PINEDALE – Students from around the state converged on the Museum of the Mountain Man earlier this week to learn all about the way and life of the mountain man during the annual Living History Days event. From blacksmithing to beaver skinning and trapping, youngsters received a crash course of information as they moved around eight educational stations both inside the museum and outside in nearby tipis and cabins.
In years prior, events have typically been outside in the warm spring sunshine; however, cold rain and snow pushed most events indoors this year. The event began on Tuesday, May 16, and ran through Thursday, May 18. Classrooms who came up this year ranged from Green River to Rock Springs, Pinedale and Big Piney, to name a few.
According to Executive Director of the Sublette County Historical Society and Museum of the Mountain Man Clint Gilchrist, the event has been a longstanding tradition for students to attend for the better part of 20 years. He says the event is a good way for youngsters to learn about an important bit of history and to garner the students’ interest.
“I think it plants seeds for the kids and is a little more hands-on history,” he said. “Hopefully it will inspire them later on in life and for them to get excited about history. I think it’s great.”
Gilchrist says most presenters have been coming at least 10 years, and do a good job teaching the students. This year, 10 mountain men presenters were in attendance from parts of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. They are all members of the American Mountain Men, who do reenactments of the fur trade era from approximately 1800 to 1840.
“We’re out here showing them the history – the past, the way people lived and the growing of this country,” said participant Moki Hipol of Evanston. “We are all history buffs and we try to pass on this knowledge and teach them the facts, not the Hollywood version.”