The Historical West

The Historical WestThe Historical West

The Verendrye Brothers’ journey to the Rocky Mountains

The Verendrye brothers were the first Europeans to cross the northern Great Plains and see the Rocky Mountains in 1742.

It is believed they were near Writing on Stone Provincial Park, in Southern Alberta Canada, when they first saw the majestic mountain range.

Most of what we know about the Verendrye’s travels from Quebec through the historical west of the Northern States and Western Canada comes from a journal found in the French government archives in 1851, and a lead plate found buried near Pierre, South Dakota. The journal is difficult to interpret, but offers a fascinating glimpse into the early exploration of northern North America.


daniel booneDaniel Boone

Is one of the legendary early names in American history. Boone was an explorer and frontiersman and was born on November 2, 1734, in a log cabin on the Boone Homestead, in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania.

His father taught him wilderness survival skills and Daniel quickly proved himself a talented woodsman and a dead shot.  At age 15, Boone moved with his family to Rowan County, North Carolina, where he started his own hunting business.

At first Boone found himself content with what he described as the perfect ingredients to a happy life: “A good gun, a good horse and a good wife.” But adventure stories Boone had heard from a Mule Skinner while on a march ignited Boone’s interest in exploring west into the American frontier.

In 1767, Daniel Boone led his own expedition for the first time and in May of 1769, he led another expedition with a friend, John Finley and four other men. Under Boone’s leadership, the team of explorers discovered a trail to the far west though the Cumberland Gap.

boone-tvThe trail would prove to be of immense importance to anyone heading west through Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee to the unknown lands of the historical west.

An action-adventure television series starring Fess Parker as Daniel Boone aired from September 24, 1964 to September 10, 1970 on NBC.



lewis and clarkLewis and Clark

American explorers move into the western half of North America, as a prelude to settlement.

In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson, through the U.S. Senate, purchased the Louisiana territory from France.

After the Louisiana Purchase Treaty was signed, Jefferson knew his new country needed to know what exactly they had just bought. Knowledge of the lands between the great rocky mountains and the small grouping of states on the eastern quarter of North America was almost non-existent in those days.

Jefferson chose his personal secretary, Meriwether Lewis, to lead the expedition, a smart fella who also happened to be an accomplished frontiersman. Lewis in turn sought the help of William Clark, whose abilities as map maker and frontiersman were even more impressive and together they made a formidable team.

Lewis so respected Clark that he made him co-captain of the Expedition, even though Clark was never recognized as such by the government. Together they collected a diverse group that would be able to make the two year journey to the great ocean. Jefferson hoped that Lewis and Clark would find a water route linking the Columbia and Missouri rivers.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition paddled its way down the Ohio and when the spring of 1805 brought high water and favorable weather, the Lewis and Clark Expedition set out on the next leg of its journey. With journals in hand, Lewis, Clark, and the other members of the Expedition returned to St. Louis by September 1806 to report their findings to Jefferson.

The expedition was received with the full  pomp and ceremony the President could muster, because they fulfilled many of Jefferson’s wishes for the Expedition. And perhaps the greatest gift to history were the fabulous maps that William Clark drew that were remarkably detailed. Clark painstakingly noted and named rivers and creeks, significant points in the landscape, the shape of river shores, and spots where the expedition had overnighted or portaged for longer periods of time. Later explorers and frontiersmen found these maps invaluable as the movement west gained momentum in the following decades.

  • Augustus Custom Handmade Hat

    augustus custom handmade hat style from the classic mini-series, Lonesome Dove (1989) Loveable old Ranger Augustus McCrae is the scalawag that keeps the Hat Creek Cattle Company loose and is a great counter balance to the salty Woodrow Call.  This style of old west crown with it's 3 pinch cavalry creasing was first called the "Tom Mix" after the early movie star, and then became known as "The Gus" crease because of  Lonesome Dove. This is a great look for both men and women! 250_white_filials
    • CROWN: 6 inches
    • BRIM: 4"
    • Crown: Modified 3 pinch cavalry
    • Brim: Hand worked and rolled
    • Hatband: Custom 1/2" leather twist
    • Color shown: Sand
    • hats ship in 12-14 weeks
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
  • Captain Call Handmade Hat

    A custom cowboy movie hat from Lonesome Dove (1989) Our take on the hat style worn by Tommy Lee Jones The Tommy Lee Jones cowboy hat from Lonesome Dove. The Captain Call Handmade Hat is like the character simple, unrefined, and basic. A classic Boss of the Plains with a heavy dip front and back on the bound brim.
    • Crown: 6 inches
    • Brim: 4"
    • Crown: Open - uncreased
    • Brim: Bound Hand shaped dipped front and back.
    • Hatband: 1" grosgrain ribbon with bow
    • Color shown: Black in 20X fur-felt
    • hats ship in 6-8 weeks.
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
    • Hatband not sold separately
  • Samuel Jones Movie Hat

