Almost like being in a time
machine, the Museumof the Mountain Man
hosted its annual American Mountain Man
Living History Days drawing volunteers from
all over the country come together to recreate
Utah resident Kris Swanson, more commonly
known as Sharp Knife, travels from the
end of March to the end of October for events
like this. She lives out of her teepee at each
Swanson specializes in the 1800s fur trade
and Indian Wars eras. “Everyone talks about
the mountain men, but we wouldn’t have fur
trade without the Indians,” Swanson said.
She also focuses on the women of that
time. Swanson explained that women did a
lot of the work when it came to the fur trade.
Mountain men would marry Indian women,
which gained them connections. The women
also did a lot of the preparation on items for
the fur trade.
Doc Ibory and Trapper Killsmany are good
friends within the community. For the two of
them, this is not a reenactment, but a lifestyle.
The two of them go about this all year round.
“People play mountain men; we are mountain
men,” Ibory said.
While a lot of people say they are crazy for
living like they do, they see those people as
crazy for living in a town.
“It’s how we’re supposed to live,” Killsmany
Killsmany and Ibory go as far as to grow
their own crops and catch their own water.
They hardly find that they need use of the
things many other people are accustomed to.
Moci has been into reenactments for Longer
than 30 years. Moci was visiting Fort
Bridger in 1985 when he was introduced to
the idea of mountain men reenactments.
“It felt like playing dress-up,” Moci said, “I
didn’t want that. I wanted to live it.”
Later on, Moci dragged his unwilling wife
into the community as well. “She went …
kicking and screaming.” Moci shared that his
wife later grew accustomed and even started to
enjoy it. “Now, we both go at it hard.”
Moci also shared that the community of the
American Mountain Men is a true friendship.
He stated that the friendships they make with
one another are real. If one of them was in
trouble, the others would flock toward them.
“It’s a family,” Moci said.