Rendezvous at the Museum
July 10, 2005
"For sixteen years, the Green River Valley served as the center of the mountain fur trade, supplying prime beaver pelts as well as hosting a majority of the renowned annual rendezvous." These words, from the Museum of the Mountain Manís new book, "The Fur Trade & Rendezvous of the Green River Valley", summarize the Green River Rendezvous celebrated each year in Pinedale during the second weekend in July. The release of the new book and book signing by the authors were just one of the events held during this yearís Rendezvous Days.
This yearís Rendezvous events included a parade, three days of rodeos, a mountain man Traderís Row, street vendors, the Rendezvous Ramble early morning walk/run, Sunday mass at the DeSmet historical site, and the elaborate Rendezvous Pageant Sunday afternoon.
The American Mountain Men returned to the Museum to give demonstrations, presentations, campfire stories and music throughout the weekend at their mountain man encampment. Gage Skinner gave talks with his "Field Museum of the Fur Trade". Lapita Frewin had programs and activities for children. Plains Indian historian Michael Terry gave talks about Native American culture and lifestyle during the mid-1800s. At lunch, hungry spectators could chow down on buffalo burgers on the Museum patio.
The Museum hosted a Fur Trade Symposia, which brought together the historians and artists who contributed to the Museum's new book. The Symposia included an all-day field trip to Union Pass, an important mountain pass across the northern end of the Wind River Mountains that was used by Native Americans, early explorers and mountain men. Other topics during the Symposia at the Museum included the geography of the fur trade, winter camp, and a Lewis & Clark discussion. Guest speakers were Fred Gowans, Steve Banks, Matt Despain, Kerry Oman, Brenda Francis and Doug Erickson.
The Museum held their popular Quick Draw and Auction during the book signing reception. Artists Kay Meeks, Sandy Brewer and Christie Anspach had one hour to create a painting which was then auctioned off as a fundraiser for the Museum.
Photos by Clint Gilchrist and Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!