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Pioneer history comes alive at Fort Caspar

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CASPER, Wyo. — Handcarts, quilts and the Mormon Ferry were elements of the Casper Wyoming Stake's participation in the Fort Caspar Rendezvous on June 24. (The city and fort, though pronounced the same, are spelled differently.)

The city of Casper, which owns and operates the fort as a historical site, invited the Church to be part of the living-history displays during the event visited by members of the community and tourists. There were also primitive skills contests, Native American dancers and other activities during the day to demonstrate what life was like in the era of mountainmen and the early pioneers.

Each ward in the stake filled a time slot at the fort to greet visitors, explain the significance of the area to the Mormon migration westward and to demonstrate the craft of quilting.

The Mormon Ferry was established by Brigham Young to help Mormon pioneers who came after him to cross the North Platte River; the ferry became a revenue producer as others were charged a fee for its use.

A replica of the original ferry that is permanently situated on the edge of the fort was constructed of cottonwood by members of the stake. For the rendezvous, the ferry was joined by a few of the handcarts built in the stake for the Pioneer Sesquicentennial celebration of 1997.