Category Archives: Information

Fall Encampment at The Museum of the Great Plains – 2015

Hello Brothers,

Yes, it is soon to be that time of year again. The annual Fall Encampment at The Museum of the Great Plains is to be held October 20th through the 25th . I have been asked by Brigade Booshway Kraig Fallwell to Booshway this years event.

This year we are looking for great turnout of members. In order to have an estimate on how much provisions we require, we are asking that you contact either Tim Poteete, Living History Curator of The Museum of the Great Plains, or myself. I have a few meals planned already ( don’t worry its good food ), but I ask that you contact one of us about a food item that you as well as the rest of the camp would enjoy. I also ask that some “donate” something such as a brisket, loins, a quarter cut, or any type of meat, as well as any goods such as beans, corn, peas, peaches, etc. This would be much appreciated. However, Please contact either Tim Poteete or myuself about any foods you would like to “dontate” before hand.

Since the trading post lies on the museums grounds making it open to the public, I am asking that some of you are willing to do colleges for any visitors as well as for the rest of the camp. Colleges done in the past include fire starting, trapping, Indian sign-language, history of the Fur Trade, blacksmithing, hide preparation and tanning, knitting, sewing, cooking, and many more. If you would like to do one of these colleges, or one that is not listed, feel free to give me a holler. Other “donations” that we are asking for include any hides that need working, or any other materials.

I, as well as many others, are looking for good turn out of guest. We are inviting all brothers and sisters, as well as any additional guest, which may include family and/or friends, to join us. Shelter consist of room in one spare bunkhouse (two hold museum supplies and iceboxes, one houses The Fallwells) spare room in the trappers quarters, and spare room in the traderoom and on the porch. We have no problem with you setting up your own shelters, however, always be prepared for rain and cold weather.

For any extra information needed, please feel free to give Tim Poteete, or myself a hollar. If information on cooking arrangements or thoughts come to mind, give either of the three of us list an email. Cuz will be this years head cook, so he is the one to speak to about cooking or any food arrangements. We ask that you send an email with your statements and questions by at least Mid-September.

Thank you and I hope to hear from you.


Hunter Offield “Stray Pup”

‘Cuz’ Trumble                                      Tim Poteete                                        ‘Pup’ Offield   


Tanning methods in St Louis

The below is a question an answer session from some AMM brothers about “German tan” in St. Louis . . .

Question – Does anyone know if “German tan” using fish oil was common in St. Louis?



Answer: The process has been used in Europe for some time. However, I’ve never found any solid information pertaining to its use in the states. There was commercially produced “brain tan” clothing sold in St. Louis at the peak of the western fur trade, but no specification as to what tanning process was used. Texas was exporting around 90,000 “Indian dressed” deer skins a year to St. Louis between 1821 and 1835, the customs records start to disappear after the revolution. If you break the brain or other natural solution tan such as soap or fish oil down chemically it necessitates an oil that will produce an emulsion to tan the hide. So in my opinion there is no difference between the fish oil and brains other than the origin and smell. It produces the same product chemically. The only real difference is the hide itself, North American cervid species such as white tail, mule deer and elk vs. red deer, stag, etc… So unless you want to be that picky use what you have, what’s available or what you can afford. It all beats chrome tan any day.

What was for sure used in St. Louis and the states was the old word bark and vegetable tans. Which uses an acid or protein to tan the hide vs. an oil. This makes excellent tool leather but not always the best clothing. And of course alum tan, also acid based, has been around for centuries and would have used. But again it makes for much better tool leather than clothing.

– Taylor Tomlin

More perspective:
Here’s a good link to a fair amount of brain-tanning and smoking being done by whites in rural Pennsylvania.

Fish-oil tanning is labor extensive, and demands a source for the oil. It makes more sense that brain would be more efficient as it could be widely had. Most of the fish-oil tan was imported and likely could have only been seen around the upper aristocrats.

– Allen Harrison

More perspective:
Great info, Taylor and Allen! Here’s a conversation on a tanner’s list that tells a little about the German tanning process, says it IS labor intensive and takes about a year:

– Patsy Harper