    Our version of the Samuel Jones Movie Hat - from The Missing The Samuel Jones Hat is the one worn by Tommy Lee Jones, as Samuel Jones, a  white man turned Apache, who returns to his estranged daughter in time to try and rescue his grand-daughter from slave traders. Like the character there is nothing fancy about this hat, a simple open crowned cowboy hat with a bit of a pencil roll.
    • BRIM: 4" 1/2" Pencil roll, with a gentle hand roll - Bound.
    • Color: Pecan
    • Hatband: Satin Ribbon with bow, with matching bound edge.
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown
  • Sundance Kid Cowboy Hat

    Sundance Kid Cowboy Hat - Our take on a classic western movie hat the hat worn by Robert Redford in 1969s, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  This hat is pretty nondescript and is a good representation of the type of hat that would have been seen in the later half of the 19th century on many of the cowboys riding through the west.
    • Crown: 4 1/4" inches Telescope
    • Brim: 3 1/4 inches open with a gentle hand-roll
    • Color: Chocolate with light trail dust
    • Hatband: 1/2" distressed brown leather
    • Personalized with your name inside the crown

  •   Masterson Single Action Holster 

    Classic Cross Draw Holster - Simple, elegant and functional

    Masterson Belt if you order the Rig is 1 1/2" - to accommodate belt loops on today's britches. We made sure it fits Levi's jeans, and when worn with a sport coat or longer coat, is the perfect holster for people with the conceal & carry permit. Holster works equally well as either a cross draw or strong hand draw style. If you'd like the cut out star concho on the holster, please request it in the production notes below. 250_white_filials
  • Johnny Ringo leather holster hand made by the last best west A classic Hollywood holster and gun belt- from Tombstone. {1993} This closed toe design is made for quick draws with it's trigger guard fully exposed from the holster. We're showing our Johnny Ringo in our classic old mahogany color .  Movie rig is black.
  • Curly Bill Movie Holster - a hand made leather holster from Tombstone. {1993} COLOR SHOWN: Deadwood Brown This close toed holster is a little fancier variation of our traditional 19th century Teddy Blue Holster. The Curly Bill Movie Holster has a fancier border and the look is toughened up with 10 spots per holster. The 2 rig set that Boothe wears as Curly Bill Brocius, in Tombstone, was patterned after the rig that the historical Curly Bill wore. 2 Cartridge belts, one worn backwards and two strong hand draw holsters.   To order the complete Curly Bill Movie Rig, with 2 holsters and 2 fully looped cartridge belts, add all 3 options below where it asks, Add a Matching Belt and/or Holster? This will save you 35 dollars for the complete 2 rig set. Total will be 905.00 plus shipping. Choose your Buckle Set, Leather Color and Belt Style
  • a classic old west holster from the last best west Charley Leather Holster and Gun Belt - The Charley Waite rig from Open Range{2003} The Charley Leather Holster is patterned after a traditional 2 loop holster from the 1880s. The Charley is a closed toe design and is shown in the movie color, antique brown. Available in all colors.

  • Best Rifle Sheath - THE RED PHOENIX - the Indian Rifle Sheath from the classic western film The Searchers {1956}, hand made by the last best west The Comanche style bead work is custom made for us by a skilled Indian craftsman. The hide is milky soft and the long, spaghetti fringe gives it a dramatic look. Any fine rifle deserves a spectacular sheath. Our Red Phoenix Indian Rifle Sheath certainly fits the bill. When you submit your order please give us the measurement from the hammer to the end of the barrel, like in the illustration in the picture gallery. Because of the intricate nature of these sheaths, our NORMAL shipping is 8-10 weeks.
  • Crow Indian Rifle Sheath - A variation of our Red Phoenix this sheath has the barrel end adorned with Crow Indian style bead work. We make this sheath a couple of inches longer than your rifle butt, to give complete all weather coverage of your prized firearm. Once your order is placed, we will e-mail you within 24 hours to confirm your firearms dimensions. Any fine rifle deserves a spectacular sheath. And if you prefer your long arm covered at the butt, our designer has incorporated a hidden flap and closure (see picture gallery). You can easily add this option to your order for just 85 dollars. Because of their intricate nature these sheaths take 8-10 weeks to produce.  
  • Plains Indians Rifle Sheath

    Just about every family has a firearm heirloom passed down through the generations. Our beautiful hand made Indian rifle sheaths are just the thing to show and protect your valued long arm. We use the same high quality hide to make this sheath, adding ready-made bead work to finish off the design. This better quality sheath covers the action of your firearm, {like the Red Phoenix Sheath} leaving the stock exposed, and we've added a dynamic red edge to complete the frontier look. Please include not only your barrel length but length from front of barrel to the hammer. And the overall length of your firearm in the appropriate spot as you put your order together.
  • Classic Soft Leather Rifle Sheath hand-made by the last best west

    Protect your long arm with our beautiful Classic Indian Rifle Sheath, made to fit your firearm. We start off with garment quality leather and fashion this Indian Style rifle sheath to match the length of your long-arm. Cascading fringe gives it a unique look. Your choice of color is black or brown, and you can pick from 3 different beaded rosettes to personalize your sheath with. Enter your rosette choice and long arm description in the field provided below as you build your sheath.

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