Farm Horizons, May 2007

Bringing back the Wild West

Jennifer Gallus
Herald Journal, Staff Writer

Stories and scenes from the Old West are brought to life on a regular basis by a professional re-enactment group from Howard Lake called Cowboy Honor. The group is headed up by Jeff and Tammy Amland of Howard Lake, who are also known as Renegade and Cowgirl from Hell.

Cowboy Honor travels across the country and performs various historical events such as the Wells Fargo strong box robbery, Lincoln County New Mexican War, Johnson County Wyoming War, gunfight at the O.K. Corral, post Civil War robberies by the James/Younger Gang, and more.

The focus is on turbulent history between the years of 1866 through 1899, with performances that take place at community or corporate events anywhere in the country including Tombstone, AZ.

“We are professional Old West re-enactors. We can re-create some of the most famous events in Old West history, with some of the most famous lawmen and outlaws of their time,” Jeff Amland explained.

“Cowboy Honor consists of real cowboys and true horsemen. We bring to events the cowboy skills of horsemanship, the lariat, the bullwhip, the Winchester, and the Colt. We are historians and educators,” he added.

The re-enactment group will set up complete scenes including store fronts, as well as round pens for teaching cowboy skills, panning for gold activites, saloons complete with sarsaparilla, liar’s bench, 1880s banks, a mechanical bull, and much more.

Cowboy Honor is essentially a Wild West party planning organization and can even set up old fashioned photos for events and parties. Often times, Cowboy Honor will partner with another Old West performance company called WildWestPerformers.com.

Historical accuracy is taken very seriously with Cowboy Honor. Clothing, gear, hardware, and horses all have to be true to the time period.

“About 130 years ago our country was establishing its pioneer roots. The cowboy, the horsemen, would begin to create history. The man and his handshake, his word was his bond, was how an honorable man ran the business of his life. He was a man that lived and worked on the land. He didn’t know it at the time, but the cowboy was to become a hero to a growing nation,” Amland said.

“The reason I’ve been so interested in this time period has a lot to do with my great grandparents who homesteaded 160 acres in Lemon, South Dakota in 1860. My great granddad ran a freight business with horses and a freight wagon. He would bring supplies from big towns to settlers,” he added.

Renegade has entertained audiences at more than 50 town festivals since 1995. He has appeared in movies such as Ride with the Devil and The Patriot as well as on television in a Best Buy commercial and local television news shows.

In addition to Cowboy Honor, Amland operates a gun blank ammunition business.

“We have several varieties of blank ammunition available. We also have a varied array of blank firing guns including the Italian made Bruni. From single action Colts and Navys to law enforcement trainers and any variety of movie prop blank guns. Not to mention gun rigs such as leg conceals, duty belts, single action fastdraw, Hollywood gun rigs, just to name a few,” Amland said.Renegade and his Cowboy Honor cohorts will entertain at the Rails to Trails festival in Watertown Saturday, July 21 at 1:30 p.m. at the Highland Park grandstand. Later that day, the crew will also perform at the Hollywood School House (next to the Hollywood Sports Complex) in Hollywood Township for the 100 Year Celebration of the school house’s first class.

The Wild West Round Up in Dundas, Minn. Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10 will host these Old West performers, as well. For more information about the round up go to www.wildwestroundup.com.

For more information about Cowboy Honor, go online at www.cowboyhonor.com. Information regarding the gun blanks business can be found at www.gunblanks.com. For either business, call 800-681-3402.

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