The Saratoga Sun -

The 1800s revisit Grand Encampment

GEM hosts Living History Days while Sierra Madre Muzzeloaders hold Mountain Man Rendezvous


Fresh off the 15th annual Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering last weekend, the town of Encampment and the Grand Encampment Museum (GEM) will be hosting other events this weekend that will allow visitors to travel to an earlier time.

The museum will be holding its Living History Day Saturday, and is welcoming visitors to come by for free to get a glimpse of life in Wyoming in the 1800s. Saturday and Sunday, the Sierra Madre Muzzleloaders will be holding their annual Mountain Man Rendezvous and Black Powder Shoot, another event that brings visitors to another time.

The GEM’s Living History Day allows visitors to the museum to experience life as it was in the late 1800s. Visitors can wander the campus of the museum comprised of original period buildings that mimic a small mountain town in Wyoming in decades past.

Visitors can see how frontier newspapers were produced at the printer’s shop, and see how wool was spun into yarn, and how fabric for clothing and other goods was weaved. Other important trades to a bustling mountain town in the late 19th century, such as blacksmithing and rope making, will be on display, too.

The volunteers who make the event happen wear period clothing to give the experience even more realism and authenticity. And, guests are encouraged to interact with the townsfolk at an ice cream social.

Down the hill at the same time, the Mountain Man Rendezvous and Black Powder Shoot will take visitors out of the town and into a mid-1800s trading post where trappers, hunters, prospectors and others meet to exchange goods.

Visitors to the rendezvous will have the chance to see, trade or buy the types of items they might have seen had they visited a mountain trading post in the mid-19th century, such as crafts, metal work and clothing.

Like their counterparts in town, the volunteers who make the rendezvous happen will wear authentic period clothing and regalia, giving visitors a chance to see another side of life in 1800s Wyoming.

The mountain men will also demonstrate their skills with black powder firearms.

Both events are free to attend. Living History Day at the GEM will be held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday. The Mountain Man Rendezvous will be held on the grounds of the GEM Saturday and Sunday.


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