Mountain Man Rendezvous

Mountain Man Rendezvous

September, Labor Day weekend
The Mountain Man Rendezvous is a celebration of 19th-century history at Fort Bridger, Wyo. This town was founded in 1842 as a trading post by mountain men Jim Bridger and Louis Vasquez. It was established as a stronghold by Mormons in 1853, and taken over by the U.S. Army in 1959. In the great westward migration, streams of wagon trains passed through Fort Bridger for points west.
The Mountain Man Rendezvous began in 1973 and today attracts about 45,000 visitors over four days. The days of 1820-40 are reenacted with people in calico and buckskins, furs and feathers. A teepee village is set up where campers wear clothing of the period, and there is a traders' row where replicas of pre-1840 items are for sale. Other activities include competitions in tomahawk throwing and archery, costume and cooking contests, black-powder shoots, and Indian tribal dances.
See also Green River Rendezvous
CONTACTS:
Fort Bridger Historical Association
P.O. Box 112
Fort Bridger, WY 82933
307-782-3842
www.fortbridgerhistorical.org
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In this essay, cultural criticism, Jungian psychology, and anthropological methods are used to characterize the "real thing," as a phenomenon of "living history,"or as Andrew Robertshaw labeled "living interpretation." (1) Among the celebrations that can be categorized as living history are the modern mountain man rendezvous, Revolutionary War reenactments, World War I and II battle reenactments, the Renaissance fair, and Civil War reenactments.
He includes brief discussion of Fort Carson and Forts Uintah and Robidoux in Utah, the famous mountain man rendezvous that occurred in southern Wyoming and its influence on trading in Colorado, and Fort John/William/Laramie in southern Wyoming, as well as the New Mexico connection.
A few years ago I visited a mountain man rendezvous in Friendship, Indiana, at the National Muzzleloading Rifle Association's headquarters.
There is a prevailing myth that the availability of the silk top hat caused the end of the beaver fur trade and mountain man rendezvous. The reality is that the silk hat was invented long before the advent of the first rendezvous.
But he got a great deal on some period British military equipment at a mountain man rendezvous he attended near Mount Hood.
A festival set for September 13 and 14 will include boat trips on the channel, children's games, displays of antique farm equipment, a mountain man rendezvous, and Indian canoe races (call 206/466-4444).
An experienced Mountain Man Rendezvous reenactor could probably shrink that down considerably, and he would use mattress ticking--or maybe silk.
The western fur trade era (1790 to 1840) is re-created during mountain man rendezvous and Old West festivals around the West.
The Sante Fe Trail Mountain Man Rendezvous: 60 lodges, 300 in period dress.