Mountain Men (Virtual)

In our Mountain Man Education Trunk, you'll find a ton of amazing items to bring the mountain men to life in your classroom. This includes animal pelts, mountain man clothing, knives, a beaver trap, a castoreum bottle, trade items, a canteen, and a ton more! It also includes world-class curriuculum and activities to use in your schools. 

Our physical Education Trunks are available for FREE for teachers to pick up at our museum. If that is not possible, our Virtual Education Trunks are an amazing resource for you! They are also completely free! This page shows you an example of some of the contents of the Virtual Education Trunks. Fill out the quick request form (below) and our Curator of Education will send you log in information on the next Monday. If you have any questions, please call Jeremy at 307-286-8627.

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Wooden Water Canteen
This canteen is made from pinewood construction with nailed wooden hoops. It is lined with brewers pitch (tree resin) to make it waterproof. Canteens like these were common among fur trappers.

Castor Bottle
A castor bottle contained castoreum, harvested from the glands of beavers. This was used to bait a mountain man's beaver traps. He would take a peeled willow stick and dip it into his castor bottle. He would then spread this yellowish substance on a limb poised above the trap. The castoreum produced a scent that attracted beavers to the location of the trap. Castor, or castoreum, comes from two glands at the base of the beaver's tail. Trappers mixed castor with cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, alcohol, and other strong smelling items. Each trapper guarded his recipe and swore it was the best. Castoreum was also used in perfumes and in medicines for a variety of illnesses. It contained acetylsalicylic acid, the main component of aspirin.

Beaver Trap
Beaver traps varied in size, style, and method of setting. The most commonly used beaver traps were double spring and weighed about four to five pounds. A mountain man carried six or seven traps in his leather trap sack.

Large Glass Trade Beads
There were numerous styles of glass beads that were used as trade items with the numerous Native American tribes. The trunk has pound beads (larger "pony" beads) and seed beads (smaller beads). Glass beads were popular because they were colorful, easy to use and easy to carry. The trade beads replaced beads made of bone, shell, copper, and stone.