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Back in the 19th century every cowhand carried a knife - not for defense but for eating with, skinning his food, cutting rope or under brush. His knife was a valuable tool for the working cowboy, and to many it was also a form of entertainment. With no TV to watch or XBox to play; many a cowhand spent hours whittling away after supper, or on a rainy morning or afternoon.

Our Knife Master, John Ertman, spent 25 years working at the Homestake Gold Mine in Deadwood, South Dakota.

John spent the last ten years in the metallurgy department, where he learned all about metals and their properties. The workmanship of our Custom Hatbands is second to none, and these beautiful custom knives are work-a-day tools. Meant to be used regularly by hunter's, and guides - or simply to adorn the belt or display case of any lover of fine custom blades. Click here for our Custom Hatbandsproduct page.

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About the Homestake Gold Mine

In the early days of the Deadwood Gold Rush of 1876, the Manuel brothers, and Hank Harney registered the original claim. A little over a year later, George Hearst with 2 partners purchased the Manuel claim and several others. He incorporated the bunch of titles into one name: the Homestake Gold Mine. Over the next year or so George Hearst acquired further claims in Deadwood through legal, and sometimes illegal methods.

In one celebrated murder a Hearst employee was seen by eye witnesses murdering a man who refused to sell his claim. When trial day came round the man was acquitted by the Judge because not a single witness could be found - they'd all disappeared. In those early years, Hearst, bought newspapers in Deadwood to sway the public opinion, and there's good evidence he ordered an opposing editor beat on the street.

George Hearst's Homestake Gold Mine.

Homestake Mine - 1889

The Homestake Gold Mine would form the basis of the Hearst financial empire, and for the next 126 years dominate the economy of the Black Hills. When the mine completely shut down operation in 2003 it was the largest and deepest mine in the Western Hemisphere, reaching more than 8000 feet below the town of Lead.

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Custom HatbandsArtistry
What sets our knives apart and identifies them is the unique burnishing done to the brass blade guard and pommel. When you see this distinguishing feature you'll know it's a Custom HatbandsCustom Knife.

Work-a-day knife - or work of art? Most people would say both. 

Traditional Cowboy Knives - Old West Quality
The high carbon steel in commercial forestry blades is some of the hardest produced. We recycle the worn-out blades and make world-class knife's out of them. Some blades may have slight pitting caused when the rust is ground out. This will not affect the knives performance in the slightest, and was very common in the 19th century. Each custom blade comes individually numbered, and with a top quality heavy leather sheath. Knife leather is available in your choice of four colors: black, light brown, tan, and dark brown. Our Custom Hatbands' take and hold an edge exceptionally well, and will give you a lifetime of fine use.

You've tried the rest - now own one of the best working knives available.

Custom Knives
Custom Skinning Knife.
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Custom Leather Products
The Masterson - Custom Cross Draw Holster

Bat Masterson was one of the most feared and respected "Shootist's" of the Old West. He employed a cross-draw pull, and his skill with a hand gun was such that everyone kept theirs holstered with Masterson around. Own a classic custom holster inspired by Bat's simple - yet elegant rig.

Shown in black cow hide, with heavy, plain black belt. In the holster is a 45 Cal. Colt Peacemaker,  with 4" barrel - nickel plated. We will custom make to accommodate the make, model, and calibre of your firearm. Side arm is very secure when pushed down in the holster and comes with a hammer tie-down.

Click for our Custom Leather Page

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Custom Cowboy Hats
In today's world of depleting Ozone and the rise of melanoma and skin cancer - everyone needs a good hat to shield their face and neck from the harmful effects of the sun. What could be more timeless and useful than a fine fur-felt Cowboy Hat? It will keep your face and neck in constant shade - regardless of the position of the sun, and your eyes and lips will say thankee-thankee. It'll be your friend for life and will age just as gracefully as you!

We'll give you what you want.
Made to your Specifications. If you don't see what you want - send us a picture - and we'll make our version of that hat. Longfellow researched the designs based on historical photos and original mail order catalogues from the late 1800's and the early decades of the 20th Century. Of particular help was the Smithsonian Website, the Library, and the archives of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. And of course those great Hollywood Westerns.

Western Movie Hats :: Old West Hats :: Masters of Rodeo :: Cowboy Hat Facts
Custom Western Hat
Dodge City 1876.
Dodge City Peace Commission photo of 1876
Seated Left to right: Charley Bassett, Wyatt Earp, Frank McLain, Neal Brown.
Back Row from Left: Longfellow (recruited in 2007), Luke Short, Bat Masterson, and W. F. Petillon.

Want your picture blended in an archival old west photo? Have a look at our custom wanted poster page - here.

Authentic Wanted Posters

Pony Express

Old West Posters

Jesse Woodson James
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Old West Badges

Authentic Reproductions of Old West Badges.

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