Sunday, July 12, 2015 – The live, historical re-enactment, called the Rendezvous Pageant, has been a Pinedale area tradition since 1936. The community residents relive the original Green River Rendezvous of the 1800’s. The rodeo grounds come alive with bearded, buck skinned trappers and mountain men of long ago as they gallop, holler, fight, boast, and trade and barter goods. Representatives of coming civilization are also on the scene: Eliza Spaulding and Narcissa Whitman, the first pioneer women to travel over South Pass, stroll in once again. The pageant is proudly hosted by the dedicated volunteers of the Green River Rendezvous Pageant Association, who make their own historically accurate costumes, and who produce and perform the Pageant.
I feel it was an honor to attend today’s 80th annual pageant. Roy enjoyed this event much more than the tour!! The day was beautiful, cool breezes, a couple of sprinkles, and the pageant provided a lot of fun and excitement. If you are interested in reading highlights of the script of today’s pageant read on. If not, skip this part! Pictures are below the highlights.
The Astorians -The story of the 1811 expedition sponsored by John Jacob Astor of New York. The party is led by Wilson Price Hunt and includes explorers John Hoback, Jacob Reznor and Edward Robinson. These men are the first non-Indians to investigate the Upper Green River Valley and see its potential for the fur trade.
Green River Rendezvous-The scene is set for a Rendezvous on the Green. An American Indian pipe lighting ceremony prepares the way. A brief overview is provided of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade of the 1800s and its dependence on the fashion of the beaver fur top hat. The Ashley expedition of 1823 brings trappers to western Wyoming.
Fort Bonneville – Capt. Benjamin Bonneville is the first to bring wagons over South Pass. He builds Fort Bonneville in 1832 above the mouth of Horse Creek, near today’s Daniel Junction, as a strategic military post. The fort lasts only a few years, but plays a role in our area’s first Rendezvous in 1833, and it provides a theatrical backdrop for today’s Rendezvous re-enactment.
he Mountain Men-The primary historical characters in the Pageant make their entrances: Kit Carson, Jedediah Smith, Joe Meek, Jim Bridger, and William Sublette.
Shoshones/Antelope Soldiers- The role of soldier societies in Native American tribes is described, and the Shoshones make their entrance with their great leaders, Chief MaWoMa, his senior wife Wadzay Weepay, and Sun Priest Quintan-Quay.
Trapper’s Bride – Jim Bridger buys Sweetgrass Woman from MaWoMa for 5 horses. The chief drives a hard bargain.
The Horse Race –Capt. Bonneville challenges the Shoshone Chief to a horse race and wisely loses.
Father DeSmet and the Prairie Mass –Father Pierre Jean DeSmet, a Jesuit, holds the first Mass between the Continental Divide and the Sierra Nevadas. It is attended by Indians as well as trappers.
American Fur Company vs. Rocky Mountain Fur Company-The wagons of the rival company trappers arrive, laden with bundles of furs. Explorers and mountain men Tom Fitzpatrick, Andrew Dripps, Lucien Fontenelle, William Drummond Stewart, Antoine Clement and artist Alfred Jacob Miller join the action. A flurry of trading ensues.
Pony Dancers –A display of horsemanship by bareback riders.
Whitman and Spaulding – Narcissa Whitman and Eliza Spaulding accompany their husbands, Dr. Marcus Whitman and Rev. Henry Harmon Spaulding. Narcissa and Eliza are the first white women to cross the Continental Divide and are harbingers of the civilization to come.
Alfred Jacob Miller offers to immortalize all the characters in a painting for his boss, Scottish aristocrat Sir William Drummond Stewart.
Roy and I thoroughly enjoyed this beard shaving event. It turned out that it is an auction style thing. People bid on how much they would pay to see each person get shaved. One mans bidding went as high as $1,850. Crazy, right???? Roy and my jaws dropped when that happened! A lot of the mountain men from the pageant grew their beards out for the pageant and then get them shaved here. All proceeds go to supporting the Mountain Man Museum here in Pinedale. Everyone had a great time and we both laughed, clapped and hooted along with the crowd.
That’s the end of all our Rendezvous fun. We will be in Pinedale until this coming Friday morning. The only other thing we’ll do while we’re here is to swim and play at the Aquatic Center. Lots of resting, reading and more resting for us this coming week!! We’re off to explore the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone next!
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