find any elephants they seemed to enjoy all our displays.