'First U.S. Infantry' theme
for Fort Atkinson rendezvous
Monday, September 16, 2013 3:41 AM
The frontier rendezvous will be held on the military post grounds of Fort Atkinson, Iowa, on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28 and 29. Re-enactors, dressed in 1840s time-period costumes, will take part in historical, educational and entertaining events.
Paul R. Herold, Fort Atkinson mayor and chairperson of The Friends of Fort Atkinson Rendezvous Committee, and committee members Penney Neuzil, Scott Sindelar and Ron Franzen have announced the theme for this year's event is in recognition and honor of the soldiers of the "First U.S. Infantry" when they were stationed at the Fort Atkinson military post.
During the weekend rendezvous, the Ghost Garrison from Des Moines will be on the post grounds demonstrating how the First Infantry soldiers of the 1840s time period lived. Dressed in time period uniforms, members of the Ghost Garrison will perform marching and shooting drills and provide general knowledge of early to mid-1800 U. S. military history in the territory and state of Iowa.
Approximately 100 tents and teepees will be on the fort grounds during the rendezvous weekend with hundreds of rendezvous participants, called buck skinners, dressed in period clothes or military uniforms of the 1840s time period. Numerous trade blankets will be laid out next to the teepees displaying pioneer items such as hand woven baskets, pottery, glassware, scrimshaw, animal furs, and pioneer clothes and tools.
Also on display on the fort grounds will be a full-size replica of the frontier Conestoga wagon used to haul supplies to the military post.
Lots of fun events that took place at the original frontier rendezvous' will occur on the post grounds and will include shooting contests, tomahawk throwing, flint and steel fire starting, an 1840s cooking contest, a skillet throw and 1840s kid's games. Other pioneer sights and sounds that will greet visitors include the training of soldiers dressed in period military uniform, the shooting of the anvil and cannon drills.
The Country Road Players will perform a melodrama on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and again on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. An old-time church service will also be held on the fort grounds on Sunday morning at 9:10 a.m.
A variety of pioneer foods will be available on the grounds during the weekend including kettle corn, fry bread, stew, Indian tacos, homemade root beer and other period food items.
There is no admission charge to visitors attending the rendezvous. A public school bus will travel back and forth from the fort to downtown to provide free transportation for visitors since cars cannot be parked around the post grounds.
The Fort Atkinson Rendezvous will be open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, and from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29.