Fort Pitt

Fort Pitt
Center of the ohio country universe

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Jim Dresslar story....

As most history folks know collector Jim Dresslar passed away over the weekend. Jim was an amazing guy with a great sense of humor so in honor of Jim I thought I'd keep this light...

The first time I met Jim Dresslar was kind of by accident. I was at Manskers Station taking part in the Daniel Boone "hunter heroes" filming for the history Channel. Myself and Jon Failor were goofing around (probably quoting Billy Madison lines) and this Gray haired gentleman walked up to Us and started asking about our gear. Thinking This was just a park visitor I went into teacher mode and started explaining my clothing.
He then got specific about my tattoos and wanted to know if they got very infected after I got them done. We talked about tats for a few more minutes and he got more and more into detail about the idea of infection. To me it was getting a little weird for general public questions. I finally asked if he was thinking of getting a tattoo. His reply was yes he had a gorget of an Indian couple about to (well i'll leave the rest out) and he wanted to get it tattooed on his chest.
Now I had seen images of this gorget and knew it was in the Dresslar collection but for some reason in my brain the idea of a collector was a stuffy tweed jacket type of guy and I was still too busy laughing at the gorget description to really do the mental math. HE then made the comment "you guys like old stuff? well I'm parked right over there I have a few items I'd like ya to see."
Jon and I walked with the man to his car and he opened a door and started handing out artifacts left and right. "hold this" he said handing me a pipe tomahawk "I got a nice indian horn in here somewhere...oh thats squire boones hawk" Well around this point we finaly got to introductions (I thought it only fair as I was holding a small fortune in my hands)
Jim Didnt know Jon and I from Adam but he was all about sharing history and the stories that went with his artifacts.We stood there for quite sometime talking history and old stuff. Luckily for both Jon and I this wasnt the last time we spoke with Mr. Dresslar about old stuff. Honestly that's one of my favorite memories of meeting with a collector. I was able a number of times over the years to spend time with Jim and he was always a hoot. He really killed my idea of collectors in tweed jackets. My condolences to Carolyn and the rest of Jim's Family. History lost a great friend...Oh and I'm pretty sure he did get the tattoo :)


  1. This was very nice. I wonder what happened to all his artifacts from the building by the shop?
    Stephanie Hensley

  2. Great JD story, Nathan, I can just see it happening in my mind's eye. He was THE BEST. Broke the mold in many ways.