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Upper Green River Rendezvous Site

Shepardsville, Kentucky

October 10, 2022

I have a hard time getting my mind around the mindset of the early European explorers -- you want me to get on the "ship" made of wood and sail across the ocean not knowing where we are going, when we are going to get there and what kind of weather we are going to face? No thanks, I'll stay in Europe.

Same goes for the fur trappers in the West. These folks were hundreds of miles from "civilization and spent their days killing beavers. I assume they had horses but perhaps some of them walked everywhere?

I think I am roughing it by sleeping in my truck and in my tent. I know that if I want a break, I can just break out my credit card and get a comfortable room for the night.

I recently learned about the Green River Renedevous. Again, my mind is blown. How was this scheduled? How did the participants know where and when to be there?

Fascinating stuff!

The Upper Green River Rendezvous Site is a site on the Green River above and below Daniel, Wyoming, United States. On and near this location, roughly around the confluence of the river with Horse Creek, at least five of the 19th-century Rocky Mountain Rendezvous took place. A 1,200-acre area was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961.

Description and history

The Upper Green River Rendezvous Site is a largely undeveloped rectangular area, roughly centered on the confluence of the Green River and Horse Creek. The area is located south of United States Route 191 between Daniel and Pinedale, with the only vehicular access provided by a ranch road which crosses the river a short way east of the confluence. The site shows no evidence of the large meetings which took place here in the 19th century.

This area is typical of the sites at which the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous took place between 1825 and 1840. The rendezvous was an organized meeting point for fur trappers, their suppliers, and the buyers of their products to meet. The meetings were first organized by William Henry Ashley, and brought a sense of organization and structure to the otherwise dispersed fur trapping and trading business. Meetings were held annually, generally centered at some location on the Green River. Five were known to be held near the confluence with Horse Creek, but all of them were sprawling affairs, due to the large number of animals needing water and forage.

Although no traces of the rendezvous themselves survive on the site, there is a commemorative marker on a rise overlooking the Horse Creek site, and there are further markers near US 191 at another rendezvous site.

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