Fort Bridger Rendezvous News Letter

Click here for Printable PDF Newsletter July 2011

Click here for Printable PDF Newsletter April 2011

January 2011

Hello Members;

Here we are at 2011 planning for this year’s Fort Bridger Rendezvous.  Here is an update of what is happening with the association.  Kash Johnson will be your 2011 Booshway and Eugene Fowles as your Segundo.  Jeff Malan has been elected as FBRA Chairman.  New members are: Randy Mckinnon as Lyman Rep. and Warren Will as Utah Rep.  Ralph Mair after a brief rest has come back on the board as Mountain man Rep.  A special thanks to Dale Carpenter who has decided to take time off, Dale has served faithfully for many years and has served as Booshway and Chairman.

This year the board has voted on reducing the gate fee at the rendezvous back to 3 dollars.  We fell that the bad economy has affected attendance.

The board will be looking at putting out for bid a new Indian dance group for 2011.

New this year we will be highlighting a trader each month on the FBRA Website.  Mike Powell, head dog soldier photographed all the traders in front of their trade tents last year.  The traders’ photo and space number will be on the FBRA Website.  Visit us at:

Reminder to get you camp spot paid for before March 1st. 2011.  If not paid by that date your spot will be up for grabs on a first come first serve bases by association members. The best way to secure your spot is to pay for it at the end of each rendezvous for the following year.

The board this year has voted to not provide shower facilities.  The shower trailer is a nice facility however, it is costly to rent and someone has to be paid to clean and collect the money.  Only 134 people showered the 5 days it was in operation last year at rendezvous.  The board will possibly look into other options.

The spring FBRA rendezvous has been tentatively set for June 2nd through June 5th.  It will be held in the same place as last year on the Bear River in the Woodruff narrows.  FBRA members and friends of members are welcome, watch our website for details.

We would like to thank all members and volunteers who helped with the 2010 rendezvous.

We hope you all had a happy holiday season and are looking forward to a great new year.

We welcome any input from our members.  Please contact us or e-mail us.  Visit our website for contact information.  The FBRA board meets the first Saturday of each month.

Jeff Malan

FBRA Chairman



JULY 2011


CONTENTS: Tin Tipi information

Fort Bridger Flooding

Tractor presentation

Trade committee chairman letter

Last minute News

From the Chairman:

Hello all FBRA members, this will be our last newsletter prior to rendezvous so I will update you on what’s happening. The biggest change you need to be aware of is that the FBRA will not be running Tin Tipi, the property owner Scott Hopkinson presented the board with a new contract and after careful review by the board it was decided not to renew the contract for 2011. The board cannot meet the new requirements outlined in the contact. The FBRA has ran tin tipi for many years and has strived to accommodate the public in providing a quality camping/rendezvous experience by establishing rules and regulations and by keeping the cost down.

Mr. Hopkinson will be running tin tipi this year and it is unknown what his plans are at this time. The FBRA board has offered to Mr. Hopkinson assistance in organizing Tin Tipi but he has refused our help. We hope that he is successful in running tin tipi and please keep in mind that we the FBRA do not have any control over what the costs will be or what the accommodations will be like. Scott is listed in the Salt Lake City Utah Phone listing @ 801-266-6017.

Fort Bridger has experienced major flooding this year causing damage to the fort grounds.

The Blacks Fork River overflowed its banks washing out roads and deposited debris on the fort grounds. Fort personnel sandbagged where they could to protect the historical buildings. It will take a lot of work to get the grounds back in shape. The road to the shooting range was also washed out but is passable at this time.

The FBRA executive meeting and general membership meeting was held at the Fort Bridger on July 9th. The FBRA presented a new diesel tractor and mower to Linda Byers fort superintendent. The tractor and mower was purchased from gate fees collected by the FBRA. The new tractor and mower will be used to improve and maintain the fort grounds.

Also discussed at the meeting were issues with parking. The VFW will be parking cars across the street on the state property which will be used for day parking; there will also be handicap parking available. No overnight camping will be allowed on this property this year. Traders will be allowed to camp on Seiberts property near the shooting range however due to recent changes this property will be controlled with more organized camping to better utilize the space. Some long term truck and trailer parking may be available on Seiberts. Board members reported on their committees all reported that everything is ready to go for rendezvous. Linda Byers reported that the bathrooms (Flushers) will be closed and doors locked at 10:00pm also there are several archeological digs going on but they should not impact any camp or trade spaces.

The board will meet on Aug 20th for a work detail at the FBRA property to repair the road and prepare the shooting range for rendezvous. FBRA members and their friends are invited to join us.

