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Outakuntrol

Need help identifying Pack Saddle

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trying to figure out what year and possibly the maker. Do you think the green is original?  Thanks 

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I know most admins hate folks who revive old threads, but this forum seems to have gotten very little use in the past year and this question is still on the first page, so I'll hit it.

There is no way you are going to be able to identify the make on an old crossbuck like that. They were so easy to make that most saddle shops made them and a lot of packers made their own, back in the day. I can see this one is put together with rivets, rather than bolts or screws, and the wood is pretty dried out, so it is easy to say it is likely more than 30 or so years old. Depending on where it was used, it could be as far back as the Gold Rush days. Crossbuck trees just don't wear out. Sometimes they break, but they don't wear out.  The leather wears out, but it is easy to replace, again, making the crossbuck difficult to age. The green paint with the white name label indicates it was used at one time by a packer with a pack string of mules (Tilly just sounds like a mule name). Crossbucks were often fitted to the back of the individual mule by rasping it to fit, so they would label it with that mule's name, so as not to get it inadvertently place on a different mule and making a sore-backed mule.

The crossbucks (there's another word for them, but I can't recall it right now) were typically made of oak or hickory, sometimes maple, because it is very hard and nearly indestructible. The bars were typically made of cottonwood, because it is somewhat flexible, yet strong and easy to work and form.

Looking at the wood on that one, seeing you are from California, and looking at the leather and imagining it as original, I'd venture a guess that particular saddle saw use in a pack string as far back as the 1930-40s, but then that's just a hairbrained guess. No real way to know.

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