Every July 4th weekend a local fur trade reenacting group holds a rendezvous on Dunlap Island in Cloquet, Minnesota. We just happen to go camping near Cloquet about once a month during the summer. And did I mention that my first job was as a “historical intrepretor” at Historic Fort Snelling, a part of the Minnesota Historical Society. While there I did my share of reenacting for fun on the weekends including one 1812 reenactment with my mother and sister. So a fur trade rendezvous is kind of up my alley.
I have a deep love of history for a lot of reasons but I love what it tells us about us. Fur Trade history is big in Minnesota and is everywhere.
No matter how you feel about furs and trapping I think most people would agree it is fascinating. Cultures collided for good or ill. Rugged beauty and wilderness, hand crafts and personal livelihoods supported high fashion back east.
Here Two is guessing which animals the furs came from. He was pretty good at it actually. The furs were donated by the Minnesota DNR.
Here Two sports a coyote hat.
Two handles baby mocassins. I always wanted to make a pair.
Avril is drawn to the beaded items.
I was reading a book that discussed Ancient Greek culture. The book claimed that during this time period a person was considered wealthy based upon talents and skills. Maybe that is what has always drawn me to the past. I love hand made items, there is a beauty in them few things can rival.
There were a few people even making things there like this blacksmith demonstrating his craft.
We bought a few things at his booth including a trade silver necklace for Two and hand blown glass beads strung into a necklace for the girls while we waited.
Of course hand made candy is the best. This gentleman owns a candy shop in Kentucky where he is a licensed confectioner but he travels 50 weeks out of the year to share his favorite treats from a simple tent.
There was even good music. All in all it was a pretty great trip back in time.