The meeting concluded at 2:00pm at which time a barbecue was held for members, Kash Johnson brought his grill

and flipped hamburgers for the group.

After eating Jeff Malan, Kash Johnson, Tonya Hurst and Sherry Malan set up a demonstration in the stock aid for the Bridger family. There where approximately 75 decedents of Jim Bridger’s great grandfather. That arrived for a tour and dinner at the Fort. Three groups were brought into the stockade and shown how to throw a knife and hawk, how to load and shoot a flintlock rifle and pistol Kash set up a table with mountain man period items and demonstrated their use. Bridger family leaders thanked us and enjoyed all the activities.

The FBRA board is made up of men and women who are dedicated in providing a period correct Mountain man rendezvous. The board appreciates all those who support and attend the rendezvous. We appreciate the people from the Bridger Valley and the State of Wyoming who support this great event.

See you all at the rendezvous!!


Dear Trader:
Rendezvous is just about here, I thought I should send out a letter to outline a few things of interest to us all. This letter is being sent to all traders so please don’t take this as criticism to you personally.
First we will get the trade rules out of the way. You are required by our rules to sign and return the papers sent out by our secretary, PLEASE READ THEM, which would eliminate 75% of all misunderstanding’s that happen during rendezvous. We can take care of the other 25% if you will just ask if you are unclear about an item, or a rule, or anything else you might be concern about. You can’t get in any trouble asking questions.
This year’s trade committee will not be the normal official visit you have come to expect. As chairman of the trade committee and Booshway, I will have final say on any conflicts that may result from inspections of your business. You won’t know when you have or will be inspected. I have asked several concerned individuals to go around as, you might call secret shoppers, and they will be out from the first day to the last. They will report to me any infractions they find; they will not confront you in any way. This should eliminate the temptation to “sneak under the trade committee radar.”
It’s a little late in the year to add a bunch of new items to the unacceptable list, but I will ask that you not sell those bamboo bows and arrows to the children. The Jacobs ladders with rayon ribbon. My question to you is how do we encourage our children the get excited about “buckskining” if they get ripped off from the people they look up to? Make no mistake they do look up to you and what you do.
Another issue we have is Trader Bucks we dedicate $3000 in prize money. We print this up in a script that is legal tender on trader’s row. You as a trader are required to accept this as you would U S currency. Some of you have gotten your space free for several years through acceptance of Trader Bucks. We grantee you will be able to cash them in before you leave rendezvous. But they are Void after that.
We could take about $1000 and go around trader’s row and purchase some pretty nice prizes. This will be the way we handle prizes in the future if you as traders abuse this program. The reason I bring this up is because it was brought to my attention the abuse of Trader Bucks at another rendezvous this year.
At Fort Laramie the organizers work with the local business to get donations for there rendezvous. They took these donations and printed up Trader Bucks so that money would go to offset expenses and help the “Registered” traders. A well known trader happened to stop by because the event he was going to was canceled. Although not “registered” he did business with the recipients of Trader Bucks and accepted them. A friend happened to be participating in the rendezvous and cashed them in for him. This is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated at Bridger.
One more thing you need to know is, we have lost control of the Tin Ti Pi. The land owner presented us with a contract that he admitted he himself would not sign if presented to him. He required us to move the day parking out in front of the ranch house, then hire a bus to shuttle day visitors back out on the highway and down to the front gate of the park. He also required us to develop his water wells. Buy hooters and of course pump them ourselves. And we could have all this for $4500 for use of his land for nine days. We chose not to sign his contract. Mr. Hopkinson will run the place himself, so it will be open for business.
We are currently working with other land owners for parking and camping. We do have a place for long term parking; it will be near the trader camping. We are looking to see if we can get some visitors in that area also. Let your “helpers” know things will be different this year. We will have to regulate your modern camp in order to get as many in as possible. That means some may have to move to the Hopkinson land. If you want to be able to use the land you have been, you will have to work with us. I know it will be painful but we will have to adjust.  Please bear with us and we will work this out.

Just in Last minute News

Due to the hard work and extra time put in by Kash Johnson and Jeff Malan.

The FBRA has acquired a piece of land to be used for the rendezvous. The land (field) will be used for day parking only and is located a half block north from the wagon wheel motel. The parking area is only a short walk to the main entrance to the Fort Bridger Rendezvous. The parking will be handled by the VFW.

Another approximately 4 acres has been acquired located down the lane towards the shooting range near where the traders camp (Sieberts field). This area will be used as primitive quite camp. This is private property and will accommodate around 12-15 camps, same rules apply as on the Fort Grounds.

See you at Rendezvous!