A Trappers Equipment

November 28, 2023

Bullboats, dugout canoes and even rafts were handmade and could hold tons of furs and gear. Also handmade were lightweight pad saddles, buckskin gun cases, calf knee gun protectors, tomahawk and knife sheaths, leggings and leather pouches for carrying food and supplies.

Old Bill Williams

November 21, 2023

Ornery, cantankerous, unwashed and a master trapper. Captured by Apaches, they took all his belongings and turned him loose to walk over two hundred miles barefoot. Usually very cautious, he made the mistake of agreeing to be a guide for John C. Fremont. The expedition was a disaster that ended with the death of Old Bill.

Osborne Russell

November 14, 2023

Mountain man, trapper and author of “Journal of a Trapper.” Camped near Yellowstone Lake, he and his companion were attacked by Blackfoot Indians. Both wounded by arrows, they managed to escape by hiding in the thick brush and were able to walk back to Fort Hall.

Trappers and Grizzlies

November 7, 2023

The grizzly was the animal the trappers feared worst. They say if confronted, stand your ground and stare the bear in the eyes and he will leave. But trapper Marie and others who encountered bears carried scars the rest of their lives. Men were in the land where the grizzly was king.

Manuel Lisa

October 31, 2023

He was a cold, calculating and ruthless businessman, but was successful at the fur trading business. He followed Lewis and Clark for several years with bands of trappers that included some who were with Lewis and Clark. He underpaid his trappers and overcharged them for supplies, but died a rich man.

The Trappers - Part Two

October 24, 2023

Trappers built cabins or lived in tipis near friendly Indians. Clothing was made by the Indian wives. Entire outfits, moccasins, leggings, shirts, and robes. The tipi was kept clean and organized with a pot of food always cooking to feed visitors. They moved if forage or food became scarce.

A Trapper’s Life - Part One

October 17, 2023

A successful trapper had to know the business. Where and how to set his traps, how to care for the pelts and how to survive the winter. He could read signs of possible danger from Indians, and which were friendly. His occupational disease was rheumatism from the hours standing in icy cold rivers and streams.

The Forty-Eighters

October 10, 2023

Nearly everyone could pan $10 to $15 dollars a day. There were the big ones who took $26,000, another $20,000 in a few weeks. Some made $800 to $1500 a day, but it wasn't easy. Standing in knee deep cold water all day caused colds, fevers and pneumonia. Supplies cost many times they're worth. Out of ten million dollars in gold, only about 5% made their fortunes.

Oregon Fever

October 3, 2023

Early pamphlets and settlers bragged of the virtues of this land of milk and honey. Salmon, good timber, abundant crops and productive gardens. Getting there was another story. Totally unprepared immigrants got lost, ran out of food, oxen that gave out, facing extremes of weather and diseases. But, many persevered and made it.

The Northern Paiute

September 26, 2023

The Paiute believed the white people would someday come to "heal all the old trouble." Sarah Winnemucca and her people were disappointed how the immigrants treated them. Sarah was considered the first Native American to write her autobiography.