33th Annual Rendezvous at Fort de Chartres
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Rendezvous 2003
The Tippecanoe Ancient Fife and Drum Corps from Lafayette, Indiana, presented their unique interpretation of 18th century French music and the early colonial French marine presence in North America during the 33rd Annual Rendezvous at Fort de Chartres.

Rendezvous 2003
Taylor Stirm (age 11), played the bagpipes with the Forty-Second Royale Highland and Regimental Music, from Lafayette, Indiana. The group performed recently at the Lewis and Clark Heritage Days in St. Charles, MO.
33th Annual Rendezvous at Fort de Chartres
- Betty Magrath SLFP.com
© 2003 photos by Bob Moore, SLFP.com

FORT de CHARTRES, (June 7 - 8, 2003) - Hundreds of visitors to the historic Fort de Chartres, near Prairie de Rocher, enjoyed the lively festivities of the midwest's largest gathering of 1700s era soldiers, traders and campers.

The 33rd Annual Spring Rendezvous brought people from all over the country together for a weekend reenacting what a Rendezvous might have been like during the fur trading era. Near the entrance to the historic military fort, hundreds of traders pitched tents to sell their period wares and demonstrate various crafts. The sound of fiddle music, bagpipes and an occassional boom from the cannon cut through the gentle breezes.

Visitors and reenactors shared goodnatured stories of past events and traded tips on historic attire and frontier necessities. Julie Senn and her husband Bob Haze, from Odesa, MO, were introduced by one of the traders at such an event six years ago. "I represent an eighteenth century French woman who was a conquest of war," laughed Senn. "So, I still have a few of the French things left on my clothes such as the fabric and ribbon in my bonnet. She noted that the British and French styles of the time were very similar in women's clothing. Her husand wore the attire of a sargent and British ranger.

Inside the massive stone walls of the fort, reenactors from the British Royale Regiment Artiliary demonstrated the firing of a reproduction cannon. Nancy Balance, of St. Louis, who portrayed Mayor Tobias Cunningham Mugg, Esquire and commander of the unit, noted that the actual regiment was sent over by the Board of Ordinance during the French and Indian War (Seven Years War in Europe). "The King sent men over to man his guns. The men we have here would have gone through schooling in Woolwrich, England, to become certified gunners."

Balance proudly noted that she and her husband built the carriage of the cannon. "This is a three-pounder which is based upon the size and weight of the lead ball. It's a Dutch gun called the Verbruugan. We have found references to it being one shipped over by accident in the 1st Battalion, Number Seven Company, Number One gun."

The event on Saturday featured a stunning precision performance by the Tippecanoe Ancient Fife and Drum Corps from Lafayette, Indiana. Reenactor Malcolm Duncan, director of the Corps, proudly noted that the company which represented the French Marines during the French and Indian War, has performed throughout the United States, Canada and France.

Rendezvous 2003
Julie Senn (dressed as a French woman) and Bob Haze (British ranger), from Odesa, MO, visit with Joseph L'Mele (trapper) and Mark Ebling (French officer), from Fort Belle Fontaine in St. Louis.

Rendezvous 2003
(L. to R.) Reenactors representing the Jaeger's Battalion based in Michigan: Tom Hale, from Spencer, Indiana and Dave Buehler, Kincaide, Illinois, watch Tom Schroeder, of Nashville, Tennessee, take aim at suckers in the grass during the flintlock shooting competition.
Rendezvous 2003
Visitors enjoyed an opportunity to shop for frontier attire and crafts at vendor booths on the grounds of Fort de Chartres.

Rendezvous 2003
Nancy Balance, of St. Louis, who portrayed Mayor Tobias Cunningham Mugg, Esquire and commander of the unit, fired the cannon for spectators.
Rendezvous 2003
Steve Gerlach, portraying a dentist, explains how the various tools of his profession would be used to treat toothaches and other ailments to onlookers during the Rendezous.
Rendezvous 2003
Representing the British side in the French Indian War, Joseph Hettel (left) of St. Charles, MO., practiced marching with Josh Delaney, of Spanish Lake, MO near the encampment.
Rendezvous 2003
Author Ted Franklin Belue, history teacher from Murray, Kentucky, portrayed an Indian of mixed heritage and sold his books.
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