When: noon to 2 p.m., June 22
Location: Santa Fe Place
Museum Admission NM Adults: $6
Children 16 and Under: Free
Sundays are free to NM residents.
The Trade Fair is free, donations suggested.
Learn the old-time tricks of doing more with less
Knowing how to live off the land could come in handy these days. Learn more about the tools, weapons, clothing and, especially, the campfire tales of those who once did just that at the Santa Fe Mountain Man Trade Fair, August 9-12, at the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors.
The four-day event turns the Palace Courtyard into a Mountain Man-style rendezvous, where authentic re-enactors display and sell items necessary for survival as well as the jewelry, pottery, moccasins and more that make mountain living a pleasure. Bring the children to watch a blacksmith ply his trade over an open fire and see snakes and raptors from the Wildlife Center in Española. Sit in on informal lectures and demonstrations. Enjoy a musical performance by J. Michael Combs.
The event is free ($1 donations welcome) through the Blue Gate, south of the History Museum’s entrance at 113 Lincoln Avenue at the Santa Fe Plaza. Add a visit to the History Museum and the Palace of the Governors, where children 16 and under are always free. (Museum admission for NM adults is $6, $9 for others. Sundays are free to NM residents -- and parking in downtown Santa Fe is free on Sundays, too.) The Trade Fair is sponsored by Los Compadres, a support group of the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors.
Thursday, August 9
8-10 am: Early admission, $10 per person
10 am-4:30 pm: Trade Fair open
10 am: Moccasin making, by Terry Conn
12 pm: The West, by Jeff Hengesbaugh
2 pm: Making trade silver, by Leroy Anderson
Friday, August 10
9 am-4:30 pm: Trade Fair open
10 am: Four hundred years of Euro-American indigenous history, by Robert Blanchet
12 pm: Primitive fire starting, by Don Lankford
5:30 pm: Live music of the Mountain Man era, by J. Michael Combs
Saturday, August 11
9 am-4:30 pm: Trade Fair open
10 am: The Hawken rifle and other firearms of the Mountain Man, by Bill Henaman
11 am-1 pm: The Wildlife Center in Española shows snakes and raptors
12 pm: Primitive fire starting, by Lynn Canterbury
2 pm: Knives and knife making, by Smitty
2:30 pm: Hands-on History—Trade goods and tools of the Mountain Man
Sunday, August 12
9 am-3 pm: Trade Fair open
10 am: Importance of blacksmithing and ironwork in the 19th century, by Gary Schluter
1pm: Constructing a powder horn, by Doug Casteel
Mountain Men were hunters and fur trappers whose rugged lives left Rocky Mountain legends from roughly 1820-1840 (and led to a modern-day TV show on the History Channel). Their survival skills, including trading with Native Americans, built a foundation of knowledge for the settlers who followed on the Santa Fe Trail. Among the 1,000 who roamed the West during the fur trade’s heyday were folks like Kit Carson and Jedediah Smith.
The tradition of the Mountain Man Rendezvous started in the West in1825. Originally a gathering to exchange pelts for supplies and to reorganize trapping units, it evolved into a month-long carnival in the wilderness with horse races, running races, card games, checkers, target shooting, singing and gambling. Whiskey drinking, not surprisingly, accompanied it all. (FYI: The History Museum’s version does not include alcohol.)