Back when fur trading was still a big deal, like from the 17th century to early in the 19th century, trappers, traders, Native Americans, and soldiers gathered once or twice a year to swap goods and stories. While the reasons for those annual meetings are long gone, the ritual is being kept alive by a group of hardy re-enactors who criss-cross the country in modern vehicles to spend their weekends camping and running around in deerskin clothing. They are a lot of fun to visit,and you can buy some impressive hand-made goods. You might even learn a few things about the era, too. This photo gallery has pictures from the Prairie Island Rendezvous in Winona, Minnesota and the Fort du Chartres Rendezvous near Prairie du Rocher, Illinois. To find a rendezvous near you, check here and select a region under the Events section.
About the Author: Dean Klinkenberg
Dean Klinkenberg, the Mississippi Valley Traveler, is on a mission to explore the rich history, diverse cultures, and varied ecosystems of the Mississippi River Valley, from the Headwaters in northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. He is the author of Rock Island Lines, a mystery, and several guidebooks for the Mississippi Valley.