Fort Union Rendezvous | VideoEvan Kruegel | 6/14/2012
"My specialty is I`m a quill worker. I break down my own leather, I pick up road kill porcupines, pluck the quills, sort them, die them, and then do the quill work which was dated long before beads and stuff", Said Rendezvous Merchant Marge Schaller.
The rendezvous captures what life in the Mon-Dak region would have been like in the mid 1800`s.
"What would have gone on here would have been the gathering of many of the northern plains tribes, and it was much like a medieval fur fare, where you had all kinds of socializing going on, even horse racing. And in-between, they`d be trading fur and acquiring materials that they would need for the coming year," said park ranger Richard Stenberg.
Ed Assman is a retired police officer, but you wouldn`t know that from his traditional fur-trade attire.
"It`s something I`ve been doing for thirty years so its commonplace to me. And we call those clothes you wear strange clothes. It`s just a re-enactment of history and the fur trade era is something I don`t want to see perish, or the skills that those people had be lost, so we`re just carrying it on I guess."
The rendezvous is held inside and outside the actual fort, and includes numerous time-accurate events.
"The foundations of the site are original, and it is a unique way to bring the site back to life as best we can to that period," said Stenberg.
Fort union was reconstructed in 1851, but events like the rendezvous keep the history of the site very much alive.