The Trapper

The trapper museum exhibitThe trapper display exposes the lifestyle of the first Europeans who ventured into the Midwest. Trappers came to collect the valuable pelts of animals, specifically the beaver and bear. 

One of the earliest Europeans in Northwest Missouri was a Frenchman named Ettienne Veniard de Bourgmont. In 1724, he traveled from Fort Orleans, which is in present-day Saline County. His journals document everything from large packs of wolves to smoking a peace pipe, as well as trade with the Native Americans. Trade items such as metal axes and beads were used to entice Native Americans into helping the trappers. 

The trapper's tent at the Nature Center shows the everyday tools necessary for a trapper to survive. Guests can sit on a rope bed, touch the real furs, view real traps and gaze at other meager possessions a trapper may have.

The Trapper’s Tent