A New Kind Of Summer Learning

By KBJR News 1

August 16, 2010 Updated Aug 16, 2010 at 8:04 AM CDT

The End of The Road Rendezvous group in Ely is putting on their annual rendezvous in Whiteside Park this weekend.

This event teaches people of all ages how things were done in the beginning days of northeastern Minnesota.

This weekend you can take a vacation not to a new destination, but to a different time entirely.

Kenny Hurlbut is a courier du bois, which is French for 'free trader'.
Back in the early days of fur trading in Minnesota free traders went deep into Minnesota woods to trade goods with the Native Americans.

"He would bring them the copper, the brass, the iron; the things they desired. Steel hauls and tools and knives, he would bring them to him he would then have all the furs and be in control of who got what," said Hurlbut.

The End of the Road Rendezvous groups is based out of Ely and is a non profit educational organization.

Through reenactments visitors are able to see the way life was in the 1700s and 1800s.

Authentic weavers, beeswax candles, tomahawk throwing and even a candy cannon for kids are on display this weekend.

Stephen Menart is a blacksmith who has come to the End of the Road Rendezvous since it was held at the Kawishiwi campground...now it's held in town, to make it more accessible to visitors.

"For a person who wants to see some unusual things...this is the place to come," said Menart.

"This gives them a chance to learn history in a fun, interactive way. If we don't do something now to preserve the old ways in history, it's going to be lost," said Todd DeNio, president of the End of the Road Rendezvous group.