From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 8, Number 16 - July 10, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

There’s Lots To Do During Rendezvous
Tiffany Turner

In the early 1800s, men from the St. Louis area traveled, hunted and mapped the uncharted West. It became necessary to designate meeting places and times in their new stomping grounds. Out of a need to trade supplies and enjoy the company of other “mountain men” (most of the year was spent in solitude), these hearty men created and attended the rendezvous.

In the years of 1833, 1835, 1836, 1837, 1839 and 1840, six of the 16 fur trade rendezvous were held in Sublette County near what is present day Daniel (the annual rendezvous ran from 1825-1840). The rendezvous served primarily as a place of business – a place to trade fur and

supplies. This, however, is not what the rendezvous is known for. Most perceive it as a great social event and party, and that it was. The rendezvous gathering lasted through September and the days were filled with purchasing, trading and gambling. It was not until the second rendezvous that alcohol was available and then it was expensive, but heavily drunk.

Wyoming and many surrounding states owe their discovery and development to these enduring mountain men surviving throughout the West in the winter and meeting along the Green River in the summer to gather necessities and monies. For this reason, rendezvous is celebrated as an integral part of both United States and local history.

For years, Sublette County has celebrated these men by hosting the annual Rendezvous Days, a time to listen to the history and enjoy the gathering. Carousing and partying may be what everyone thinks of when they hear the term “rendezvous" and it certainly took place, but remember – these men were not just here to party – they came to purchase items to help them survive the next lonely winter.

During this weekend set aside in memory of these men and their celebrations along the Green River (especially those six held near Horse Creek), commemorate their dedication and hardiness as you wander the exhibits, stands and parade in true rendezvous celebration.

The annual Rendezvous festivities get underway today with many of the old favorites including the rodeos and the Rendezvous Pageant. The next four days are packed with vendors, events and good times so get out and enjoy the celebration. Many events happen right on Pine Street and almost all take place within Pinedale town limits.

Around Town:

Trader’s Row:

The most authentic of the selling and vendors, Trader’s Row features authentic beadwork, pelts and period clothing and accessories. The vendors and booths are set up in the empty field between Ridley’s and the Sublette Center on Bridger Avenue and host a variety of events throughout the weekend. The women’s frying pan toss is scheduled for noon on Saturday with a $5 entry fee. Winner receives 50 percent of the purse with second and third places also receiving a portion. The annual atlatl, hawk, knife and primitive bow and arrow competition is Sunday with a $5 entry fee and 25 cents per practice throw. Again, winner receives half the purse with second and third receiving payouts as well.

Rendezvous Rodeo

The Annual Rendezvous Rodeo takes place Thursday through Saturday at the Pinedale Rodeo Grounds. The rodeo begins at 7 p.m. each night with Saturday being the finals. Events include bareback riding, saddle bronc, bull riding, barrel racing, team roping, breakaway roping, calf scramble for all kids under 12, bull poker and ring of fear. Admission is $5 for anyone over 12.

3-on-3-basketball tournament:

This first-ever Pinedale tournament will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. at High Country Suites. The event welcomes teams of three or four players with a $50 entry. To register or for more information, contact Jason Ditton at (307) 389-1703.

Kids’ Fishing Derby

At Boyd Skinner Memorial Park on Saturday, the kids’ fishing derby takes place from noon until 2 p.m. at the pond. Prizes will be awarded for kids age 5 to 10. It starts at 12 p.m. free hotdogs and lemonade,” Chamber Director Terrie Swift said. “This is a great way to spend the afternoon with your kids at one of our most beautiful parks in Sublette County. ...Be sure to bring your fishing pole and a smile!”

The Great Outdoor Shop, Two Rivers Emporium, The Patio Grill and Rock Rabbit sponsor prizes.

Horseshoe Pitch

This is an annual Rendezvous event at 1 p.m. Saturday in American Legion Park.

“This horseshoe tournament is in dedication to Dudley Key who organized the event for us last year,” Swift said. “This tournament is double elimination with a $5 entry fee and the Chamber is matching the pot.”

“Spirit of the West” Fireworks

The fireworks display follows the close of the rodeo and street fair on Saturday night.

“The Sublette County Chamber of Commerce is proud to host the ‘Spirit of the West’ fireworks show,” said Swift. “The Chamber would like to close our festivities with a breathtaking fireworks display – this is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to all of the people and organizations that make Rendezvous an event to remember every year.”

Mountain Man Rendezvous Breakfast

A tradition for nearly two decades, the pancake breakfast is hosted by the Pinedale Community UCC serving pancakes, ham, eggs and beverages and will gratefully accept donations. The breakfast runs from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday can be found at the corner of Maybell and Tyler.

