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...for the blackpowder enthusiast

Rendezvous -- Past & Present

Kristin Kindig Lohr

Old Time Fun for the Family

In the early 1800's adventurous men working for companies such as the Hudson's Bay Company and the American Fur Company, would travel west to trap furs during the fall and spring. With the coming of summer they would head toward a pre-arranged gathering site (usually determined a year in advance based on its proximity to the hunting grounds and other natural resources, and to the supply trains that ran to St. Louis). At this rendezvous point they gathered together, along with the natives, to celebrate the end of the long, lonely winter, to exchange goods that they had traded for, and often to share liquor and women to excess.

The modern day rendezvous has captured much of the spirit of its predecessor. Today, men, women and children gather at pre-determined sites throughout the summer to camp in 1800's appropriate clothing and lodges, challenge each other in tomahawk throws and feats of marksmanship, and to exchange goods and stories.

Twice every year (the end of April and the middle of October), the Log Cabin Shop hosts a competition muzzleloading shoot and rendezvous. There are usually between 30-40 primitive camps on grounds, and about 80-90 registered shooters. The event runs from Friday morning until Sunday afternoon, and is open to the public as well. Although the store is located in Lodi, Ohio (see map elsewhere on our home page!) people have come from as far away Vermont to the east and Florida to the south, as well as West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana and of course, Ohio.

These rendezvous give the participants a chance to live life akin to that of our ancestors. Many will cook their foods in cast iron pots over open fires and sit around the fire in the evening enjoying some folk music played on dulcimers or guitars. Visitors are welcome to walk through the village and browse at the wares displayed. They are encouraged to ask any questions they might have for the re-enactors.

The Log Cabin Shop's rendezvous is an excellent entry level rendezvous, as we do not have strict rules regarding dress, lodges, wares that can be displayed, etc. At some of the rendezvous on the national level, it is required that your clothing be appropriate for the 1800-1820 era, and that all of the books that you are trying to peddle were actually printed in the early 1800's, not just on topics pertaining to the era. We only ask that you camp in a primitive shelter (canvas teepee, lean to, marquis tent, etc.), wear clothing appropriate for the pre-1865 era, and have fun (while being courteous to the other campers)!

The Log Cabin Shop offers several books which give further insight to the how and why of "rendezvousing" and related topics. A sample of these include: Rendezvous, Back to a Simpler Time, A Toast to the Fur Trade, Who Was I? Creating a Living History Persona, Book of Buckskinning (volumes 1-7, Tidings From the 18th Century, and The Book of the Continental Soldier. All of these may be purchased at the store or through our mail-order catalog which is available for $5.00. For information on any of these titles or other re-enactment supplies, call (330) 948-1082, or to place an order for a catalog or other merchandise call our toll free order line at (800) 837-1082.