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Hosted By


Bent’s Old Fort NHS

Otero Junior College

City of La Junta

Koshari Indian Museum

Bent’s Fort and the Southern Fur Trade


To paraphrase an old mountaineer:

“the happiest days of my life was in [learning about] trapping [and trading].”


NOW is that rare chance to venture into the southern reaches of the 1800s fur trade region and join your fellow Fur Trade Historians, Living Historians and enthusiasts at Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site. The staff at Bent’s Old Fort, along with their valuable volunteers, and with assistance from area entities such as Otero Junior College, the Koshare Indian Museum, the Santa Fe Trail Association and the City of La Junta promise to develop a unique educational and entertaining opportunity for persons of all interest levels in the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade.


The “best of the best” Historians, the best, juried, Living Historians, the best period Musicians of the Southern Rockies have been, and are being, sought to share their expertise with all who attend this valuable and insightful gathering .  These fine men and women will challenge the attendees of this Symposium to step back in time and envision themselves actually taking part in the Southern Fur Trade of in a time lost to the modern world.  In addition to the wealth of information offered through formal and informal presentations, Living Historians, period Musicians, and period food and drink will induce those in attendance to step back to the 1830s and 1840s and relive that time when “Skins Were Money.”  


Though there are few guarantees in life, the organizers of the 2015 Fur Trade Symposium do guarantee that this assembly will prove to be a unique opportunity to learn, enjoy and engage in the full scope and diversity of the Southern Fur Trade-an opportunity which has not been available on this scale since 1988.


The 2015 Fur Trade Symposium, returning to the Southern Rockies for the first time since 1988, will inform and entertain a wide-range of attendees on the full scope and diversity of the southern fur trade.  The Symposium will examine the breadth of the fur trade’s effects, including animal populations, people involved in the business, their lifestyles, interactions, economics and more.  The conference will enrich scholars, fur trade re-enactors and enthusiasts, students, teachers, the general public and all who have an interest in the history of the fur trade, the growth of the nation, and the distinct cultural interactions of the era.  


The Symposium will place special emphasis on the Southern Rocky Mountain trade through scholarly presentations, informal seminars and through Living History’ representations of those involved in the Southern fur trade during its peak.





The Historians

A Short Welcoming Video