Museum of the Mountain Man
700 East Hennick St, Pinedale, WY 82941 - United States
As the oldest Historical Society in the State of Wyoming, the Sublette County Historical Society was originally established in 1935 for the preservation of historic sites of the fur trade and rendezvous, marking of settler graves and trails and to collect all records, documents and items pertaining to the historical background of Sublette County. Today’s SCHS is the parent organization for the Museum of the Mountain Man, a facility that presents a visual and interpretive experience into the era of the mountain man, the Plains Indian, the Oregon Trail and the developments of this region. It sponsors programs, living history events and workshops for both children and adults to further explore Wyoming settlement history.
Each year the Museum and Sublette County Historical Society produce the “Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal” and other publications that educate and preserve the record of historical events and people across the country. The success of the Sublette County Historical Society and the Museum of the Mountain Man depends upon those generous individuals and businesses who support our efforts with their donations and membership.
This exhibit offers a broad overview of the fur trade in the Rocky Mountains and specifically the Green River Valley between 1820 and 1840. Displays include trappers’ equipment on loan from the American Mountain Men Association, a diorama of a Rendezvous scene, flintlock and percussion guns from the late 1700s and early 1800s, and tools, equipment, and trade goods used during the fur trade era. One of the most prized artifacts on display is Jim Bridger’s rifle, a gun presented to the mountain man in 1853 by Louis Vasquez. Vasquez had Bridger’s name and the date engraved on the gunstock of the half-stock .40 caliber rifle. The gun is one of the few artifacts in the museum that is known to have been owned by a specific mountain man.
Throughout the exhibit are a variety of animal mounts of species encountered by the fur traders and mountain men in the Rocky Mountains. Beautiful paintings and sculpture depicting the mountain men compliment the artifact displays.
In January of 2010, the Historical Society with help from Sublette County and private donations got a unique opportunity to acquire over 100 original papers related to the Rocky Mountain fur trade. The documents include an assortment of letters and business papers written and signed by some of the biggest names in the Rocky Mountain fur trade such as William Sublette, Robert Campbell, Thomas Fitzpatrick, William Ashley, Nathaniel Wyeth, Lucien Fontenelle, and William Drummond Stewart. For more details on the purchase see the press release.
Copies of some of the papers are on display at the Museum of the Mountain Man. Because they are fragile and sensitive to extended light exposure, the originals will only be on display for special occasions.
Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.