Green River Rendezvous

Green River Rendezvous

Second weekend in July
A reenactment in Pinedale, Wyo., of the days when mountain men, Indians, and traders came together to transact business, trade, drink, holler, and celebrate. The first rendezvous, or gathering, of trappers was held on the Green River, near the present Wyoming-Utah border. After trading posts were established, the rendezvous became less important. The last of these colorful gatherings was held in 1840. A two-hour pageant recreating these rendezvous has been presented by the Sublette County Historical Society since 1936. Celebrations are held over three days, and other events include black-powder shoots and barbecues.
The trappers, traders, and explorers who came to be known as mountain men were a distinctive breed who numbered in their ranks the legendary Jim Bridger, the scout and Indian agent Kit Carson, and William Sublette, who established the area's first trading post. They were satisfying the demand for fur and especially for beaver; the beaver hat was supreme in the world of fashion at the start of the 19th century.
Besides trapping beaver, they also planted the American claim to much of the territory of the American West. For most of the year, they trapped on the tributaries of the Green River, but for several weeks each summer when there was no beaver trapping, they came out of the wilderness and met at a rendezvous site. Trade goods—blankets, coffee, sugar, gunpowder, and cheap whiskey—were brought from Missouri by pack animals and trade wagons, and the trappers brought their beaver skins.
It was a time for more than trading: on one occasion Jim Bridger rode around in a suit of armor that had been brought to him from Scotland. The rendezvous brought together a concentration of explorers and frontiersmen and provided a stepping stone for the settlers who followed. The rendezvous and the era of the mountain men came to an end in the 1840s when the whims of fashion shifted from beaver hats to silk hats, and the race for beaver furs was over.
See also Mountain Man Rendezvous
CONTACTS:
Sublette County Historical Society
c/o Museum of the Mountain Man
P.O. Box 909
Pinedale, WY 82941
877-686-6266 or 307-367-4101; fax: 307-367-6768
SOURCES:
GdUSFest-1984, p. 216
References in periodicals archive ?
The museum sponsors the Green River Rendezvous Days every July and publishes the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal, a nationally-recognized, peer-reviewed, academic publication.