Rendezvous Pageant

A reenactment of the Green River Rendezvous takes place Sunday at 1 p.m. at the rodeo grounds and the Pinedale Lions Club will serve lunch and beverages from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The first Rendezvous Pageant was held in 1936 near Daniel,” said long-time pageant coordinator Disney Brunette. “It was first produced by members of the Sublette County Historical Society. … It was their aim to perpetuate the important period of American history so vital to the development of the West, by re-enacting annually in Pageant form, some historical incidents from that distant day.”

On 2002, the historical society decided they could no longer organize the pageant and a group of cast members formed a committee to keep the pageant in existence.

Brunette is part of this committee.

“This is the 72nd year of it and it is important to us to keep the tradition alive and reflect on the history of this area,” Brunette said. “There are 100 people that participate in it and help behind the scenes. We only charge $5 admission and the proceeds go to the Committee to help with expenses, which doesn’t even begin to cover it so we rely heavily on donations and grant money.”

Ivy Porter’s Lemonade Stand

Open for business in front of The Barn Door during and following the Rendezvous Parade, Ivy Porter’s Lemonade Stand offers a nice cold drink with proceeds going to Ivy’s Cancer Wagon, to benefit Primary Children’s Hospital.

“(Ivy) had leukemia when she was 3,” said her aunt Cyd Jaskolski. “She is in remission now and has been for a couple of years.” “She started doing the lemonade stand last year to raise money to help provide wagons for the kids at Primary Children’s Hospital,” Jaskolski added. “When she was in the hospital, she rode in a wagon when she had to go somewhere. A lot of the kids can’t walk during chemo and the wagons are not only functional transportation but cheerful as well.

“Ivy decided to give back to the hospital that helped her get better.”

According to her aunt, Porter has delivered several wagons of goodies to children in the hospital and the lemonade stand helps fund the items filling it.

The stand is freewill donation only and will open just before the parade Saturday at 10 a.m. until it sells out.

“Our community has been very generous in supporting Ivy’s goals,” Jaskolski said. “We couldn’t do it without everyone’s help.”

Farmer ’s Market/Impromptu Jam Session

All musicians are invited and there is no set format for anyone who wishes to play. The event also features local produce and goods. The market and jam session will last from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

On Pine Street:

Street Fair

The Sublette County Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Green River Rendezvous Street Fair,” Swift said. “This is annual fundraiser for the Chamber and is a time honored tradition here in Pinedale. Both locals and folks that come here from around the country will set up their booths and offer an eclectic variety of souvenirs, handmade jewelry, homemade food and much more.”

The Street Fair stays up through the week.

Rendezvous Pie Sale

Buy a slice or buy the whole pie, but get there early because historically St. Andrews on the Pines Episcopal Church sells out of their goodies quickly. Saturday’s sale, featuring fruit pies, pecan pies, coconut cream pies, chocolate pies and many other varieties, is located at 524 West Pine and is always a success.

Live Music/Chamber Block Party

New this year, the Chamber will host a block party Saturday evening with live music on Rock Rabbit’s outdoor stage from 6 to 10 p.m. Tyler Street from Pine to Magnolia will be closed during this time.

“The performers are The Lonesome Heroes and Jason Eklund,” Swift said. “The location is the between the Visitor Center and Rock Rabbit on Tyler. There will be lots of live music by these two bands as well as Terry Hill, John Fogerty and Steve Laster.”

Rendezvous Ramble

An annual five-mile walk or run, the race begins at Tegeler & Associates on Pine Street Saturday at 7 a.m. ends at the Fremont Lake overlook.

Participants can register any time before the race with a $5 entry fee, which includes a race t-shirt. All proceeds will be donated to the McKenzie Meningitis Foundation. Contact Allen Agency Real Estate for more information at (307) 367-2812.

Rendezvous Parade

The Rendezvous Parade starts Saturday at 11 a.m. and is sponsored by the Sublette County Chamber of Commerce.

“The parade will begin at A to Z Hardware and will continue on until Ridley’s; we have a great deal of entries and can’t wait to see everyone all dressed up and ready for Rendezvous,” Swift said. “The parade is a wonderful event to support and a great way for us to congregate as a community.”

Museum of the Mountain Man:

Buffalo Burgers

“Shell, RPM graciously donates time, workforce and money to help the Sublette County Historical Society/Museum of the Mountain Man with the Annual Buffalo Burger Fry, located on the museum patio,” said Museum of the Mountain Man (MMM) Director Laurie Hartwig. “The smell of delicious burgers, hot dogs, chips and melon will waft through the air from 11 to 3, both Friday and Saturday.”

Plates are $7 for burgers and $4 for hot dogs.

Fred Gowans, PhD

Dr. Fred Gowans, history professor at BYU for over 29 years and retired in 2001, specialized in western history and is now considered the national expert on early exploration and the fur trade.

