American Mountain Men
New England Brigade
Connecticut - Maine - Massachusetts
New Hampshire - Rhode Island - Vermont
Dan'l B. Cripps, NE Brigade Booshway
(from The Journal of a Clerk)
May 3: As affairs of the city delayed Mr. Q's and I arrival to camp, I shall leave it to Mr. Anderson to set the tone of camp from his Narrative, "In camp near Independence." (The Rocky Mountain Journals of William Marshall Anderson; Morgan and Harris ed. 1967)
Happily, although the rest of camp had turned in for the night, Mr. Wiley, along with Dan'l and Mother waited up with the fire for us. Our purpose this weekend will be to hire on hands before proceeding along the trail towards rendezvous on the Pemigewasset. We have extended numerous invitations to those who may be interested in our enterprise, so we shall endeavor to put our best foot forward.
May 4: Woke this morning to find that camp was considerably more sizeable than originally thought. As we are encamped along the main trail, messes have tucked themselves in among the trees to get away from the congestion of the thoroughfare. These are the type that appreciate the wide open spaces of the prairie and enjoy the liberty of, as Meek once said to Burnett, "being able to breathe without elbowing some farmer in the ribs!"
After a fine breakfast of bacon and biscuits provided by Mr. Wiley, we set to the business of the day of hiring on hands. So far, our company is comprised of seasoned hands who truly know their business, and it was great to see that all of the old faces wintered well and are excited for the prospects of another summer.
This evening I ventured back to Independence to take a young lady to a dance. She felt like a princess and had the time of her life. After escorting her to her lodgings, it was back to the trail, as business must flow, arriving back in camp shortly before midnight. Dan'l and Q had the watch when I returned. Tomorrow is shaping up to be exciting as we have heard that many are curious about our company and what we are all about.
May 5: Today more than lived up to expectations as we had many guests in camp considering the proposition of joining the company. First we offered these "prospectives" the challenge of shooting at a mark (or woodblock, cracker, pine cone, egg, and THEN the mark) to see if their talents measured up and could withstand the test of time with one minute per target. I am pleased to report that all measured up well and did not get any egg on their face, with young Kenneth taking top honors. This first contest got the competitive juices flowing, leading to an informal meeting of the Gentlemen's Dueling Association with pistols. I was able to avenge myself on friend Nicholas after our last encounter, but then fell "victim" to Father John's cool aim. In the end, it became a family affair as I backed up Dan'l against a particularly elusive foe, and John amazed us all by hitting an egg at fifteen paces.
Much frivolity in the tavern this evening, with the call of an elusive Bardsley highlighting the evening.
May 6: Dawn found Q and I rolling out of our blankets and squeezing a sausage in a biscuit before heading off down the trail in advance of the company toward rendezvous. Since yesterday I have heard that several of our guests decided to sign on, and I look forward to seeing them at the river at the end of the month. As mother often says, "travel well, my friends."
Dave Edington, Booshway Brendan Cripps, Clerk
Mr. Edington was the man with the vision to create the Westfield River Party in 2011. A skilled craftsman of fine powder horns, as well as woodsman, and hunter, Dave also brings to the mountains a sharp business mind which might make Mr. W. Sublette consider making him a partner in the coming years. Mr. E. has travelled a fair piece looking to build relationships throughout the organization, and will never pass up the opportunity to palaver and swap stories and strenghten the bonds of brotherhood with his fellows.
BRENDAN D. CRIPPS
Author of the "Confluence of the Merrimack and Concord Rivers" series in Tomahawk and Long Rifle, editor of the Moccasin Mail, Cripps is a unique mixture of book-learning and field craft, having travelled many twisting and precarious trails both in the Rockies as well as the halls of higher learning. B is dedicated to a commitment to excellence for himself and delights in being able to further his own knowledge and experiences, while also always available to his friends and brothers, no matter what the occasion.
The senior hand in the party, "Skip" has travelled far and wide, north and south, east and west, with more time in the Rockies than any other man of the party.Teacher, leader, mentor, and true rennaissance man, Mr. Wiley's coat buttons over a long list of honors, and experiences, of which he is always willing and gracious to share with his fellows.On more than one occasion, men have been known to wonder, "What would Skip do?"
While his primary occupation in these mountains is that of a trapper, Mr. Thebodo is also a skilled hunter, craftsman, and a noted marksman. Ronnie is also a very experienced hand and always has a tale, yarn, or anecdote for any occasion, especially when tending bar, which is his own creation as well. Ask him for a gill of shrub and a tale, and you won't be disappointed, and will have gained a trailmate for life! It's not every man who is awarded his membership card by passing through an honor guard saluting with the finest New England maple! It also should be noted that, every now and again, Mr. Thebodo has been known to associate with the stars of the Alaskan moving pictures as well!
Mr. Duff is a true man of honor, whose word is his bond, and is always there to help a friend. A well travelled hand, Duffy's inquisitive mind, particularly about the trail to come, is the stuff of legend, as his skill in games of chance, as some of our brothers from Michigan can attest to after a run of luck in which the dice took a huge shining to Mr. D. leaving some of our friends to hold on to their shirts for fear of losing them! A man with a great attitude, problems seem to fall away from "Duffy" like water from a duck's back. It seems likely that Ray's career path will follow that of Mr. Sublette's into the potential ownership of a racetrack and spa when his time in the mountains has finished.
