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. It is scheduled for Sept. 23-Sept. 27 at Bent's Old Fort.

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. It is scheduled for Sept. 23-Sept. 27 at Bent's Old Fort.

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.

Wednesday, Sept. 23 – Saturday noon, Sept. 27, 2015

Bent’s Old Fort NHS will be staffed by living history volunteers portraying life at the fort in 1842. Altogether over 50 living history interpreters representing, Santa Fe Trail traders, as well as independent trappers, Indians, fort hunters, craftsmen, laborers, domestics and clerks will demonstrate the particulars of their occupations as a way of bringing the past back to life. On the 23rd, a brigade of free trappers will ride across the river and receive a fort welcoming typical for such a party.

6 a.m. – 8 p.m. Living History Interpreter check-in, Wagon Shed at Bent’s Old Fort NHS.

7 a.m. – 5 p.m. On-site vendor check-in, Wagon Shed at Bent’s Old Fort NHS

Noon – 6 –p.m. Symposium registration and sign-in, Bent’s Old Fort NHS parking lot “Interpretation Plaza”

5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Welcome Reception at Bent’s Old Fort with music by Lex Nichols

Thursday, Sept. 24 7 a.m. – 10 a.m. Registration and/or check-in at the Amtrak station, La Junta (for Field Trip 1 and 2 registrants)

8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Registration at Bent’s Old Fort NHS Parking Lot, “Interpretation Plaza”

6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Evening reception, Bent’s Old Fort, with music provided by Rex Rideout and Mark Gardner

Friday, Sept. 25 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration and vendors at Otero Jr. College Humanities Center - Ed Stafford Theatre(Grazing tables open till 10 a.m.)

Formal presentations, Otero Jr. College Humanities Center - Ed Stafford Theatre

Saturday, Sept. 26 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration and vendors at Otero Jr. College Humanities Center - Ed Stafford Theatre(Grazing tables open till 10 a.m.)

Formal Presentations, Otero Jr. College Humanities Center - Ed Stafford Theatre

8:15 - 8:30 a.m. Introductions and announcements 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Dr. Elliot West, Bent's Fort: American Crossroads 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Jim Hardee. "Taos Trappers" and the Demise of the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Dr. James A. Hanson. Empires of Similar Differences: The Cooperative Struggle between Pierre Chouteau Jr. & Co. and Bent & St. Vrain 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Ms. Carol Kuhn. The Rold of Bent's Fort in Natural Science Exploration of the Southwest through 1849 12:30 - 2 p.m. Lunch/Break 2 - 3 p.m. John C.F. Luzader. Living History Archeology: Utilizing Fur Trade Locale in Rediscovering the Past 3 - 4 p.m. Mark Lee Gardner. "What's a 'gone beaver,' stranger?":The Fur Trade of the Southern Plains and Rockies in the Popular Imagination 4 - 5 p.m. Host Proposals for 2018 Fur Trade Symposium

6 - 10 p.m. Formal Banquet at Bent’s Old Fort NHS followed by Dr. Lorenzo Trujillo and the Southwest Musicians’ Fandango. Must register by Sept. 1 to receive banquet and fandango.

The banquet will include a dandelion greens salad with dressing, buffalo ribeye with red wine demi-glaze, pommes dauphinoise, layered like canyon rocks and a dessert. To ensure availability of specialty items, the deadline for the banquet is Sept. 1, either through full registration, or as a separate line item.