Teton Traders
Proprietors Doug and Ann Galbraith
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Fur Traders, Reenactments and Rendezvous Items!
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Rendezvous History
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Follow us on our Journey:
Pacific Primitive Rendezvous Paiute Mpuntain Rendezvous
formerly Hart Canyon Rendezvous Hart Canyon Rendezvous
currently Paiute Mpuntain Rendezvous
Fort Bridger Rendezvous Big Horn Mountain ManRendezvous Laguna Mountain Rendezvous
Whisky Flat Encampment Manzanita High Mountain Rendezvous Southwestern Regional Rendezvous

Rendezvous History

The Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Era!

In the early 19th century, the fur trade flourished in the American West. Peaking in the early 1840s, trappers and traders began roaming the Rocky Mountains in numbers, beginning about 1810 and continuing through the 1880s. These many mountain men were mostly interested in beaver pelts, which, at the time, were used to make the tall, shiny hats of well-to-do eastern gentlemen.

The trappers had to transport their furs from the Rocky Mountains back to St. Louis, Missouri. There the furs were sold or traded for supplies and equipment for the next trapping season. Around 1825, some traders started to have supplies transported into the mountains to trade with the trappers. This allowed the trappers to remain in the wilderness without having to personally take their goods back in Missouri.

One of the first rendezvous was at the Boise River Valley in 1819 held by Donald Mackenzie, a Scottish-Canadian explorer and fur trader of the North West Company. A regular rendezvous system was later created by William Henry Ashley of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. The company transported supplies in the spring to trading with trappers and brought the furs back to Missouri in the fall. Other companies like the American Fur Company owned by John Jacob Astor also started the same system of rendezvous.

These annual gatherings were held at various locations as early as 1825. The large fur companies put together large mule trains that packed in whiskey, tobaco and supplies and set up a trading faircalled the "rendezvous." The Rendezvous was a place for the trappers to sell or trade their furs for all the supplies they needed.It was also a place to meet traders and offer their services for the coming year.

This annual rendezvous was referred to as the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous. Eight of the fifteen rendezvous were held at Horse Creek on the Green River. The site is now called the Upper Green River Rendezvous Site near Pinedale, Wyoming.

By the mid-1830s, this annual event was attended by hundreds of trappers, traders and American Indians. This soon changed when the Canadian-based Hudson's Bay Company set out to destroy the American fur trade. In 1834, the Hudson's Bay Company visited the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous to buy and trade for furs. The Canadian company was able to offer trade goods at prices far below the American fur companies could. This competition combined with a decline in demand for beaver pelts effectively destroyed the American fur trade system. The last rendezvous was held in 1840.

The main Rendezvous site near Pinedale, Wyoming is now a National Historic Landmark. A reenactment of the Rendezvous is held every year on the second Sunday in July at the Museum of The Mountain Man. It is part re-enactment/part living history.

Rendezvous are still celebrated as gatherings of like-minded individuals. The fur trading rendezvous are celebrated by traditional black-powder rifle clubs in the US and Canada. These events range from small gatherings sponsored by local clubs to large gatherings like the Pacific Primitive Rendezvous and others. They include many of the activities as the originals, centering on shooting muzzle-loaded rifles, trade guns and shotguns, throwing knives and tomahawks and primitive archery, as well as cooking, dancing, singing, the telling of tall tales and of past rendezvous.


  
Featured Rendezvous Items

Custom Leather Clothing
Custom Leather Clothing Sets

Shooters Bags
Buffalo Leather Shooters Bag

Shot Glass Horns
Sun Shot Cup Horn

Wolf Ear Hoods
Baby Wolf Ear Hood

 
 
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