MICHAEL J. QUIGLEY
What truly sets Mr. Q apart is his work ethic and inventive attitude on the trail. Always looking to take on a new challenge, or take things to the next level, his "we can do that" attitude is infectious, resulting in members of the party being reinvigorated while continuing along his path, while at the same time motivating people to try new things, learning from his experience and sharing his findings, and asking for help and advice, resulting in all around him benefiting from his experience.
Old Colony Sportsman's Club (Pembroke, MA)
2nd Saturday of the Month
Townsend Rod and Gun (Townsend, MA)
3rd Sunday of the Month
"Original Northeastern Primitive Rendezvous"
AMM National Rendezvous
Bayou Salado, CO
Blue Lake, NY
Return to Fort @ Number 4
August 31- Sepetmber 3
AMM Eastern Rendezvous
At spring camp May 5th 2011 the first conversations were had about forming a new AMM party from Massachusetts. The Westfield River party had its inaugural meeting at the Original Northeastern Primitive Rendezvous in West Warren, Massachusetts on May 30, attended by eleven AMM members including members of the White Mountain Party (NH) and Non-Party (?). The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the possibility of establishing a party for men from Massachusetts, and, if the interest was there, begin the process of establishing that party to be part of the New England Brigade. D. Edington, B. Cripps, R. Duff, S. Wiley, and R. Thebodo voted in favor of the creation of the Westfield River Party, with Edington being elected Party Booshway and Cripps as Party Clerk.
The party derives its name from a picturesque mountain valley in western Massachusetts which the men of New England have used as a gathering place since its discovery by Msrs Shaw, Kemp, and Farnsworth in '75. In the time since, the valley has become part of the identity of the mountaineers of New England, being a thread in the fabric of countless tales, adventures, and memories of all sorts, so that in many ways it has become a home that we look forward to returning to on an annual basis.
In the years since its inception, the Westfield River Party has strove to create a reputation of a "high quality outfit" not only within the New England Brigade, but throughout the American Mountain Men through adhering to the AMM goal to "teach, share, and learn the arts and skills of the original Mountain Men" by hosting and attending activities ranging from hunting and trapping camps, to educational demonstrations, while also focussing on the academic realm through numerous contributions to the Tomahawk and Long Rifle and extensive communication and conversation with AMM brothers across the country as well as hosting the 2015 AMM Eastern Territorial Rendezvous. As well as increasing it's numbers by over 50% in only five years. Although the younger party in the New England Brigade, the Westfield River Party's continued dedication to excellence is second to none!
Westfield River Party Spring Camp, plus Non-Party Members and invited guests, Edington Property, Rehoboth, MA (2012)
*IF YOU WOULD LIKE A DIGITAL COPY OF ANY OF THE PHOTOS BELOW, CLICK HERE*
After years of adventures ranging from the shores of colonial Plymouth, to the mountains of Colorado, to the halls of power in Europe, to the "Land of the Rising Sun", "Uncle Paul" has decided to sign on with the Westfield River Party looking for further adventures and to help his trailmates out as much as he can along the way. A man whose talents range from helping his fellows find "who they are" (from a historical perspective) to leading by quiet example, being able to rustle up a fine stew from out of nowhere, to sometimes even being able to predict the weather, Mr. Cripps is a welcome and exciting addition to the WRP!
Looking for Molds, Vices, and other essential truck?
Look no further than
Callahan Bagmolds and Accoutrements, Mr. Larry Callahan, Proprietor
Spring "Green Up" Rendezvous
"Brown's Hole" Townsend, MA
Dedication of the AMM Kentucky Trading Post
Ronnie sets a spell and shares one of his legendary tales in good humor and fellowship with Mrs. Mary Lou Brannin and Charlie Atkinson (Barrens River Party, Appalachian Brigade)
The Cripps Clan ventured out in search of game
Denny, Tom, and Ron Valley (WMP) tucked among the trees
Dave and Skip sign on with Dave Fox (NP) as the rest of the hands que up.
New England Brigade Booshway Dan'l B. and Past New England Brigade Booshway Ron Marshall approve
Q and Chuck Terry (WMP) prepare to show their skills at the range
Guests George, Demi, and Scott look things over
Dan'l B. explains the rules of the Gentleman's Dueling Association to Kenneth and George Candalet as experienced duelists Nick and "Father" John prepare themselves
I uphold the family's honor
Dave looks on as Ronnie shows off his pretty new coat to Dan'l B.
Ronnie shares a laugh with Chuck, Bob, and Alan.
I think they frequent the same tailor.....
Dave, Ronnie, and Skip chat with Mother Cathy (Women of the Morning Star), Miss De, and Mrs. Berry
The Captain gives us our marching orders as we head for Rendezvous on the Pemigewasset
New England Base Camp
B explains "What's in a Mountaineer's Saddlebag"
Rebecca Quigley fixes up Papa's Hat
Mike teaching guests how to make fire
Dan'l playing "which one of these things is not like the other"
Brendan Visiting a Local School,