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Pinedale Online > News > March 2006 > Museum Spring Thaw Party March 9

Vernon & Virginia Delgado. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Vernon & Virginia Delgado
Vernon and Virginia Delgado stand by their impressive Winchester Commemorative Arms Collection which they have generously loaned to the Museum of the Mountain Man for long-term display. Winchester Commemoratives were first introduced in 1964, with the Wyoming Diamond Jubilee. Each Commemorative was issued to specifically honor a significant and/or historical person, group, event or institution relating to U.S. or Canadian history.

1824 T.F. Rock. Photo by Museum of the Mountain Man.
1824 T.F. Rock
Was this inscribed rock left behind by mountain man Thomas Fitzpatrick and his party of trappers when they were in our Green River Valley in 1824?

Beer and Wine Tasting. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Beer and Wine Tasting
Billy Pape and Ken Hartwig stand ready to serve a selection of beer from Pinedale's local microbrewery, Bottoms Up, as part of the beer, wine and cheese tasting at the Museum of the Mountain Man and Sublette County Historical Society Spring Thaw Party.
Museum Spring Thaw Party March 9
1824 T.F. Rock topic of discussion
by Dawn Ballou
March 5, 2006

The Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale is busy preparing for the upcoming season. Their first program for 2006 will be a "Spring Thaw Party" on Thursday, March 9th at 6 pm at the Museum. The public is invited to see new exhibits for 2006, enjoy wine and cheese tasting, and to hear a lecture and discussion about the "1824 T.F. Rock", one of the Museumís prized exhibits which is surrounded by much mystery and debate.

The T.F. Rock was found in the Daniel area around the old Fort Bonneville site in 1905. It has inscribed upon it, "T.F. 1824". The talk Thursday night is entitled, "1824: First Trapper Inscription in the Upper Green?"

It is possible that T.F. stands for mountain man Thomas Fitzpatrick. He, along with Jedediah Smith, James Clyman and others, crossed South Pass and spent the summer of 1824 trapping the Green River Valley. This was the early days of the Rocky Mountain fur trade, which was of extreme importance to the economy of early America, determining ownership of the Oregon Territory, and led to the opening of the West for settlement in later years. BLM Archaeologist Dave Vlcek, and Historical Society Board Member Clint Gilchrist, will discuss what is known about the T.F. Rock in a presentation entitled, "1824: First Trapper Inscription in the Upper Green?"

The Museum is proud to also present the Winchester Commemorative Arms Collection, on loan to the Museum from Vernon and Virginia Delgado of Pinedale. The full commemorative gun collection is now on display at the Museum and includes the Wyoming Centennial and Sublette County Commemorative Rifles.

New exhibits include a mountain man camp featuring the impressive collection of mountain man tools and wares collected over many years by American Mountain Man Dr. Gage Skinner. Professor of Anthropology from the University of California, Dr. Skinner donated his "Field Museum of the Fur Trade" to the Museum in 2004.

Although not on display yet, the most prominent new exhibit to the Museum this year is the Chief American Horse Warrior Society Buffalo Hide Tipi, made by Pains Indian Historian Michael Terry.

Terry has been a regular speaker at the Museum for many years, displaying his vast Plains Indian collection and living history demonstrations at presentations at the Museum during the Green River Rendezvous. This tipi, circa 1876, is one of only a few brain-tanned buffalo hide tipis in existence and the only one on display for the public in the United States. The tipi is fully outfitted with elaborately painted buffalo ropes, hand-painted drums, parfleche food containers, kitchen items, pipes, lances, bows and arrows, and many more items that are replicas of items that are authentic to the time period of Sioux Chief American Horse in 1876. The tipi is a donation to the Museum of the Mountain Man from Gayle McMurry Kinnison through her Wyoming Community Donor Advised Endowment.

The public is welcome and invited to come up the Museum on Thursday, March 9 to hear the presentations, see the new exhibits and enjoy the selection of wine, beer and cheese for tasting. There will also be non-alcoholic beverages and chocolate. The Sublette County Historical Society will have a brief presentation with their annual report and a short business meeting, announce new board members and thank departing board members.

One hundred and eighty years ago, fur trappers in the area would have been in the process of breaking winter quarters with the spring thaw at the end of winter to head out to trap beaver while the animalís fur was at its thickest and prime. In keeping with the spirit of what the mountain men were doing at this time, the Museum invites everyone to come up to celebrate the coming of spring and see the exciting new exhibits for the upcoming season.

The Museum will be open daily from 9 am to 5 pm from May 1-September 30th. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, $3 for children 6-12. Children under 6 admitted free. Sublette County Free Day is Saturday, June 3rd, when county residents get into the Museum free to see the new exhibits.

See the Museum online anytime, including the online Trading Post Gift Shop, at

Pinedale Online > News > March 2006 > Museum Spring Thaw Party March 9

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