Carpenter's report of the Fur Trade
Symposium held at Bent's Old For this Sept.
Upon returning from a lumber
cutting trip up river, I found that the fort's factor had
provisionally hired Gerald, an itinerant cabinet maker
from Louisiana. I spent the rest of day conferring with
Mr. Holt concerning the projects
for the woodshop as he had a trip starting the next day to
Sutter’s Fort. Gerald did not feel comfortable
interacting with the expected travelers so we decided he
should just work on a replacement table for the clerk's
room. Gabe was given the task to build a replacement for
the checkerboard the “gentlemen” had broken. I was to
work on the wheel stand.
The next day, work was going well
even though we had a lot of travelers visiting us. Gabe
milled the board for the chessboard and mixed some white
and black milk paint. I started cutting tenons for the
stand. We had some walk in work, such as finishing a set
of stirrups for Mr. Crawford, sharpening knifes for the
laborers, etc. Gerald and I visited the hunter/trapper
camp delivering the stirrups to Mr. Crawford..
The fort provided the usual
rations but there was also a traveling group of cooks who
provided a light meal in the evenings. Also the domestics
provided a fresh hunk of meat and some Mexican cheese for
Saturday’s breakfast. Danette was cooking outside the
laborers quarters, so we ate really well. The night before
most folks’ outward-bound journeys started the visiting
cooks served an outstanding meal of buffalo, corn pudding
and scallop potatoes.
The next day as everyone was
packing for their respective trips, Gerald was putting the
final coat of paint on the table and finishing 2 spoons
the domestics had requested. I recommended to the Factor
that we hire Gerald.