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Mountain man re-enactors assemble at historic site
Angelica Throckmartin winced as her grandfather, Paul Throckmartin, sprayed her arm with mosquito repellent Thursday at their campsite near the Wind River at the 1838 Rendezvous grounds. Photos by Wayne Nicholls

Just like 1838: Mountain man re-enactors assemble at historic point

Jul 6, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer

Coonskin caps, moccasins and merriment filled the historic 1838 Rendezvous site Thursday east of Riverton at the annual 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous.

The event opened Wednesday and continues through Sunday, July 8.

Members of the Cronk family found a cool area to pitch a tent as they lounged under a tree to stay cool from the early July heat.

"The afternoons are mostly spent sitting around because it is too hot to do anything," Joe Cronk said.

Joe and sons Caleb and Will enjoy travelling around to different Rendezvous sites throughout the year as they dress in period clothing resembling 1830s attire.

The Cronks have attended the Riverton encampment for eight years, enjoying the family atmosphere it provides.

"This particular site is one of the only documented sites of a mountain man Rendezvous, so it provides a lot of history," Joe Cronk said. "I like bringing my sons because we can shoot black powder rifles together, hang out during the day, and get to meet other people while re-enacting the Rendezvous."

Founded in 1989 for the purpose of preserving a historical landmark, the 1838 Rendezvous celebrates the era of mountain men with a range of classes on wool spinning, tanning and preserving, mountain man cooking, primitive archery, rope making, beer making, beaver trapping, frontier cooking and basic fire making.

Participants maintain the authenticity of the 1830s era by re-enacting the period of donning costumes while learning different skills associated with historic mountain men, women, and children.

Yancey Allison has attended the 1838 Rendezvous for nine years. He travels with his family from Rawlins to participate in the festivities.

"My family loves coming to the rendezvous," Allison said. "It is a wonderful family atmosphere where a group of people becomes a family."

The Allisons have a traditional teepee set up on the campgrounds with modern-day amenities inside.

"Even though the inside is very modern, we have tried to keep the exterior authentic," Allison said. "We enjoy spending time together as a family, and this is a fun way to do so."

Rhiannon Allison, 14, enjoys hanging out with someone new every year.

"I get to meet a lot of new friends," she said. "Everyone at the Rendezvous is really open and friendly. The atmosphere is really cool too."

Ashby Florence, 11, enjoys the rendezvous but isn't sure she would have enjoyed wearing the clothes of that era all the time.

"I like my dress, but it is really hot. And the moccasins hurt because they are not very padded," Florence said.

A section of the mountain man site is lined with tents of vendors selling authentic clothing, jewelry, moccasins, leather, and a range of other authentic amenities replicating supplies from the 1830s

Angelique Throckmartin, 8, said her favorite part of the rendezvous was the teepee she got to sleep in at night.

"Sleeping in it is a lot different from my normal bed. It is shorter," she said.

She added that the mosquitoes were her least favorite part as she displayed an arm full of bites.

Her grandfather, Paul Throckmartin took a bottle of insect repellent explaining to Angelique that in the 1830s bug repellent would have been stuff used to bait beavers.

"Even back in the 1830s they would have had mosquitoes," Throckmartin said. "Now, thank goodness, we have an easier way to get rid of them than beaver bait."

The 1838 Rendezvous site is located near East Monroe Avenue off South Federal Boulevard. The public is welcome to visit.

For more information on the Riverton Rendezvous visit www.1838rendezvous.com

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