“We are so honored to have Dr. Gowans participate in our museum activities again this year,” said Hartwig, “He is the expert and we always welcome his insight and recommendation as to how we can become the center on fur trade history!”

“The Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal (is) an annual research publication of the Sublette County Historical Society and Gowns will be presenting awards to the seven authors who submitted papers for the 2008 publication,” Hartwig said. “This special reception will kick off the four-day activities at the MMM, slated to begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday evening.”

After the presentation, Gowans will give a special lecture, “The Mystery Trails: Andrew Henry and the St. Louis Fur Company’s Controversial Routes of 1809, 1810, and 1811,” slated to begin around 7:30 p.m.

Gowans will also present an additional exclusive tour on the confluence of the Green River and Horse Creek.

Those interested in attending are asked to meet at the MMM at 9 a.m. on Friday morning. Brings a chair, sunscreen, water and anything else you will need. Participants are responsible for their own transportation. Call the museum if you have any questions, 367-4101.)

Lapita Frewin – Children’s Programs

Thanks to a grant from EnCana, Lapita Frewin will head up the children’s programs at the Museum of the Mountain Man for the sixth year.

Registered with the Navaho tribe of Northern Arizona, Frewin is a graduate of Brigham Young University in social work, with a minor in Native American Studies. Along with being co-owner of Edgewater Creations, she is one of several artists to create items for Robert Redford’s Sundance catalog.

“Lapita presents exceptional programs and projects for children of all ages because she has done extensive research, study and interpretation of original specimens,” explained Hartwig. “I can’t say enough wonderful things about Lapita. Children will experience as well as learn from her.”

Frewin’s programs are scheduled for Friday and Saturday with morning and afternoon sessions.

Michael Terry - Plains Indian Encampment

Michael Terry will present lectures and showcase many artifacts and share wisdom he has gained about the rendezvous and Indian culture from the era of the Green River Rendezvous. Terry has more than 30 years of research and studies to share and set up a small Indian village on the Anderson Ranch just east of the museum parking lot to showcase buildings and artifacts.

“Highlighting Green River Rendezvous Days for the 14th year, Michael Terry provides a living history presentation on the Plains Indian culture,” said Hartwig. “Not only is Terry a movie consultant, he is a noted ethnologist and admirer of Native American history. For Terry, he brings history to life, separating myth from reality.”

“The unknown, out-of-print or neverprinted sources provide his actual interpretation,” she added.

Terry’s lectures are free to the public.

The American Mountain Men Association

“WAUGH” (the cry of the mountain man) was heard throughout the Green River Valley for the short time frame of 1820-1840 as mountain men made their way West and discovered some of the greatest beaver waters ever known,” Hartwig said. “Today in modern-day Sublette County, the Museum of the Mountain Man hosts the American Mountain Men Association, better known as the AMM.”

The AMM was formed to establish and maintain a permanent association for research and study into the history, traditions, tools and mode of living of the trappers, explorers and traders known as mountain men.

The American Mountain Men

Association set up its encampment on the northwest area of the museum and gives demonstrations throughout the weekend. A special highlight is Campfire Songs and Stories on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the amphitheater.

The Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal and Forum

Featured lectures and symposia begin Friday afternoon with guest speakers Clay Landry and “The Trapper’s Cache,” followed by “The Legend of Jedediah Smith: Fact, Fantasy and Opinion” by Jim Auld of Seattle, Wash. Doyle Reid, an AMM member from over the mountain (Lander way) will explain the different mountain man coverings in “Sheltering the Fur Trade” and Terrance Dunn of Colorado will conclude the first series with a controversial version of “Mountain Man as Mountaineer: Kit Carson and John C. Fremont.”

Saturday afternoon, the second set of authors, beginning with Gary Petersen of eastern Wyoming, will continue the RMFT series with a talk on “Antonio Montero and the Portuguese Houses.” “The Mountain Man and the Honeybee” featuring Gage Skinner, a regular with the museum activities for the past four years with his” Field Museum of the Fur Trade will follow. Brad Tennant, professor at Presentation College in South Dakota returns this year with “To Preserve Peace on the Frontiers: Federal Regulation and the Fur Trade.” Jim Hardee, AMM member and member of the RMFT Journal Editorial Board, will host and emcee the two-day series.

Prairie Mass

A little bit of a drive from Pinedale, the Prairie Mass is held at the DeSmet Monument off of Highway 189 just south of Daniel. The mass begins at 10 a.m. Sunday at the site on a nearby hill, which overlooks the historic Green River Rendezvous grounds. The mass commemorates the first mass said in the state of Wyoming, which took place on July 5, 1840 and was performed by Father Pierre-Jean DeSmet. A picnic follows at Pinedale Town Park.

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